Sometimes when you need money, going through the traditional lending process isn’t always an option. Whether you have a bad or limited credit history, or maybe you just need the cash as soon as possible, traditional financial institutions might not offer what you need in a crunch.
Rather than going through the process of applying for a traditional loan, you might have heard of looking into alternative options, like a payday or title loan. Lending Bear, formerly known as Speedy Cash, is one such option. Lending Bear is a short-term lender that offers both online and in-store services to a limited number of states in the country.
We want to help you speed up the process of getting your money quick, so we’ve put together this extensive Lending Bear review for you to decide it is the right lender for you.
General Information About Lending Bear
Lending Bear has been a short-term lending provider for over 30 years and is headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida. It currently provides short-term solutions for loans across Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Lending Bear’s primary focus is ensuring customers have quick cash options, including pawn loans, title loans, payday loans, and online installment loans.
As an added bonus, Lending Bear maintains membership with more than one financial association, including the Community Financial Services Association (CFSA), Borrow Smart, and the National Pawnbrokers Association (NPA).
Besides being a state-licensed direct lender in the states previously listed, Lending Bear provides same-day funding with flexible options for everyone—even those with bad or limited credit histories.
The Pros of Lending Bear
Before doing business with Lending Bear, it’s essential to look at some of the key features the company has to offer, including:
- No credit check necessary
- High debt-to-income ratio allowed
- Additional resources available
- Three-step application process
- Quick approvals
- Easy to navigate website
- Satisfaction guarantee
No Credit Check Necessary
You do not typically need to go through an extensive credit check when applying for a loan through Lending Bear. This means that Lending Bear is willing to approve applicants with bad or minimal credit histories. Additionally, since there are no credit checks with the application process, you don’t have to worry about it negatively impacting your credit score.
High Debt-to-Income Ratio Allowed
Short-term lending is usually smaller quantities of money at higher fixed rates. The debt-to-income ratio is not typically a critical determining factor in application approvals. With Lending Bear, you don’t have to worry if you have a high debt-to-income ratio. It will not negatively impact your ability to be approved for a loan.
Additional Resources Available
Lending Bear has a blog that it updates with new articles a few times per month. In this blog, you can gain access to helpful resources regarding your financial situation. Read through articles with titles that include Short-Term Loan Security with Instant Bank Verification, 5 Tips for Paying Back Your Personal Loan Quickly, and Why Not All Short-Term Lenders Are Created Equal.
Providing access to additional resources to better your financial situation is a great feature and not commonly found within the industry.
Three-Step Application Process
Through Lending Bear, you can access cash quickly, thanks to its three-step application process. Apply quickly and easily by visiting a local Lending Bear branch or applying online and speaking with a Lending Bear representative.
To be eligible for a loan through Lending Bear, you must have some form of regularly occurring income being deposited into your account. This income can take multiple forms, including:
- Social Security
To start the process online, all you need to do is submit your first and last name, email, and state to get started. Other requirements set in place by Lending Bear include that you must be at least 18 years old to apply unless you are in Alabama, where you will need to be 19 years old. You must also reside in one of the states that Lending Bear services: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida, or Tennessee.
As long as you have completed your application with all of the necessary information, Lending Bear will get back to you with the final decision regarding your loan in less than fifteen minutes.
You can receive a same-day online loan if your application is approved by 11:30 am EST. The ability to receive your same-day approval may also be determined by the amount of your loan, the state you reside in, as well as the product category of your loan.
Easy to Navigate Website
Lending Bear has an easy-to-navigate website that makes finding your appropriate loan product details a breeze—since Lending Bear services multiple states, having quick access to rates by the state is a helpful tool.
Also, we found that the precise layout of all the Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) and fees for the different loan options puts Lending Bear a step ahead of other competitors out there.
Offering a satisfaction guarantee is a unique feature to Lending Bear. This bonus is not common throughout the industry of short-term lending.
According to Lending Bear’s next-day satisfaction guarantee, if you change your mind about your cash advance, you can come into your local store or call and speak with a representative before the close of business day the following day to stop your transaction. In doing so, you can pay back what you borrowed at no additional cost to you.
The Cons of Lending Bear
As to be expected, there are also downsides to choosing Lending Bear as your financial service provider. These negative features include:
- No lines of credit available
- High APRs
- Potential for additional hidden fees
No Lines of Credit Available
Other online or in-store short-term lenders offer credit lines as an alternative option to quickly obtain access to funds. Unfortunately, Lending Bear’s services are limited, and credit lines are not within the list with which they provide to customers.
It is not uncommon for short-term lending financial providers to charge high APRs to their customers. It is the business’s nature. So, it’s no surprise that Lending Bear also has high APRs. For example, the rates are around 200% in Florida.
When looking at a Lending Bear comparison concerning other lenders, the rates are seemingly comparable, though. As always, it’s essential to know all the details of your loan terms before entering any agreements with a lender.
Potential for Additional Hidden Fees
On top of APR and fees, there is always the potential for additional fees as well. For example, some states charge a loan fee that ranges from $15 to $30 for every $100 you borrow. Verification fees can also be added to your borrowed amount, as well as late payment fees.
Due to the fact that there are many fees that you may or may not be aware of through Lending Bear, you must detail out what your APRs are and what costs you are committing to before taking out a loan.
Overall Reputation and Reviews for Lending Bear
Lending Bear is a relatively minor lending company, only servicing a limited number of states within the United States. Regardless, it is still worth looking further into its overall reputation. The easiest way to do that is by looking at Lending Bear ratings on popular, reputable sites online.
Displayed on its website, Lending Bear has a 4.9-star Google rating based on over 5,600 reviews. For a smaller company, these are some astronomical numbers, favoring it entirely. Similarly, it gets a five out of five-star rating on Facebook.
In addition to such high ratings, according to Google, Lending Bear also has a five-star rating on the Better Business Bureau, which is a non-profit organization aimed to regain marketplace trust in consumers. While the Better Business Bureau is a large and trusted organization, unfortunately, Lending Bear reviews are limited on this site.
Q&A for Lending Bear
If you’ve still got questions about Lending Bear, look at our Q&A to find additional information about this short-term financial provider.
Which States Does Lending Bear Operate in?
Lending Bear currently operates in six states across the United States, with both in-store and online services available in:
- South Carolina
Which Type of Loans Does Lending Bear Offer?
Lending Bear is a direct lender that offers a limited variety of short-term financing loans to its customers.
Payday loans are available to Lending Bear customers who need fast cash and do not want to worry about having a hard credit check completed upon application submission. When used effectively, payday loans, or payday advances, can be a better alternative to paying a late, overdraft, over-the-limit, or reconnection fee to another financial institute.
If you apply in-store through Lending Bear, all you need is a valid picture ID, proof of income, a recent bank statement, and a personal check. If you are approved for a payday loan in-store, you will receive your cash the same day.
When applying online for a payday loan through Lending Bear, you can anticipate receiving your funds either the same day or the next business day from your approval.
When you need more significant amounts of money or are looking to have smaller payment amounts, installment loans might be a better alternative for you. Lending Bear offers installment loans that allow you to make smaller payments over a more extended period instead of one price in payday loans.
There are different state laws set in place to regulate installment loans, so be sure to check with a Lending Bear Loan Associate in your region for details. Lending Bear offers installment loans for a period of two to 18 months.
With Lending Bear, a title loan, sometimes referred to as a title pawn, allows you to borrow cash against the value of your car, truck, or motorcycle for up to $10,000.
Lending Bear allows title loans on all vehicles in good condition with a clear title. Bad or no credit applicants are welcome to apply, and you keep your car in the process. Lending Bear will hang on to your title until you have paid off your loan in full.
A pawn loan is another way to get fast cash without having to worry about a credit check. Lending Bear offers pawn loans on various items, including TVs, tools, guns, jewelry, electronics, musical instruments, lawn equipment, or nearly anything else of value.
How Do I Qualify for Lending Bear Loans, and Do They Require a Credit Check?
The requirements for loans for Lending Bear vary depending on what loan you are looking to take out. At a minimum, you will need to provide the following information during your loan application process:
- Valid picture ID
- Proof of income
- Recent bank statement
- Personal check
Lending Bear does not utilize traditional credit checks as part of its loan approval process, especially in payday or pawn loans. Under its discretion, though, some loans may require further inquiry, such as a credit check. If you are unsure, you can always check with a Lending Bear representative before submitting your application.
How Much Does Lending Bear Cost?
You can view all of the Florida payday loan rates and terms on display on the website, so you know what you are getting yourself into before even speaking to someone from Lending Bear.
Payday Loan Rates and Terms
In the state of Alabama, you can apply for a payday loan valued anywhere from $100 to $500. Finance charges start at $17.50 and go all the way up to $87.50 incrementally. The example APR for Alabama payday loans with 14-day terms is 456.25%.
In Florida, you can apply for a payday loan valued anywhere from $100 to $500. Finance charges start at $15 and go all the way up to $55 incrementally. The example APR for Florida payday loans with 14-day terms range from 391.07% to 286.79%.
For a payday loan in Louisiana, they can be valued anywhere from $100 to $300. Finance charges start at $18 and go all the way up to $45 incrementally. The example APR for Louisiana payday loans with 14-day terms range from 477.98% to 730%.
Payday loans in Tennessee through Lending Bear are valued anywhere from $100 to $400. Finance charges start at $17.64 and go all the way up to $70.56 incrementally. The example APR for Tennessee payday loans with 14-day terms average at 459.90%.
Installment Loan Rates and Terms
In the state of Alabama, you can apply for an installment loan valued anywhere from $200 to $1,000. Finance charges start at $68 and go all the way up to $200 incrementally. The example APR for Alabama installment loans with 30-day terms range from 153.95% to 76.83%.
For Florida, you can apply for an installment loan valued anywhere from $550 to $1,000. Finance charges start at $144.45 and go all the way up to $258.06 incrementally. The example APR for Florida installment loans with 30-day terms range from 200.12% to 196.71%.
For South Carolina, you can apply for an installment loan valued anywhere from $650 to $1,000. Finance charges start at $561.06 and go all the way up to $863.20 incrementally. The example APR for South Carolina installment loans average at 324.94%.
Title Loan Rates and Terms
In the state of Alabama, you can apply for a title loan valued anywhere from $500 to $3,000. Finance charges start at $125 and go all the way up to $750 incrementally. The example APR for Alabama title loans with 14-day terms is 304.17%.
Title Pawn Rates and Terms
In Georgia, you can apply for a title pawn loan valued anywhere from $500 to $3,000. Finance charges start at $125 and go all the way up to $750 incrementally. The example APR for Alabama title loans with 14-day terms is 304.17%.
Lending Bear has been in the short-term lending business for nearly 30 years and is an industry leader. You can see the strides it has taken in customer service by looking at the countless positive Google reviews or ratings through the Better Business Bureau.
Lending Bear has the customer’s best interest at heart, as it provides extensive additional financial resources directly on its websites. With a regularly updated blog, Lending Bear shows that it cares about getting you into a more secure financial position rather than making a profit.
As a customer, you don’t have to be worried about your financial history’s critical details as you would with other more traditional lending options. Lending Bear welcomes applicants with bad or limited credit history.
Much like any other contract, though, you want to be sure you fully understand all of the terms as written out before entering an agreement. Do not be afraid to ask your Lending Bear representative as many questions as you feel fit to ensure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into.