Sometimes, at the end of the month when bills are piling up, but you’re still waiting on a paycheck, payday loans can seem like a good idea. Pay Day loans are typically small amounts with high-interest rates. Their purpose is typically to tide over an individual until their paycheck arrives. This article will specifically look at Ascend Loans, and whether or not they are a reliable company to work with. Let’s talk more about Ascend.
What Type of Loans Does Ascend Offer?
Let’s start off with this — the irony isn’t lost on us! Our company (Ascend), which tries to help people recover from financial instability does indeed share a name with other financial companies that claim to do something similar through a different avenue. While we do not offer loans, we do offer financial guidance and advice to individuals trying to recover from overwhelming amounts of debt.
On the other hand, Ascend strictly offers loans. Something else you may not realize is there are actually two Ascend loan companies to consider. One Ascend (this one) is an online lender. They claim to have broader and more accessible loan options, as well as ”user-friendly” payback plans. Not only this, but Ascend has resources on their site that can help the borrower better budget their monthly expenses. Based on their website, this Ascend only offers personal loans up to $1,000.
The second Ascend Consumer Finance (this one) is similar to the one above. This company is mostly online. They believe that credit scores aren’t the best indicators of whether or not someone is a viable borrower. In fact, once you have your loan, the more you prove you can keep up with your payments, the lower your interest rate may go. This website does not list any loan amounts outright on their website. It appears that they also only offer personal loans.
We will take a look at both of these companies to see which company may be best for your unique situation.
Ascend Bad Credit or PayDay Loans
Ascend Loan Company is owned and operated by the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake Tribe. This tribe is located in California but offers services nationwide. There is a review that claims you can only borrow from Ascend if you are from California. However, Ascend’s website says they are open to lending to anyone, regardless of their location. Despite this, they also reserve the right to withhold lending based on location.
Loans from Ascend range from $300 to $1,000. Ascend claims that they are willing to lend to individuals with bad credit and even no credit at all. While they will run a credit check with a specialized credit bureau, they do not run the credit check through one of the major three credit bureaus. Not only could this potentially keep your credit score from being harmed by a check, but it also means that your credit score may not matter as much when deciding how much to loan. In fact, the only major factor they consider when deciding how much to lend is your income amount.
While the normal APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for a payday or personal loan can sit somewhere around 400%, Ascend Loan Company’s APR for a $500 loan that is paid off in bi-weekly installments is between 700-725% — significantly more than others. If you sign up for auto-payments, Ascend does offer an APR discount.
It was surprisingly difficult to find any online reviews of Ascend Loans. We did eventually find one site that reviewed the company, however, there were only three user reviews. Overall, from the three reviews, Ascend Loans scored a 2.3 out of 5 stars.
The one five-star review claimed that Ascend was incredibly easy to work with. They also said that they would return any time they needed a “fast cash” loan. The two one-star reviews claimed that the company denied or ignored their applications after sending in their personal information. While nothing has been substantiated, one reviewer claimed that it felt as though she was being scammed out of her personal information.
The lack of reviews online can mean a few things. The first thing it could mean is that Ascend is a brand new company. The second thing it could mean is that Ascend is not good at asking customers to give them online reviews. And lastly, it could just mean that no one is exceptionally satisfied or displeased enough to leave any online reviews.
Ascend Consumer Finance Loans
Ascend Consumer Finance Loans are similarly enigmatic. It appears as though you cannot apply for a loan unless you are first sent an offer code. Their website does not offer much information on their process and offers even less maneuverability. According to their Credit Criteria, you must be over 18 years old, have a bank account that is over 3 months old, and verifiable income of more than $35,000. You must also have a credit score of 580 and no delinquencies in the past three months.
Similar to Ascend Loans, Ascend Consumer Finance does not have a large review footprint. In fact, their BBB Page contains a resounding 0 reviews. While the BBB page does list that there were 5 complaints filed, they were all marked as resolved and no longer listed on the site.
It is important to note that Ascend Consumer Finance has an “F” on BBB.
Will an Ascend Bad Credit Loan Force You Into Bankruptcy?
Payday loans can force you into financial hardship because of the interest rates for a loan. For example, a 400% interest rate means that you will be paying much more than the principal of the loan. Because Ascend Loans has an APR of 725%, this can be even more dangerous. If you take out a $500 pay-day loan, there is a chance you pay thousands of dollars to pay off the loan. So, if you have to take out a payday loan, is there a way to protect yourself from the possibility of bankruptcy? Aside from doing everything you can to stay away from payday loans, here are a few other ideas.
How Can I Protect Myself Against Financial Hardship?
- Read the Truth In Lending Disclosure Carefully – There is always a chance that you can find out what you are getting yourself into before you are given a loan. Reading through the lending disclosure can help you decide which company offers a fair APR.
- Budget for the Ascend Loan Payments and See Whether You can Pay Off Immediately – Consider whether or not you can immediately pay back off the entirety of the loan (with interest and APR). If you think you would be able to immediately pay off the loan, or you have room in your monthly budget to make the required payments, then a payday loan may not be terrible for you. However, if adding another debt payment to your list of bills will make your paycheck disappear faster — eventually leading to needing another payday loan — then it may be more dangerous than helpful.
- Confirm There Are No Prepayment Penalties if You Pay off the Loan Quickly – While you would think that credit companies would LOVE for you to repay your loan immediately, fast paybacks can often lower the amount of interest a lender gets. Because of this, some lenders either do not allow you to repay your loan back faster than the agreed-upon plan OR they charge an enormous fee to pay your loan off early. Either way, it can lead to you losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Instead, make sure BEFORE you secure a payday loan that you are able to pay back the debt early without any penalty.
What Are Alternatives to Ascend Loans?
Are you wondering what you can do instead of getting a loan from Ascend? Consider the following options:
Debt Payoff Planning
If you are considering getting a loan just to get a jumpstart on other debt payments, then consider debt payoff planning! You can either do this individually or with the help of a credit counselor. The goal of debt payoff planning is to take stock of your income as well as your monthly expenses (living expenses and debt payments). With the money that is left over after your living expenses, allocate the remaining cash to your debts. Whether you use the avalanche method, the snowball method, or something in between, you can get your debt paid off efficiently if you plan well.
Debt Negotiation (Settlement)
If your goal for a payday loan is to pay off a debt that is becoming delinquent, then consider debt settlement. Again, this can be done by yourself or with the help of a company. The goal of debt settlement is negotiating a lower payment that will rectify your account — meaning the account will be seen as fully paid off, even though you paid a lower amount. This can help you get out of debt faster without taking out another loan.
If you are fully unable to make ends meet, bankruptcy may be a viable option for you. There are a couple of different options to consider (Chapter 7 and Chapter 13) depending on your situation. Filing for bankruptcy can stop any actions taken against you (lawsuit, wage garnishment, etc.) and can help you get back on top of your finances.
Should You Take an Ascend Loan?
The bottom line is this: you have to decide for yourself whether an Ascend Loan is worth it. While fast cash can be helpful in an emergency, it can also set you up for a headache later on down the road. If you can take the hit of an additional monthly payment, it could be worth it if you find yourself in a pinch. However, if you are already struggling to keep up with the payments you have, then taking out a loan from Ascend could push you over into a financial situation you don’t want to be in. If you would like to talk to someone about your options, give us (the other Ascend) a call! We love to give unbiased advice that can help you make the absolute best decision you can for what you are going through.