Elk Lending has become a popular option for getting quick access to cash through short-term loans. But is Elk Lending legit and can they be trusted? In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at Elk-Lending, including its services, fees, repayment terms, eligibility, and customer reviews. Read on to find out everything you need to know about whether Elk Lending is a scam or a viable lending option when you need money fast.
Overview of Elk Lending
Elk Lending is an online lender that provides installment loans and lines of credit ranging from $200 to $5,000. They market themselves as a source for quick cash and emergency funds, with a quick and easy online application process.
Some key facts about Elk Lending:
- Based in Chicago, Illinois
- Founded in 2022
- Provides loans in over 30 states
- Loans from $200 to $5,000
- Terms range from 3 to 24 months
- APR ranges from 99% to 399%
- Instant funding option available
Elk Lending offers higher-interest loans for borrowers with bad credit or no credit history. They do not do hard credit checks but will review income, bank account transaction history, and other data to assess eligibility and risk.
Their application process is entirely online, with funding available as soon as the next business day in some cases through direct deposit. Elk Lending also offers a “Lightning Fast” instant funding option for an additional fee.
Elk Lending’s Services and Loan Products
Elk Lending provides two main types of loans:
These are personal loans with fixed repayment terms ranging from 3 to 24 months. Loan amounts range from $200 to $5,000. You’ll pay a fixed payment each month until the loan is repaid in full.
With a line of credit from Elk-Lending, you can draw down money as needed up to your approved limit. As you repay the balance, that funding can be borrowed again. Credit lines have variable 12-month terms with minimum monthly payments.
In addition to their loans and credit lines, Elk-Lending offers a few other services:
- Credit reporting – Elk Lending reports your payment history to major credit bureaus, which can help build your credit if you make on-time payments.
- Credit monitoring – Customers get access to tools to monitor their credit scores and reports.
- Financial education – Elk Lending provides free educational resources about building credit, budgeting, and more.
Elk Lending Fees and Interest Rates
Elk Lending charges high-interest rates, with APRs ranging from 99% to 399%. Here are some of the common fees to be aware of with their loans:
- Origination Fee – For installment loans, Elk-Lending charges an origination fee of between 1% and 10% of the loan amount, deducted from the disbursed funds.
- Maintenance Fee – A monthly maintenance fee of up to $75 may be charged along with each monthly installment payment.
- Insufficient Funds Fee – If an automatic payment is declined due to insufficient funds, Elk-Lending charges a fee of $20 to $50.
- Late Payment Fee – A late fee of $30 to $50 may be charged if you miss your due date.
- Prepayment Penalty – You may face fees equal to 50 days of interest if you pay off an installment loan early.
Always read the full loan agreement carefully to understand the specific fees for any loan offer from Elk Lending.
Elk Lending Loan Terms and Qualification Requirements
Elk Lending has easy qualification requirements but offers less-than-ideal loan terms compared to alternatives like personal bank loans or credit cards.
Here are the key requirements to qualify for a loan from Elk Lending:
- Minimum age – You must be at least 18 years old.
- US resident – Only United States citizens or permanent residents can apply.
- Regular income – You’ll need a verifiable regular income of at least $800 per month.
- Active checking account – You must have an open checking account in your name.
- Valid contact information – You need to provide your current home address, phone number, and email address.
- Not currently in bankruptcy – If you have an active bankruptcy case, you cannot qualify.
Elk Lending does not require good credit scores or a minimum score to be approved. They also do not report hard credit inquiries to the bureaus when you apply. This makes them an option for borrowers with bad credit or thin credit histories.
However, their high-interest rates mean this is an extremely expensive way to borrow money. You’ll end up paying back significantly more than the principal loan amount over the repayment term.
Always make sure you review the full terms of the loan and can afford the monthly payments you’ll owe before borrowing. Defaulting on Elk Lending loans can severely damage your credit and finances.
The Elk Lending Application Process
Applying for a loan from Elk Lending is a quick and simple process you can complete fully online in minutes:
- Go to their website – You can apply directly at www.elklending.com. Click “Apply Now” to begin.
- Enter loan details – Select whether you want an installment loan or a line of credit. Enter the desired loan amount and repayment term.
- Provide contact information – Give your name, address, date of birth, and contact details.
- Share income and identity details – You’ll need to provide your social security number, income source, and banking information.
- E-sign loan agreement – Elk Lending will show you the loan terms, fees, and monthly payment amount to review and agree to.
- Get funds disbursed – If approved, you can have funds deposited in your bank account in as fast as one business day.
The whole process from funding application can take just a few minutes if you have all the required information handy. You can also track the status of your application online after submitting it.
How Long Does It Take to Get Approved by Elk Lending?
One of the benefits of Elk Lending is quick loan decisions and funding. Here is how long approval typically takes:
- Instant decisions – You will get an instant decision when you apply online in most cases. You’ll know right away if you are approved.
- Same-day funding – If approved early in the day and you select instant funding, you may be able to get loan funds deposited the same day.
- Next business day funding – With standard direct deposit, funds can arrive in your bank account in 1-2 business days after approval.
- Limits on instant funding – The instant/same-day funding option is only available on business days. Larger loan amounts may take longer to fund.
As long as your application is complete and accurate, the Elk Lending approval process is very fast. Within an hour or two, you can go from applying to having the money in your account in many cases.
Elk Lending Reviews and Complaints
Elk Lending is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but does have an A+ rating based on zero customer complaints. However, around the web, there are some negative reviews of Elk Lending citing issues like:
- High-interest rates and fees
- Aggressive debt collection practices
- Misleading terms or loan promotion offers
- Difficulties contacting customer service
- Problems getting accurate payoff balances
However, when used responsibly their loans can also assist borrowers in building credit or accessing emergency funds. Positive Elk Lending reviews mention the quick funding, easy application process, friendly customer service, and flexibility with repayment options.
It’s important to carefully weigh the benefits and downsides mentioned in Elk-Lending reviews before deciding if their loans are right for your needs. Make sure you fully understand the costs and can manage repayment before borrowing.
Elk Lending Login: How to Sign In to Your Account
If you have an existing loan through Elk Lending, you can log in to your account online to manage payments, check your balance, update personal details, and more. Here are the steps to log in to your Elk Lending account:
- Go to the Elk Lending website and click “Sign In” at the top right.
- Enter your email address on file with Elk Lending.
- Enter your account password. First-time users will need to set a password.
- Click the “Sign In” button to access your account dashboard.
From your account, you can see your current balance, past statements, and payment history, update your income or contact info, enroll in auto-pay, and make one-time payments.
If you forgot your password, you can reset it from the login page. Just click “Forgot Password” and a reset link will be emailed to you.
Logging in to your account is the easiest way to stay on top of your loan, avoid late fees, and manage your payments with Elk Lending.
Is Elk Lending Legit? The Verdict
In summary, Elk Lending is a legitimate lender, but their high-interest loans should be used with extreme caution.
The positives of borrowing from Elk Lending include:
- Fast and easy online applications and funding
- No hard credit check or minimum score requirements
- Can help build credit through on-time payments
- Flexible 3 to 24-month repayment terms
However, the downsides are:
- Expensive – APRs from 99% to 399%
- Large fees for origination, late payments, insufficient funds
- Loans are unsecured with no collateral
- 15-day to 30-day terms on credit lines
- Predatory practices are possible if not used responsibly
For borrowers with bad credit or an emergency need, an Elk-Lending loan provides a legitimate option albeit an expensive one. Always make sure you carefully review the rates and terms before borrowing and have a plan to repay on time each month.
At the end of the day, Elk-Lending loans can provide fast cash but users should proceed with caution given the high costs. With responsible use, their loans can make sense as a credit-building tool or for urgent financing needs.
Elk Lending Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Still, have questions about Elk-Lending and how their loans work? Here are answers to some of the most common questions:
Q: Is Elk Lending a direct lender?
A: Yes, Elk-Lending is a direct lender. They provide loans directly rather than brokering applications out to other lenders.
Q: What credit score is needed for Elk Lending?
A: Elk Lending does not disclose a minimum credit score requirement. They state that they conduct risk-based underwriting, which looks at factors beyond your credit report to assess eligibility.
Q: How long does it take to be approved by Elk Lending?
A: Many customers receive instant eligibility decisions when applying online. If approved, funds may be deposited as soon as the next business day.
Q: How long do you have to repay an Elk Lending loan?
A: Installment loan terms range from 3 to 24 months. Lines of credit have a 12-month renewable term with varying draw periods.
Q: Can I get an Elk Lending loan without a bank account?
A: No, you must have an active checking account to receive direct deposit of your loan funds. Prepaid cards usually do not qualify.
Q: What do I need to apply?
A: You’ll need a government ID, social security number, proof of income of at least $800 per month, a valid checking account, and an active phone/email account to complete the online application.
Q: Does Elk Lending call employers for verification?
A: Yes, they may validate your employment status and income as part of assessing your application.
Conclusion: Consider Carefully Before Borrowing from Elk Lending
When used responsibly, Elk-Lending can provide quick access to emergency cash for expenses or to help build your credit profile. But their ultra-high high-interest rates mean you end up paying far more than the principal loan amount over the long run.
Make sure to read all loan terms closely, budget for repayments, and explore alternatives before deciding if an Elk Lending loan is your best option. While they are a legitimate lender, you must proceed with extreme caution and care before borrowing at interest rates of 200-400% APR.
With smart borrowing practices, Elk-Lending installment loans or lines of credit may serve a purpose. But failure to repay on time can worsen your financial situation. Consider all the pros and cons carefully before applying for or accepting a loan offer from Elk-Lending.
Mustafa Al Mahmud is the Founder of Ventures Money and also a professional Blogger, SEO Professional as well as Entrepreneur. He loves to travel and enjoy his free moment with family members and friends.