Grain Line of Credit & Loan Review 2024

Learn about the specific details of Grain, a hybrid digital credit card and personal loan for borrowers who need help making ends meet before payday.
Editor's Rating
Editor's Rating
2.9
Written by Anna Baluch
Financial Expert
mm
Managing Editor
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Grain is a combination of digital credit card and personal loan based on your income or cash flow. Once you transfer money from the app to your checking account, you can pay your expenses as usual and repay it at the end of your billing cycle.

The Grain app lets you borrow money and build credit simultaneously.

Here’s a closer look at the Grain app and how it works.

Grain At-a-Glance

Which Lenders Have the Best Personal Loan Rates?

The rate you receive on your personal loan depends on many factors, including your credit score and income. The smartest way to know if you’re getting the best loan rate is to compare offers from competing lenders.

Grain Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Easy access to cash: Grain makes getting the cash you need for everyday expenses easy. The amount you’ll get approved for will depend on your cash flow and finances.
  • No credit check: Unlike most credit cards and loans, Grain won’t pull your credit history. It focuses on your cash flow so you can get approved even if you have no credit or bad credit.
  • Build credit: Like a traditional credit card, Grain reports your payments to the credit bureaus. As long as you make timely payments, you can build or improve your credit.

Cons

  • Might need a security deposit: Depending on your finances and unique situation, Grain may require a security deposit. It’s unclear how much this deposit may be, but it may be challenging to come up with if you’re short on cash flow.
  • Fees: Grain charges multiple fees that can add up quickly. These include a one-time signup fee, monthly service fees, withdrawal fee, and late payment fee.
  • Not available for Android: Grain is only an option for Apple users. If you have an Android, you can join the waitlist and get an email once the app is compatible with your device.

Compare to Others

If you want to borrow money and build credit, Grain is just one option. Consider these alternative lenders to decide whether Grain is your best choice.

Happy Money

Happy Money is a better fit than Grain if you’d like to consolidate credit card debt and have decent credit. Its loans range from $5,000 to $35,000, with no application, prepayment, or late fees.

Best Egg

Best Egg can be worthwhile for fast cash, especially if you want a larger loan of up to $50,000. Depending on when you apply, you can receive the money in your bank account on the next business day. Grain offers fast funding, too, but its credit line caps out at $1,000.

LightStream

LightStream may be a solid option if you hope to borrow a large amount of money as its loan amounts go up to $100,000, compared to Grain’s $1,000. Its fees are also minimal as the lender doesn’t charge origination, prepayment, or late fees.

Who Is Grain Best For?

The Grain app might be a good option if any of these apply to you.

  • You have no credit or bad credit and have trouble qualifying for a traditional credit card.
  • You earn a steady income.
  • You want to build or improve your credit while using your checking account.
  • You’re looking for an alternative to a credit builder loan or another credit building app.
  • You are an Apple user.

If you have good to excellent credit, you may be better off with a traditional credit card that offers rewards and less fees. In addition, you might find a personal loan less expensive in the long run.

Top Features of the Grain Personal Loan 

Here are the most noteworthy features of the Grain app.

Lower Interest Rate Than Many Credit Cards

If you sign up for autopay, you’ll pay a flat APR, lower than the interest rates on many credit cards. You can expect to pay a higher rate on a traditional credit card if you have little or bad credit.

No Credit Score Requirement 

Most credit cards require good to excellent credit. If you qualify for a traditional credit card but have a shaky credit history, you’ll likely have to settle for a higher interest rate. Grain doesn’t have a minimum credit score requirement. No matter what your credit situation is, you can get approved.

Credit Limits of Up to $1,000

The amount of credit you can get with Grain depends on your cash flow. But the maximum credit line is $1,000. Even though you can raise this limit after you use the app for six months, you might be able to secure higher limits through a traditional credit card or personal loan.

Credit Score Reporting

Like traditional credit cards and personal loan companies, Grain will report your payment activities to the three major credit bureaus each month. You can build or improve your credit history if you make on-time payments.

Fast Funding 

With Grain, you won’t have to wait long to receive credits in your bank account. According to Grain, the money can appear in your account instantly, but it may take up to one business day. This is a plus if you want to cover an emergency expense.

How to Get Started

To use Grain, go to the app store and download the app to your Apple device. Then, link your primary checking account. It’s a good idea to use the checking account your paychecks go to and the one you rely on for most of your payments. This is because Grain will use your account history to determine how much credit you’ll get. Once they do, you may be required to make a security deposit.

If you’re approved for a credit offer and accept it, you’ll be able to access the funds easily through the app. To do so, go to the “Credit” tab, tap “Withdraw Credit,” and choose the amount. The money will then be transferred to the checking account you linked.

Rating the Features 

What is it like to use the Grain app? Below, we break down the features and tell you what to expect from the most essential points.

User Experience

It’s relatively straightforward to sign up for and use Grain. You shouldn’t have any issues as long as you’re comfortable using apps on your smartphone or tablet. The app was designed to be very intuitive, walk you through the signup process, and clearly explain how to access the funds.

Fees

Grain comes with several fees you should be aware of. First, there’s a one-time signup fee, which may range from $56.25 to $75. Then, there’s a monthly service fee that’s based on your credit limit. You’ll also be on the hook for a 1% fee whenever you access your credit line. Lastly, if you make a late payment, Grain will charge you 5% of your minimum payment or $5, whichever is less.

Rates

Regarding interest rate, Grain charges a flat APR that you’ll pay on any balances after a 21-day grace period following your payment due date. The APR may be lower than the rates on traditional credit cards and loans, especially if you don’t have the best credit. Note that your rate will be higher if you choose to make your payments manually rather than enroll in autopay.

Variety

The Grain digital credit card is the sole product for consumers. If you’re a business owner as well, you may benefit from a business product that can help you reach your goals through cash flow data.

Customer Support

To get a hold of Grain, you can fill out the customer support form. Another option is to call the Grain Help Line at 1-833-755-0809. If you prefer to contact the company via social media, it’s available on Twitter and Instagram (@grain_tech), Facebook (@graintech), and LinkedIn (@grain-technology).

Access

Grain is a digital credit card you can use when you download the app on your Apple device. It may be available to you regardless of where you live or what type of credit you have. Note that there are no physical branches for in-person banking and support. Also, Grain is not an option for Android users at this time.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Grain safe?

Yes. Grain is FDIC insured to ensure your funds will be safe if the company fails. The app also uses 256-bit bank-level encryption to protect your sensitive information.

Do I need good credit to use Grain?

No. Grain considers cash flow instead of credit scores. You may get approved for a credit line even if you have no credit or bad credit.

How can I avoid interest with Grain?

You can avoid interest fees if you pay the statement in full by your statement due date. You’ll also be able to improve your credit history.

About Author
Anna Baluch
Anna Baluch is a personal finance writer and expert who writes about financial topics ranging from personal and student loans to mortgages, debt relief, auto financing, and budgeting. As a contributor to MoneyRates, Anna’s insights are backed by her hands-on experience, exemplified by her achievement of paying off her mortgage in just 16 months, a journey she shared on the “Burn Your Mortgage” podcast in 2019. Her knowledge and expertise have appeared on personal finance platforms such as LendingTree, Business Insider, Credit Karma, Experian, American Express, Rocket Mortgage, U.S. News & World Report, and Policygenius. Anna is dedicated to guiding consumers toward making informed financial choices.