Instant Funds

SESLOC Instant Funds Loans FAQs

May 9, 2024
by Team SESLOC

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about SESLOC Instant Funds loans.

Be sure to see the Instant Funds complete terms, conditions, restrictions and eligibility, which is posted on our Instant Funds loans webpage, or is available at any branch office.

Why is SESLOC offering Instant Funds?

SESLOC is pleased to offer Instant Funds loans, which are short-term, small-dollar loans. Instant Funds will help members get the funds they need quicklyeven on nights and weekendsfor unexpected emergencies and other life events that may arise. The loans are intended to help our members borrow responsibly, helping them avoid the potential debt trap created by high-cost, for-profit lenders, such as traditional payday lenders. The loans are structured to help members make on-time payments, have lower interest rates and have less or more affordable fees than traditional payday loans.

How are Instant Funds different than a personal loan?

Instant Funds are closed-end loans that provide a lump-sum payment on which you make fixed monthly payments until your balance is paid. A personal loan may be closed-ended or may be open-ended. Open-end loans are revolving lines of credit, meaning you can repeatedly borrow funds up to a predetermined borrowing threshold, or a credit limit. 

SESLOC Instant Funds loans are different from traditional personal loans in several ways. The key difference is that personal loans require a traditional loan approval process that includes determining a member’s creditworthiness based on credit score, income and other factors. Instant Funds loans do not require a credit check, but rather, a member’s credit union deposit account relationship and membership history is evaluated to determine the loan amount and loan type they may be offered.

Typically, Instant Funds are used for unexpected emergencies, such as car repairs. If approved, the funding is “instant” and therefore a member can use the funds in real-time to make payments or purchases as needed. Common reasons for applying for personal loans include debt consolidation, or for large sums like medical bills, home improvement or to cover wedding costs.

And lastly, Instant Funds loans have shorter repayment terms and can fund as little as $200. Traditional personal loans typically have longer repayment terms and higher funding amounts.

If you would like to discuss whether an Instant Funds loan or a SESLOC Signature Loan or Signature Line of Credit is right for you, please contact us during regular business hours at (805) 543-1816, or visit any branch office.

How are Instant Funds loans different from credit cards?

A credit card is a revolving line of credit, meaning that you can repeatedly borrow funds up to a predetermined borrowing threshold known as a credit limit. Instant Funds are a closed-end loan, which provides a lump-sum payment on which you make fixed monthly payments. SESLOC offers two affordable credit card options, our Classic, fixed-rate Visa® credit card and a Visa Signature® Rewards credit card. If you would like to discuss whether Instant Funds or credit cards are right for you, please contact us during regular business hours at (805) 543-1816 or visit any branch office.

How are Instant Funds loans different than a traditional Payday loan?

While SESLOC Instant Funds loans and traditional payday loans are both designed to meet short-term, immediate cash needs, there are several key differences:

  • Traditional payday lenders are for-profit businesses. SESLOC is not-for-profit.
  • SESLOC Instant Funds have more affordable interest rates than traditional payday loans. According to the California State Attorney General’s office, the average traditional payday loan interest rate is 374% APR.
  • Many traditional payday lenders only offer a two-week repayment period, which is a typical length of a paycheck cycle. SESLOC Instant Funds are available in repayment terms from 3 to 36 months. The funding amount a member qualifies for indicates the maximum repayment term allowed.


What can I use an Instant Funds loan for?

SESLOC Instant Funds loans may be used for a variety of purposes, but are intended for emergencies,  unexpected expenses or life events. Examples include medical costs, sick pet care, auto or home repairs that are not covered by insurance plans, new braces or orthodontist care for your children, or for nursery supplies for a growing family. We do not recommend using Instant Funds loans to purchase everyday items like groceries, gas or for living expenses such as rent and bills. Instant Funds may not be used as a down payment. 

Are there any application fees?

No, there is no application fee for Instant Funds loans.

What is the difference in the Smart Payday loan and the Life Event loan?

A Smart Payday loan has a higher annual percentage rate (APR), repayment terms from 3 to 12 months, and funds up to $2,000. A Life Event loan has a lower annual percentage rate, repayment terms from 12 to 36 months and funds up to $3,000.  A Life Event loan may be more appealing to some members, as you can borrow more funds while having a lower monthly payment, but not every member will qualify for this loan. 

Who is eligible for Instant Funds loans?

SESLOC Members are eligible to apply for Instant Funds loans if they have been a member in good standing for 90 days, are 18 years old and above and are the primary accountholder on a consumer membership. (Joint owners and Business memberships are not eligible.) A member may only have one (1) Instant Funds loan open at any time, and may not have more than three (3) Instant Fund loans opened over the preceding six months.

If you are not a member at SESLOC, check out the benefits of membership and see how to join. You are eligible to join SESLOC if you live, work or go to school in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Tulare, Kings, Fresno, Kern and Ventura counties, or if your family member is already a member.

How does SESLOC determine you are qualified for an Instant Funds loan?

Qualification and funding amount is based on member’s banking and membership history with SESLOC, which includes a review of the total deposits made in the preceding 90 days.

Can I pay off the Instant Funds loan early?

Yes, members may pay off the Instant Funds loan early, and with no prepayment penalties.

Are Instant Funds loans eligible for Level Up rate discounts or other promotional offers?

No, Instant Funds loans are not eligible loans in the Level Up Member Benefits program, the holiday Skip a Pay program or other promotional offers.

How does Instant Funds loans help establish and build good credit?

SESLOC reports Instant Funds loan payments to the credit bureaus. A history of on-time loan payments may have a positive impact on a member’s credit score.

Can I have more than Instant Funds loan at the same time?

A member may only have one (1) Instant Funds loan open at any time, and may not have more than three (3) Instant Funds loans opened over the preceding six months.

Can I apply for Instant Funds loans in the branch?

Yes, digital applications are available in branch via iPad, and we are happy to assist you in applying.

Is there a maximum amount allowed for Instant Funds loans?

Yes, a Smart Payday loan will fund up to $2,000, and a Life Event loan will fund up to $3,000.

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