Coffee Break Loan Review: Is it Legit or Scam?

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  • Post published:February 16, 2024
  • Post category:Reviews

 

Coffee Break Loans is an online lending platform that provides short-term loans to borrowers looking for quick cash. In this comprehensive review, we will take an in-depth look at Coffee Break Loans, analyzing their services, interest rates, fees, customer reviews and more to determine if they are a legitimate lender or a potential scam.

Overview of Coffee Break Loans

Coffee Break Loans markets itself as a way for borrowers to get fast cash in order to take a “coffee break” from their financial stresses. The company offers loans between $200 and $5,000 which are deposited directly into the borrower’s bank account as soon as the next business day after approval.

Here are some key points about Coffee Break Loans:

  • Loan amounts offered are between $200 and $5,000
  • APR ranges from 199% to 469%
  • Loans terms are between 3 months to 24 months
  • Only available in 13 states currently: California, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

To qualify for a Coffee Break Loan you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a regular source of income
  • Have a valid checking account

The application process is done completely online and only requires basic information including your name, address, date of birth, Social Security number, and banking credentials for automatic deposit and withdrawal.

Coffee Break Loans states funding can be available in as fast as one business day after approval. They do not perform any hard credit checks from the major bureaus but say they may use alternative credit data or past payment history with Coffee Break Loans to make lending decisions.

Coffee Break Loans Interest Rates and Fees

Coffee Break Loans offers loans with APRs ranging from 199% to 469% based on the state you live in and your creditworthiness. These interest rates are extremely high compared to most personal loans and even higher than most credit cards.

Here is a breakdown of the typical fees associated with a Coffee Break Loans:

  • Origination fee ranging from 1% to 5% deducted from total loan amount
  • Late payment fee – 5% of past due amount after 10 day grace period
  • NSF fee – $15 for non-sufficient funds
  • Early repayment fee – ranges from $50 to $300+ depending on if paid in full or closed

These rates and fees combined can make paying back a short-term loan from Coffee Break Loans extremely expensive compared to other lending options. Late or missed payments can quickly spiral out of control with interest continuing to accrue at triple digit rates along with late fees.

Coffee Break Loans Requirements

The application requirements for Coffee Break Loans are fairly basic compared to traditional lenders or banks. Here are the stated eligibility criteria:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Valid checking account that has been open for at least 1 month
  • Regular source of income for the past 3 months
  • Valid Social Security number
  • Active phone number and email address
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No official credit check is done but they may evaluate other data sources to determine approval and loan terms. Importantly, Coffee Break Loans does NOT require:

  • Minimum credit score
  • Collateral or security
  • Proof of employment
  • Details on income amount or employment

The easy requirements allow more people to potentially qualify but can also be a red flag as approvals may be given to borrowers who realistically cannot afford to take on additional debt.

Coffee Break Loans Review from Borrowers

Coffee Break Loans has just over 500 customer reviews on their website, most of which are positive and talk about how easy and fast the loan process was. However, reviews on independent sites like Trustpilot tell a different story, with just 1 out of 5 stars based on 100+ reviews. Here are some examples of both positive and negative experiences customers have had:

Positive Coffee Break Loans Reviews

  • “Super easy process with money deposited next day.”
  • “Way better than going to the bank for a small loan.”
  • “Got the funds I needed to fix my car the same day I applied.”

Negative Coffee Break Loans Reviews

  • “Interest rate was hidden initially and insane – 259%.”
  • “Impossible to pay back and fees make it worse.”
  • “They will take money straight from your paycheck leaving you short.”

Many of the negative reviews focus on two key issues:

  1. Deceptively high interest rates and fees
  2. Aggressive debt collection practices

Numerous customers felt the true cost of the loans were not made clear upfront. Others said payments became unaffordable after late fees started piling up.

Some angry borrowers claimed Coffee Break Loans would directly access their bank accounts on payday before other bills were due, causing overdrafts. Others said they received frequent calls from collection agents over small missed payments.

In general, it seems reviewers who used Coffee Break Loans for true emergency, short-term loans as intended were more satisfied. But those who struggled with payments felt trapped, confused and treated unfairly.

Is Coffee Break Loans Legit or a Scam?

Based on the research conducted for this review, Coffee Break Loans does appear to be a legitimate lender that provides real loans quickly to borrowers. However, they should absolutely be considered a predatory lender due to their extreme interest rates that average over 300%.

Here are some of the key pros and cons of using Coffee Break Loans:

Pros

  • Fast and easy online application and approval process
  • Does not require good credit score or collateral
  • Funds available as fast as next business day

Cons

  • APRs ranging from 199% to 469%, far higher than alternatives
  • Numerous fees including origination and early repayment fees
  • Mixed reviews, with many complaints of misleading terms
  • Can access bank account directly for payments

While Coffee Break Loans does deliver on providing immediate funds, the exceptionally high rates and aggressive collection tactics make their loans extremely risky for borrowers. There are far better options available including:

  • Personal loans from banks or credit unions
  • Credit cards (even those with poor credit)
  • Payday alternative loans from some non-profits
  • Borrowing from family and friends
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For those with bad credit or immediate emergencies, Coffee Break Loans may seem like an appealing quick fix. But proceed with extreme caution, as failure to repay on such predatory terms can make your financial situation exponentially worse.

Tips for Borrowers of Coffee Break Loans

If you do decide to take out a loan from Coffee Break Loans, here are some tips to protect yourself:

  • Carefully read and understand the full terms and all rates and fees. Do not rely only on verbal explanation.
  • Borrow only as much as you can reasonably afford to payback based on the payment schedule.
  • Avoid borrowing more or “refinancing” which restarts fees and interest.
  • Set up autopay through bank account to avoid late fees.
  • If struggling, communicate with them immediately to discuss options before defaulting.
  • Understand your rights under both state laws and Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • File complaints promptly with regulators like Consumer Financial Protection Bureau if mistreated.

Coffee Break Loans does fill a need for quick access to cash but always at an exceptionally high cost. Exhaust all other options before turning to predatory short-term lending. And if you do borrow, enter with eyes wide open and a plan to repay on time and as soon as possible.

Alternatives to Coffee Break Loans

For consumers seeking fast financing, there are a number of alternatives to explore before considering Coffee Break Loans and other predatory lenders. While not all will have an equally fast approval process, they provide lower interest rates and better protections:

Personal Loans from Banks and Credit Unions

  • Lower interest rates, especially with good credit (rates from 5-36%)
  • Fixed regular payments and terms up to 5+ years
  • Rate and fee transparency
  • Builds credit score for responsible borrowers

Credit Card Cash Advances

  • Interest rates still high but typically under 30%
  • Immediate access to funds
  • More flexible repayment structure

Payday Alternative Loans (PALs)

  • Offered by some non-profits and credit unions
  • Interest capped at 28% by law
  • More reasonable terms and payment plans

Employer or Payroll Cash Advances

  • Some employers provide direct advances on pay
  • Usually low or no fees and interest
  • Payments deducted directly from future pay

Borrowing from Family and Friends

  • No fees, interest or rigid repayment schedule
  • Can negotiate terms directly with them
  • Strengthens personal relationships when repaid

Finding yourself in need of emergency cash is stressful. But be sure to research all options and understand the full terms and costs before choosing predatory lending. Where possible, reducing expenses, reaching out to your community for support or finding additional income may be preferable to taking any high-interest loan.

Frequently Asked Questions about Coffee Break Loans

Q: How quickly after approval is funding available?

A: Coffee Break Loans states that funds may be deposited as soon as the next business day after approval, depending on your bank’s processing times.

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Q: What are common reasons applications are denied?

A: The most common reasons include inadequate income, missing information on the application, inability to verify identity or residence, or outstanding or recent debt obligations.

Q: Can I pay back my loan early?

A: Yes, you can pay back your Coffee Break Loan early but an early repayment fee will be deducted from the final amount owed. This fee ranges from $50 to over $300 based on your loan details.

Q: What happens if I miss a payment?

A: You will be charged a late payment fee equal to 5% of the amount owed. After a 10 day grace period, collections efforts will begin including phone calls and attempts to withdraw owed amounts directly from your bank account.

Q: Is Coffee Break Loans available in my state?

A: Coffee Break Loans currently operates in only 13 states: California, Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Q: Can I apply for a loan in-person or over the phone?

A: No, Coffee Break Loans only offers applications online through their website. There are no physical locations or call centers to speak to representatives directly.

Conclusion

Coffee Break Loans does provide real short-term loans quickly and without requiring good credit or collateral. But their triple-digit interest rates, numerous fees, and aggressive collection tactics make their loans an extremely high-risk way to access cash quickly. Consumers are best served exploring alternatives such as credit cards, personal loans, or other programs before resorting to Coffee Break Loans.

Anyone who does take out a loan should read all terms closely, borrow minimally, setup autopay.com, and have a feasible plan to repay on time. Avoiding rollovers or refinancing is also critical to prevent a short-term loan from becoming long-term debt at outrageous rates.

Overall, while Coffee Break Loans is legitimate, applicants should tread carefully and manage expectations, as their priority is profits over helping consumers in need. With vigilance and discipline, their loans may serve as a very temporary lifeline, but they could just as easily become a financial trap making a bad situation much, much worse.

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