When it comes to borrowing money, having a good credit history can make or break your application. This poses a problem for many college students. If you don’t have a history of borrowing, how can you establish the credit score you need so you can borrow money? 

Enter Boro

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What is Boro?

Boro is a mobile app that provides personal loans and auto financing to college students specifically. By using a proprietary underwriting system that forgoes the traditional credit check, Boro gets cash into the hands of students who would not otherwise qualify for a loan. 

Boro started in 2015 as a service for international students, who face unique challenges. For many internationals, the issue isn’t low credit—it’s no credit. International students often don’t have a Social Security Number (SSN), which connects to your credit score, either. While on a student visa, you can only get an SSN if you have a job offer on campus. Between a lack of credit history and the absence of an SSN, international students have very few options to borrow money in the U.S. 

Since its start, Boro has now expanded to offering loans to all college students (not just international students). And while U.S. permanent residents and citizens do have SSNs, not all have a credit history by the time they head off to college. 

Instead of requiring a specific credit score, Boro uses an applicant’s active student enrollment and GPA to make its decision. The benefits for borrowers are twofold: students get quick access to cash and start to build their credit history in the process. 

Even though Boro can help you out in a pinch, it’s important to borrow responsibly. Borrowers should ensure that they understand the repayment terms and that they have the means to repay the loan in the agreed-upon installments.

What sets Boro apart from other personal loan providers is its proprietary underwriting process. Instead of relying on an applicant’s credit score, Boro requires active student status and a minimum GPA. 

The app makes getting a loan and paying it back simple, enabling students to access cash and build credit at the same time.

What kinds of personal loans does Boro offer? 

Boro has two borrowing programs: BoroCash, for personal loans, and BoroDrive, for car loans.

BoroCash provides personal loans from $50 to $2,000 to college students in 15 U.S. states. Based on the information you enter in your profile, you’ll find out immediately whether or not you’re approved.

Once approved, you’ll get to choose your loan amount and payment terms. 

Borrowers can pay back loans over periods of one, three, six, or 12 months and can opt to make payments monthly or biweekly. Based on your loan amount and payback period, you’ll see both your interest rate as a percentage and how much interest you’ll pay with each payment.

Once you make your selections and set up your direct deposit information, you’re good to go. It only takes one to two business days for your loan disbursement to hit your bank account. 

BoroDrive is the auto financing arm of the app, and it accepts online applications for financing in 30 states. 

BoroDrive auto loans can be approved in as little as one business day, and all paperwork can be signed electronically. Loans are available in amounts from $5,000 to $3 million, with loan terms between 12 and 60 months.

Does Boro Charge Fees?

There’s no fee to apply for a loan with Boro, and the application itself won’t affect your credit score. However, like any line of credit, there is interest charged on the loan. 

While interest rates are on the higher end, from 15–19.9 percent APR, borrowers will see the interest rate, total interest dollar amount, and how much of each payment goes towards the interest before agreeing to the loan.

Boro Reviews: Here’s What Customers Are Saying…

Boro has a B+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, due to five customer complaints, at the time of writing. Looking at mobile app store reviews, however, most customers are happy with the service and options they get with Boro.

With customization options, borrowers are happy that they can borrow just the right amount of money for their needs to repay their loans responsibly:

Others stand by the company’s claim that the app is a tool to build credit and learn about responsible borrowing through microloans: 

Many negative reviews come from applicants who weren’t approved for a loan, so it appears that even though Boro makes it easier to access cash, it’s not totally guaranteed. 

Boro FAQ

Is the Boro app legit? 

The Boro app is legit! Boro is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has a B+ rating. 

How long does it take to get money with a Boro loan?

Once approved for a BoroCash loan, borrowers typically receive funds within two business days. 

Do I need a Social Security Number to qualify for a Boro loan?

A Social Security Number is not required to get a BoroCash or BoroDrive loan. This means that international students on a valid student visa can get a loan even if they're not working on campus.

Conclusion: The Best Way to Save on Insurance Costs

As a student, you might have more than just tuition costs to worry about. It’s true, getting a car loan or personal loan can be a simple way to make ends meet when unexpected expenses come up. 

But if it still feels like you’re pinching pennies, don’t forget to shop around for car insurance to save even more. Insurify helps you compare personalized quotes so you can get the best price on auto insurance, no matter where you are on your financial journey.

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Updated June 18, 2020

Mandie Kelleher is a freelance content writer for financial services and personal finance. With a background in financial administration, and teaching, she crafts content that deepens her readers' understanding by making complex topics simple. You can learn more about Mandie by visiting her site, mandiekelleher.com.