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Uprova Online Loans (2024 Review)

Uprova Online Loans (2024 Review)
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Long Story Short
For those who need cash fast and have poor or no credit, Uprova is a legitimate lender to consider. But beware: extremely high APRs mean that borrowers should plan to repay ASAP.

In a tight spot and considering Uprova?

Uprova is a Tribal lender that offers fast-funding personal installment loans. It is considered a "payday loan alternative" and has generally positive customer reviews. However, understanding how Uprova works, its pros and cons, and prior customer experiences are important before making a borrowing decision.

To help you in your research, we'll explain tribal loans, their specific risks to consider as a borrower, how to carefully review loan terms, and provide several other lenders to consider.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Offers a useful range of installment loans from $300 to $5,000
  • Extremely fast funding, sometimes as quickly as 30 minutes
  • Designed for people with bad or no credit, so approval odds are high
  • Flexible repayment terms range from 9 months to 36 months
  • Responsible loan repayment can help build credit because Uprova reports to the credit agencies
  • Unlike payday loans, which must be repaid in full before your next payday, Uprova's installment loans have a fixed monthly payment, so you have more time to repay

Cons

  • Lack of transparency about APRs: you must provide your personal information before seeing terms and interest rates
  • APRs might be high: some customer reviews have claimed APRs exceeding 700%
  • As a tribal lender, Uprova is subject mainly to tribal and Federal laws and often exempt from stricter state regulations

Understanding Uprova Personal Loans

uprova brand logo

Uprova, a tribal lender, offers personal loans in the form of short-term installment loans. Aimed at individuals with poor and even no credit, their loans range from $300 to $5,000, serving as a lifeline in financial emergencies.

While payday loans typically require you to repay the loan amount in full by the next payday, Uprova's installment structure provides a more flexible repayment schedule. Although their loans are a costly form of credit, this flexibility positions Uprova as a better choice for those with few other options.

What are tribal loans?

Uprova operates under the umbrella of Tribal Lending Enterprises (TLEs), entities owned by federally recognized Native American tribes. Regulated by tribal laws, these lenders can operate with less oversight compared to non-tribal lenders. While these relaxed regulations benefit lenders, they occasionally give rise to questionable business practices and, often, higher interest charges.

Tribal lenders operating within a federally recognized Indian tribe:

  • Are less regulated by state laws because of tribal immunity
  • May only be answerable to tribal regulatory bodies
  • Operate within tribal jurisdiction

While this doesn't automatically mean that all Tribal lenders are bad, it does mean that borrowers need to be extra careful in reviewing all contract terms, fees, and interest rates before moving forward.

Tribal Installment Loans vs Payday Loans

While both tribal lenders and payday lender companies serve borrowers with poor credit, their loan repayment structures differ significantly. Payday loans are single-payment loans due by the next payday with excessive fees for late payments. Conversely, tribal installment loans allow borrowers to repay a loan with a fixed interest rate over a predefined period (set in a contract's loan terms).

However, more time to repay may also mean potentially higher costs in the long run. Although the installment structure with monthly payments may be less immediately stressful, it’s important to consider the total cost of the loan versus total costs of other available options.

How Borrowing from Uprova Works

mobile device showing uprova application process

Getting a loan from Uprova involves a simple online application process, typically taking about 10 minutes to complete. This ease of sign-up and navigation has led to a positive customer experience with the online loan process.

Even better, applicants often receive their loan amount in as little as 30 minutes, making it one of the fastest ways to get a personal loan.

Applying Online

The first step to getting an Uprova loan is to fill out a digital application and see what interest rate you qualify for. Note that submitting an application to check your rate does not impact your credit, as Uprova only does a soft credit check at this stage.

Information required on the application

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • How much you want to borrow
  • Military status
  • Phone number
  • Date of birth
  • Home address
  • Social security number
  • Employment Status
  • Employer name
  • Monthly income
  • Pay frequency
  • Bank account information (where loan funds will get sent)

Once you have provided this information and agree to the loan terms (including interest rate and repayment period), Uprova completes the application process by conducting a hard credit pull. This will cause your credit score to temporarily drop by a few points.

Loan Funding

Once approved, a digital contract is e-signed on the Uprova website and funds are sent to the borrower's bank account. This is usually extremely fast -- sometimes as quickly as 30 minutes after signing the contract.

Eligibility Criteria

Uprova is designed for people with bad or no credit: people with credit scores under 600 can still qualify for a loan. While approval odds with this lender will be higher than many other lenders, bear in mind that Uprova takes other factors, such as employment status and income, into consideration as well.

It is also worth noting that if you already have two or more open loans with other lenders, Uprova will not be able to approve your application.

Interest Rates and Fees

Uprova is not transparent about its, interest rates. Though their published "best interest rates" range from 34.5% to 35.99%, borrowers with subpar credit can expect to have much higher rates than that.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to see what interest rate Uprova will offer you until after you have submitted an application, which is one of the downsides of this lender. However, to give you a sense, some reviews have mentioned effective APRs in the triple digits.

The good news is that Uprova does not charge an origination or application fee, and does not charge a prepayment fee if you want to pay your loan off early.

It's important to compare other personal loan options and thoroughly review loan documents before accepting the terms.

Tips for Responsible Borrowing

Responsible borrowing extends beyond asking yourself if you can make the next payment. Here are three important tips:

  • Always understand the loan agreement, the interest rate, any fees, the repayment schedule, and the total cost of the loan before signing a contract
  • Review your budget and make sure that you are able to make payments -- your ability to repay quickly is key to setting yourself up for success
  • Maintain a positive relationship with major credit bureaus and build income over time. This is the key to unlocking more and better loan options in the future

Customer Reviews & Business Ratings

user reviews from trustpilot on uprova 4.8 stars

Customer feedback and business ratings offer valuable insights into the performance of a company and the satisfaction of its customers. Uprova, like any other business, has its share of positive and negative reviews.

Customer Experiences with Uprova

A large number of customers have appreciated Uprova’s fast and straightforward approach during the loan process, creating an overall positive experience. This positive feedback extends to Uprova’s customer service team, who have been recognized for providing friendly and knowledgeable service.

On the other hand, some customers say Uprova has room for improvement. Some customers reported difficulties in accessing Uprova’s website and reaching customer service, and of course, the high cost associated with their loans.

Loans Like Uprova & Alternatives

uprova alternatives: upstart, lenme, amone, prosper

While Uprova offers a unique solution for quick cash, there are other alternatives worth considering. These include:

  • Non-tribal online lenders (Top lender pick: Upstart)
  • Cash advance apps (Top lender pick: Lenme)
  • Lending marketplaces (Top lender pick: AmONE)
  • P2P lenders (Top lender pick: Prosper)

Non-Tribal Online Lenders

Non-tribal online lenders operate under state and federal laws, offering a more regulated lending environment compared to tribal lenders. For that reason, they might provide more transparency and affordable loan options for bad credit borrowers.

One of our top online lender picks for borrowers with bad credit is Upstart:

  • Uses advanced AI to assess borrowers beyond just their credit score, meaning more people will be approved even with subpar credit
  • Offers loans up to $50,000
  • Fast funding and no prepayment penalties

Read our full Upstart review here.

Cash Advance Apps

Cash advance apps offer an innovative solution for those in need of quick cash, as an alternative to traditional credit card cash advances and short term loans. These apps provide small cash advances to tide over until the next payday, usually charging a small fee or optional tip instead of interest.

One of our top picks for cash advance apps is Lenme:

  • Offers loans up to $5,000
  • No minimum credit score required
  • Known for having minor and reasonable fees

Read our full Lenme review here.

Lending marketplaces

Lending marketplaces can be a great alternative to traditional bank services or tribal lenders. These platforms connect borrowers with multiple lenders, offering up several loan options to compare and choose from.

One of our top loan marketplace picks is AmONE:

  • Serves a range of credit profiles, from poor to excellent
  • Offers loan sizes up to $50,000
  • Makes comparison-shopping for different loans and rates instant and easy
  • Service is free to use

Read our full AmONE review here.

Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Lenders

P2P lenders allow individuals to obtain loans directly from individual investors rather than financial institutions. This alternative can offer more flexible terms and potentially lower interest rates, making it an attractive option for many borrowers.

One of our top P2P lenders is Prosper:

  • Borrowers can pre-qualify with no impact to their credit
  • Low credit requirements (score minimums in the low-to-mid 600's)
  • Lower fees than some competitors

Read our full Prosper review here

The Bottom Line

While Uprova offers quick access to funds with flexible approval criteria and generally good customer reviews, it’s important to be mindful of the high interest rates and potential accumulation of debt. As an informed borrower, it’s crucial to explore alternatives, understand the terms and regulations, and borrow responsibly to avoid falling into a debt trap.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Uprova approve everyone?

Uprova lends to borrowers with poor credit (i.e., credit scores under 600). While more people are likelier to qualify for a loan with Uprova than elsewhere, this lender does not automatically approve everyone. They will consider other factors, such as employment, income, and other open loans a borrower has as part of their decision.

What credit score does Uprova require?

Uprova can work with borrowers who have credit scores below 600.

Is Uprova a payday loan?

No, Uprova is not a payday loan lender. They offer online personal installment loans as an alternative to payday loans.

What is an Uprova loan?

An Uprova loan is a type of personal installment loan that ranges from $300 to $5,000 and is aimed at individuals with poor or no credit as an alternative to payday loans.

How is tribal lending different from payday lending?

Tribal lending typically provides installment loans with fixed payments over a period of time, whereas payday loans are meant to be repaid in full before your next payday (with significant fees for falling behind). Both installment loans and payday loans can come with excessive interest rates and fees, so be cautious when considering borrowing options.


By
Zach Robbins

Zach has over ten years of experience in financial services, recognized on Inc. 500 lists & recently featured in ConsumerAffairs, Forbes, GoBankingRates, Huffington Post, and U.S. News & World Report.

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Checked by
Editorial Staff

The editorial team applies their decades of experience in financial services & customer experience to develop research aligned with our editorial pillars of Integrity, Transparency, & User-centricity.

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