Fig vs Everyone Else

Posted on: 19 May 2020

By: Daniela Bucay


We sometimes get the question, “Why should I choose Fig over [insert name of any other online installment lender here]?". Choosing a lender is a personal decision and requires consideration of many factors, and we at Fig want you to make the best decisions with your money, whether that means turning to Fig when you need a boost or reaching out to a partner non-profit. In this post, however, we want to break down how we compare to other online lenders, so that if you choose to include Fig in your financial journey, you’ll know you’ve made the best choice for you.

Fig has five distinct advantages over certainly all traditional payday lenders, and most of our competitors in the online loan space.

We’ve done the research for you, by comparing our loans and our websites to many other companies offering online installment loans. Read on below to learn why Fig may be the best choice for your financial needs. Want to do the research yourself? Our compare loans guide can be your checklist!

Fig is Fast

Every company we reviewed advertises next-day funding, which Fig also offers. 94% of our borrowers receive their funds the business day after they submit their application. Speed of funding matters, of course, since if you need a Fig loan, you need cash ASAP. What many of our competitors don’t offer, however, is fast service.

We understand that our community consists of people whose cash needs change quickly and who need to make decisions in a short period of time. Because of this, we have a 24-hour response policy for any customer inquiries that come through our service inbox. We are available 5 days a week, and we pride ourselves on getting you answers to your questions quickly. Unfortunately, many of our competitors do not release their response times. When we did research and tried to submit a help ticket to one of our leading competitors, it took us 3 days to hear back from them.

Fig is Affordable

We are not under any delusions that 199% APR makes for an inexpensive loan. We also do not believe that APR is the only way consumers should evaluate the price of a loan, because loan companies can sneak in hidden fees that drive up the cost of the loan without affecting the APR. Companies will use an APR range on their website (advertising loans at 99%-199% APR) without disclosing that certain APR amounts are only available in certain states, to appear more affordable. For example, one lender operating in Washington and Texas has an average APR of 151% on a $200 loan in Washington, per their website. That same lender offers a $200 loan in Texas for an average APR of 257.71%. That lender could honestly say that they offer loans at 151%-257.71%, but that would barely get at the outline, let alone the full picture, of the cost of that lender’s products.

Below, you’ll see an honest comparison of Fig to other lenders out there who offer online installment loans. We did not even include true payday loans in the comparison because payday loans are significantly more expensive and have a higher rate of default than installment loans. In order to ensure that the comparisons are fair, we only compare installment loans in Texas for the same amount of money, using the advertised APR given by each company. Even so, if we just compare APR, Fig remains one of the most affordable loans on the market for people with bad credit.

For example, against Lender E, a popular online installment lender, we outperform on APR, total cost, and fees.

We also outperform lenders who have physical locations as well as online loans, as you can see in the table below.

Our belief in affordability impacts how we do business. We have relationships with many of our competitors and can honestly say that for the volume of loans we serve, nobody does so with a smaller team. We push ourselves to think outside the box, do more with less, and pass the savings along to you.

Fig Builds Credit

We understand that you would not take out a Fig loan if you could get a less expensive credit product, like an unsecured credit card. Our goal is to solve your cash needs now, while building your credit, so that eventually, you do not need us anymore. Nothing makes us happier than a customer who graduates from a Fig Loan to a credit card or a more affordable loan. Unlike payday lenders and many online installment lenders, we report to 3 major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and Transunion.

Although other lenders may report to the credit bureaus, too, their loan terms may not help your credit as much as Fig’s do. A longer loan term with equal payments does more for your credit score than a loan that costs the same, but gets repaid over a shorter term. For example, one popular online lender offers a $400 loan in Texas over a term of 8 weeks. Fig offers its $400 loan in Texas over a period of 4 months—twice as long! This means more credit history, which, if you pay your monthly payments on time, means better credit.

A longer loan term can help your credit in less obvious ways, too. By giving you more time between payments, we increase the likelihood of your making your payment on time, which also helps protect your credit score.

For example, in the table below, even though Lender A’s loan ultimately costs less, it helps your credit score less by being open for less time. Also, you have to make almost the same size of payment as with the Fig Loan, except you have to make that payment every 2 weeks. You get half the time to make nearly the same total payments as Fig! If you wanted the same time on that loan as a Fig Loan, you'd be paying close to double Fig! If you don’t have $300 now, do you expect to have an extra $200 in 4 weeks?

On top of this, we send out credit warnings if any payments on your schedule are at risk of hurting your credit score with plenty of time for you to change your payment, make a minimum payment, or take another action to protect your credit score. Our service team is well versed in how changes to your loan can impact your credit and can quickly offer honest solutions to most situations to ensure the best credit outcome. In fact, the head of customer service handles all credit disputes that come through the credit bureaus to ensure continuity between the person handling your loan and the person managing your credit report.

Fig is Transparent

Most Fig employees have at one point or another been accused of oversharing. We believe in full transparency whenever and wherever possible. Obviously, we cannot share exactly how we make loan decisions, as that would require explaining our underwriting model, which we have to protect for business reasons. We do offer transparency in the key areas that matter to our community, which include cost of a loan, denials, counteroffers, and reviews.

Beware any lender who does not disclose the maximum amount your loan could cost you and does not state outright whether or not they charge late fees, bounce fees, early repayment penalties, or the like. Those fees can really pile up and end up costing you many times over what you would have paid.

At Fig, we share the total cost of the loan before you even apply. Unlike some of our competitors, we do not provide an approximate APR. We tell you exactly what you will pay, and because we never charge any late fees, bounce fees, late interest, change fees, or early repay penalties, you can trust that you will never be liable for more than what you see on your loan documents. When we say that a $400 loan in Texas at 199% APR over 4 months will cost $578.48, we mean that your loan balance with us will not go above that amount, no matter what.

We don’t like turning applications down, but inevitably, sometimes, we must. When we do deny your application, we do everything in our power to let you know exactly why it was denied. This way, you know what borrowers look for and how to improve your chances of getting a loan in the future. If ever you want more detail into an underwriting decision, you can contact our service team, who can go directly to our underwriting team and find out why you were denied. In some cases, this results in our appealing the denial on your behalf, if we notice you were unfairly denied.

Similarly, if our underwriting team approves you for an amount smaller than you requested, we do our best to explain why we chose the smaller amount, and what you can do in the future to ensure you qualify for the amount you request. Our competitors will not offer explanations beyond a rote message, nor do they respond to requests for more information within the time frame that you have to accept your loan.

We also believe in showing you what other people think. We put our Trustpilot reviews on the home page of our website. We use independent review sites so that you can be sure that we are not suppressing honest, yet negative reviews. Googling “fig loans" will also lead you to our Google reviews, which are also independent and ensure transparency. Few other lenders feature reviews from independent sites on their front page, but we believe in putting it all on the table.

Fig is Flexible

Everybody has different financial needs. Fig recognizes that and puts the power of your loan in your hands. Do you prefer to use an app? We have an app. Would you rather go through your computer and use a regular website? We have that, too! Maybe you want to contact us through Facebook messenger? No problem! Our service team meets you where you are, while keeping the cost of serving low.

Let’s say you can’t make your mind up about a payment date. We don’t charge any change fees, so you can reschedule your payment as many times as you want from your account page. If you have a hard time moving your payment, we’ll do it for you! One of our leading competitors has a different definition of late payments for the company and for the credit bureaus. According to them, your payment can be moved within 28 days of its original due date and be on time with the credit bureaus, but if it’s not within 14 days of your original due date, it will affect your future likelihood of approval with the lender. We find this confusing and unnecessary. If the credit bureaus do not punish you for making a payment over 14 days after its original due date, why should we? We give you the same grace period the credit bureaus do. Also, you can change your payment up to close of business the day before it is due (for more on why we have to do this, read this), rather than maximum 3 days before the due date.

Sometimes, despite their best efforts, borrowers cannot make a payment on time. First, we offer different accommodations to ensure you can still make a payment that you can afford and protect your credit. If that does not work, then we of course do not charge you a late fee or late interest. The unavoidable late remark on your credit report is stressful enough, without charging you extra money for not having enough money.

Because our service team understands credit reporting, we can offer flexibility that other lenders with more isolated teams cannot. As a small company overall, we can work together efficiently to cut through the noise and find solutions that work for you, because our ultimate goal is helping you on your journey to financial empowerment.

As you might have guessed if you’ve read this far, our service team is available to listen to any feedback you might have! Do you want to show us other lenders who you believe outperform Fig? Send it our way! Do you have a question about how loans with lower APRs can still end up being more expensive than some higher APR loans? Ask us (hint: hidden fees)! We can be reached at service@figloans.com, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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