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Golden Valley Lending

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LAST UPDATED: February 24th, 2020

Golden Valley Lending offers short-term personal loans designed to help people with bad credit or no credit history. It is a tribal lending entity owned and operated by the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, California. 

After customers complete the online application process with an electronic signature, Golden Valley uses a proprietary scoring system to approve or deny applications. While many similar consumer lending companies either don't check your credit score or check with alternative credit bureaus, Golden Valley states that it may run a credit check. 

First-time borrowers can qualify for loans from $300 to $1,000.

Golden Valley Lending offers fixed-term installment loans, which it classifies as payday loan alternatives. With this format, each consumer is paying off principal and interest with each payment. These short term loans come with 20 bi-weekly payments and are available in 34 states:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Top Ranked Companies


The Good

  • Funding Time
  • Loan Format
  • Payment Options
  • Lender Contact Options
  • No Prepayment Penalties
  • Longer Repayment Term
  • Returning Customers

Funding Time

Short-term loans can be received in your checking account within one business day. Applications must be approved by this service provider by 4:30 p.m. Eastern, Monday through Friday. This is definitely helpful, especially when you need emergency funds fast. 

Loan Format

When you borrow from Golden Valley Lending, each payment is applied to both your principal and interest. That way, loan amounts decrease over time. This compares to traditional payday loans where the principal is the last thing paid. 

Payment Options

ACH and debit card payments are available. The latter is not always an option when it comes to making loan payments, especially in the short term lending industry. 

Lender Contact Options

This is one of the few payday loan companies offering live chat, email, and phone support with customer service representatives

No Prepayment Penalties

With Golden Valley, you can pay off your installment loan early, without penalty. You even get your interest prorated. Over time, this can save you quite a bit in interest fees. 

Longer Repayment Term

Golden Valley Lending offers longer loan terms than the traditional poor credit payday lender. Rather than having to pay by your next paycheck, you get 20 bi-weekly payments

Returning Customers

If they do well with paying off your first Golden Valley loan, a returning customer may qualify for financial rate discounts and higher loan amounts (up to $1,500) with subsequent loans.


The Bad

  • Lender Transparency
  • Fees
  • CFPB Action

Lender Transparency

We know that this type of bad credit loan will likely have a high interest rate. It is not a long-term financial solution. 

While Golden Valley lending prides itself on transparency, it doesn’t list finance charges, interest rates online. Rates and fees are only laid out in a customer’s loan agreement. We don’t even get a ballpark percentage range for the annual percentage rate (APR) until after you enter personal details.

Most online payday lenders are more upfront than this, even when listing an APR range that covers 100%–1,000%. The only example APR listed online is 970% APR. This is just offered as an example. While we don't know what your loan will cost, we know it will have high interest rates. 


One thing that is disclosed on the Golden Valley Loans website is a $20 insufficient funds fee for any installment payments returned by your financial institution. 

CFPB Action

In 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against Golden Valley Lending, Inc, and three other tribal lending companies, Mountain Summit Financial, Inc., Silver Cloud Financial, Inc., and Majestic Lake Financial, Inc., for collecting on debts that were allegedly void under state laws. However, the lawsuit against these online lenders was dismissed by the consumer watchdog agency in 2018.


The Bottom Line

Without knowing vital information about the interest rates that Golden Valley Lending applies to its financial services, we won’t recommend borrowing from lender. From the company’s website, there are a lot of promising policies, but having proper information about its loans before applying is key.

Have you borrowed money from Golden Valley Lending? Let us know about your experience, good or bad, with a quick review below.

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