- Loans for immigrants and underserved.
- No credit score or SSN required.
- State Licensed. Based in CA, Since 2015
|$1,000 - $35,000*||Loan Amount|
|7.99% - ?||APR Range|
|Apply by Phone|
|Online Account Access|
|State licensed lender|
|Answers BBB Complaints|
Stilt offers loans originally designed around the needs non-US citizens to get loans they deserve. This means you do not need to be a US citizen, have a social security number, or even have a credit score to qualify for one of their loans. The company was founded by Columbia University roommates to help people who arrive in the US and don't have a credit score. Credit scores are needed for car loans, home loans, and insurance so Stilt was a way to help people get started.
The focus of their lending seems to be more about building credit than getting cash into your hands over night which is the more standard pitch in this space. This isn't a good or bad thing but it does mean that if you need to build credit because you have a limited file, Stilt might be more setup to help with that than others.
In order to make loans with less reliance on credit scores, Stilt incorporates other aspects of a borrower to predict creditworthiness. They consider your current employment or employability. This means if you don't currently have a job but it looks like you will have one soon they will consider you for a loan. They also look at your education and other financial behaviors. They do consider your credit score (not matter how limited it might be) as well as other things like defaults, collections, and bankruptcies.
Their site is not too informative on the actual product they offer but it appears to be an installment loan that is paid back monthly over 6 to 36 months. Interest rates seem like they might be competitive relative to other unsecured loan products but they don't really state their rates other than to say the minimum is 7.99% and the maximum is the maximum allowed by your state. TechCrunch reports that as of March 2021 their average interest rate is 12% to 14% which is very reasonable for unsecured credit. Their live chat function was also unresponsive when we tried it. No one responded even after 36 hours. We tried it two times and we got no response either time other than, "Stilt typically replies in a few minutes."
They are licensed in the states they operate. We generally prefer licensed lenders as it adds an additional layer or monitoring at the state level but at the end of the day your best protection is to be make sure you educate yourself and understand all the terms of your loan.
Stilt doesn't provide much information on their actual product. It appears to be an installment loan with monthly payments. APRs range from 7.99% to your state's maximum. The loan amounts appear to range from $1,000 to $25,0001. The site states there are no pre-payment fees. It does not say anything about any other fees but do check your final loan documents to see if there are origination or other fees.
They also offer a bank account with a debit card. The account has no annual fees and, if you qualify, can have a line of credit up to $5,000. The bank account is FDIC insured and offered through Evolve Bank & Trust via Synapse Financial Technologies.
Application and Eligibility
The application process is done online. The application is fairly simple and straightforward and a decision is made within 24 hours.
The minimum eligibility criteria for a Stilt loan is indeed minimal. You must,
- Be physically present in the US,
- Have a US bank account, and
- Have a US address
The criteria they use to evaluate you loan application are,
- Current employment or employability
- Financial behavior
- Defaults, collections, or bankruptcies
- Credit check or credit score
Although a credit score is not required they do check your credit. The initial check is a soft pull so will not impact your credit score. If you do accept the loan they will do a hard pull which may impact your credit score.
In Jan 2021, the company closed on a $100M debt warehouse facility with Silicon Valley Bank. According the TechCrunch, this brings their total debt facilities to $225M. The debt facility is what Stilt can use to make loans so almost doubles their capacity for loans. We have noticed an uptick in their outreach and marketing as a result of this as well. Overall, based on Crunchbase, as of Mar 2021 they have raised about $13.5M in equity funding.
Overall, Stilt seems like a solid choice for a loan especially if you do not have a social security number and have limited credit history. The interest rates that appear to be charged by Stilt are very competitive for people who don't have SSN or credit history. We like that they are state licensed. We do wish their site was more information about their rates, the fees charged, and other product features.
Related Stilt Links and Articles
1 The minimum loan amount in MA is $6,001, GA is $3,001, and CA is $10,001.