Should You Open an Elastic Line of Credit?
The pressure of rapidly rising inflation combined with the relatively low savings balances of most Americans (70% of Americans are not equipped to handle an emergency expense in excess of $1000) creates a scenario where access to credit is critical.
Sure, saving money is a good long-term solution to ward off this problem, but savings requires time and patience. In the meantime, if you are facing emergency expenses today or just having trouble keeping up with the rising cost of EVERYTHING, you might be considering a short-term loan or small line of credit.
One company offering a line of credit “solution” to emergency expenses or savings shortfalls is Elastic (in partnership with Republic Bank out of Kentucky).
Here’s how they describe the Elastic Line of Credit:
Elastic is the easy way to access money when you need it. Once your Elastic Account is open and activated, you can access money whenever the need arises.
They note that credit lines are available from $500 to $4500. Each time you take an advance, you pay a fee of between 5% and 10% of the amount requested.
Then, you pay a “carried balance fee” for each month you carry a balance.
Here’s an example: If you took out a $1000 line of credit and maintained a balance at or near $1000 (by borrowing smaller amounts every couple of months, for example) — you’d end up paying more than 100% APR in fees/interest over the period of 12 months. That means you are paying $2000 to have access to $1000. Or you’re essentially doubling the cost of everything you purchase. Now that’s some serious inflation.
Elastic is counting on you NOT paying back your small loan in full at the end of a month. They know that if you had trouble meeting one small expense, you’ll likely need to borrow again just to keep up with the payments. It’s not like some extra cash will just magically appear to make your budget work.
Oh, and Elastic is a subsidiary of super-sketchy Elevate Credit.