Back to Blog

LendUp Gives the Underbanked What No Traditional Bank Will

Socially responsible lender LendUp is expanding its L Card credit card offering this week. The San Francisco-based company has built on its joint venture partnership with Beneficial State Bank to quadruple the availability of the L Card, a credit card for the underbanked community that is designed to help members establish their credit files and grow their scores.

Originally launched in April of 2015, the L Card boasts low fees, offers users incentives for paying off their balance early, and provides materials to boost their financial education. Unlike major credit card companies, LendUp presents credit card applicants with an instant decision. And in order to better build users’ credit scores, LendUp reports to all three major credit bureaus.

Further differentiating its credit card offering, LendUp doesn’t require a security deposit, has an annual fee of $0 to $60, and offers an APR that ranges from just under 20% to just under 30%. Even if a customer makes a late payment, LendUp will not raise the fee. In fact, late fees, which are capped at $7, are only issued after a 14-day grace period.

Sasha Orloff, LendUp co-founder and CEO said that LendUp and Beneficial State Bank are “completely aligned on the same North Star.” Orloff added, “Our partnership is a perfect example of bringing our house-built technology, product design, and educational experiences to bear for a similarly mission-driven bank and well-deserving consumers across the country.”

Though overall the card may be good for consumers, the introductory line of credit, capped at $300 to $1,000, could possibly lead to a high credit utilization ratio, which lowers consumers’ credit scores. However, the line of credit has the potential to double after a year of responsible use so if the company’s payoff incentives and financial education work as they are supposed to, it may actually help consumers in the long-run.

Founded in 2011, LendUp began offering loans specifically designed to help consumers build credit using education, gamification, and a transparent fee structure. The company’s CEO and Co-Founder, Sasha Orloff, and CTO and Co-Founder, Jacob Rosenberg, launched the RESTful API lending platform at FinovateSpring 2014, a year after winning Best of Show at FinovateSpring 2013 for debuting the LendUp Ladder. Named to the H2Ventures and KPMG Leading 50 category of the Fintech 100 list last October, LendUp received a $100 million credit facility from Victory Park Capital this spring.