Golden Valley Lending Review: Read This Before You Borrow

In 2020, a study showed that your odds of having a $2,000 emergency in any given month is approximately 31.8%. For those with a cash cushion to fall back on, that’s not a big deal. For anyone without the savings to cover it, though, short-term loans become tempting. If you’re struggling to make ends meet and considering Golden Valley Lending, this won’t be your best option.

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Golden Valley is No Longer Funding Loans

First off, Golden Valley Lending says it is no longer funding new loans. When you open its website, a pop-up appears recommending “trusted affiliate” Uprova instead. If you’re looking for a loan, you’ll want to move on to other reviews. If you’re having trouble with Golden Valley Lending or are looking for ways to escape one of its loans or need alternatives to tribal lending, read on.

Warning! Don't take a tribal loan just yet. See what better options you may be eligible for.

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READ MORE: Facing a financial crisis? Here are the best emergency loan options

What was Golden Valley Lending?

Golden Valley Lending provided short-term installment loans to people with poor credit. They’re supposedly for those who are struggling with a surprise expense and need a relatively small amount of money to afford things like: “car repair, medical care for you or your family, travel expenses in connection with your job, or anything that requires cash quickly.”

Truthfully, Golden Valley Lending’s installment loans are glorified payday loans. The terms are slightly different, but the effect of both products is the same: Borrowers often end up in a vicious cycle of debt.

They have similarly flexible underwriting, approve applications quickly, and fund approved loans just as fast. Their principal balances are slightly larger on average, and their repayment terms are longer, but that usually just makes them more expensive since the interest has more time to accrue.

Lawsuits Against Golden Valley Lending

Checking for lawsuits against a lender is always another great way to establish expectations for a business. Unfortunately, Golden Valley Lending has a history of legal troubles, despite its tribal immunity.

In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sued four lenders, including Golden Valley Lending and Silver Cloud Financial. They claimed that the lenders were attempting to collect falsified debts. They had to drop the suit, though, likely because of their tribal immunity.

There was also a class-action suit against that same group of lenders for their interest rates, which break state laws. These plaintiffs are taking the most effective approach: attempting to disprove the lenders’ connection to the Oglala Sioux Tribe.

Better Alternatives

Golden Valley Lending lures in people struggling to make ends meet with the promise of fast cash, usually when they can’t qualify for traditional forms of funding. However, even with bad credit, they’re not the only option available.

There are several better alternatives out there for people who need some short-term cash flow, such as:

  • Paycheck Advance Apps: For working adults who need less than $300, paycheck advance apps should almost always be the first stop. They let people who have accrued earnings access them before they would usually receive their paycheck. Best of all, there’s no interest on the balance. Brigit lets users access up to $250 at a time and only costs $10 a month. Some of their competitors make payment entirely optional and only request tips.
  • Payday Alternative Loans (PALs): Short-term lending for people with bad credit is a legitimate societal need. Payday and tribal lenders abuse this need, but federal credit unions offer a similar service that doesn’t have the same price tag. Their PALs have similar principal balances, slightly longer repayment terms, and much lower interest rates. Legally, they can only be as high as 28% APR.
  • Peer-to-peer lending: Those who can’t get a loan from a traditional bank can turn to their peers and get a loan online that matches their creditworthiness. Sites like Prosper connect individual borrowers and lenders and lets them negotiate the loan terms themselves. These will probably be more expensive than a bank loan, but nowhere near the prices of Golden Valley Lending.

Make sure to try these options before resorting to Golden Valley Lending or any other tribal lender. They’re much more affordable and almost as accessible to people who struggle with getting traditional funding.

The Bottom Line

By this point, you probably already know what our recommendation is when it comes to doing business with this lender, particularly because it isn’t funding new loans. In a word: don’t. It might give you a couple of weeks of breathing room, but it will almost always make your next cash shortage even worse.

Try all of the options we suggested above before resorting to a tribal lender. If possible, you’d be better off trying to improve your credit score before applying for a loan.

Better yet, do your best to avoid needing debt in the first place. Talk to a credit counselor to help get your financial situation back on track with some positive cash flow. Their services are free, so find one near you today!

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