This is a review of Stone Canyon Lending. As the information and facts surrounding the Stone Canyon loan product get fleshed out it becomes apparent why companies like Mobiloans and Clear Creek Lending get good reviews, while Stone Canyon gets mostly negative (and ambivalent) reviews. Now having said that there is one major positive that Stone Canyon can provide, which will be the focus of this review.
Stone Canyon Lending provides a pretty simple loan product. The loan can run from $100 to $1,000 although (as usual) this is misleading because a first time customer to the company only gets to borrow a maximum of $500. Not a shock, but still not very beneficial to a new customer.
The firm offers something called the Multi-Pay Loan. The Stone Canyon Lending Multi-Pay Loan. That sounds impressive, doesn't it? Back to reality, this is an installment loan, which can cover as many as 40 pay periods. Yes, that's 80 full calendar weeks. Under normal circumstances this would be a fantastic product that would get a very good review, but the problem here is in two major areas.
FIrst, the loan amount. Most customers are going to be first time customers. How many customers does this company have? Not too many. But whether you can get a $500 or a $1,000 loan, it's simply not enough money. If I, as a borrower looking for an installment loan, need a good loan I am automatically going to be very limited by the $1,000 limit. For a loan that could run as long as 80 weeks the maximum should be at least $2,500 and probably more.
The second problem is that the company charges a very high interest rate even though they issue installment loans. There is an unwritten rule in this whole internet lending business and that rule is this, if you offer a truly short-term loan (payday loan, 14 day loan) then it's more acceptable to charge a higher interest rate than if you offer an installment loan. Why? Mainly because the lender is going to be making more money over the life of the loan for installment loans as there are many more repayment dates and thus many more finance charges being applied. So to keep a high interest rate side by side with dozens of arranged installment repayment dates is just not really fair. It's too expensive for the borrower. Basically, in this scenario, the lender is getting too much money and the borrower is losing too much money. It's one thing to make a living by charging finance fees (interest) to borrowers but it's another thing to take advantage of those borrowers.
So what's the good news? So far things haven't been in the favor of taking out a loan with Stone Canyon.
Here's the one shining part of the company that can help a borrower...
When you click on the 'Rates' information page at Stone Canyon Lending's website it shows a calculator of days versus finance charges. Now the number of days that a loan can be outstanding falls into two groups. There is "weekly" group and a longer group that includes "bi-weekly, semi-monthly, monthly" payment time frames. Let's focus on the second group which includes the bi-weekly and monthly repayment times.
The calculator allows a potential customer to tailor a loan using up to 33 days for repayment. However, that calculator holds the interest rate at the same level as you adjust the days. So the APR gets lower as you add on more days to repay. As a borrower is would help tremendously to have a second pay period cross during the life of the loan. This gives the borrower a much better chance to accumulate some funds for the repayment date.
Now this gets a little fuzzy, because at least twice on the Stone Canyon site it mentions that "assumed" loans are for the (industry) standard $30 for every $100 borrowed to be paid every 14 calendar days. The firm mentions this twice. But here is the question, why can I make adjustments to a (possible) loan with your online calculator if none of those adjusted loans are available? Or are they available, but the finance charges will be increased to match the longer life of the loan? However, if that's a case then the calculator at the company site is not legitimate.
The overall point here is that the company displays what are very clearly adjustable terms to the loan, specifically adjustable times to repay. The APR goes down as the number of days are added to the loan. This means the, according to the calculator, that the interest rate is unchanged. It doesn't state this anywhere on the site however it is implicit by the math results within the calculator.
All of this is a long way of saying that when (if) you apply for a loan with Stone Canyon Lending you should push for a longer amount of time to repay (at least 28 days) and advise the company that the same finance charge should apply to your "monthly" loan that you would have received with a bi-weekly loan. Why should you qualify for that effectively lower interest rate? Because the company website has a calculator that let you input additional days for the loan (which you need) and you noticed that the APR dropped substantially for that longer loan. Now you want that advertised product from their website, namely a 28 (or 30 or 33) day loan that has a lower rate than the bi-weekly loan they offer.
The company effectively offers this with their rate calculator so why shouldn't you, the customer, ask for it? You saw it on their site and now you want it. This is the only way I would do business with Stone Canyon Lending. If the firm makes the push to get you back into a 14 day loan with that effectively higher interest rate then I would say thanks, but no thanks. Because without the longer time to repay, and the lower APR, then there isn't much of a reason to bother applying or being a customer with this company.