Company Profiles

Big Picture Loans Overview and Alternatives

by Ana-Maria Sanders   Date Modified: Oct 07, 2022
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Big Picture Loans is a tribal direct lender offering short-term installment loans. Formerly known as Castle Payday Loans, the company is operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe. Big Picture Loans operates under Tribal law. This means that loan agreements will be governed per the laws of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians and not by state laws. Therefore, the company can charge interest rates that exceed the state’s maximum limit. 

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Nevertheless, Big Picture Loans is licensed by an independent regulatory body of the Tribe called the Financial Services Licensee of the Lac Vieux Desert Tribal Financial Services Regulatory Authority. Moreover, it operates by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians Tribal Consumer Financial Services Regulatory Code.

Products and Services

Big Picture Loans only offers installment loans. At this time, no other services are provided by the lender.

Products

Installment loans are typically larger-sum cash advances that are repaid in monthly installments. The terms of an installment loan may range between four to 18 months, depending on the lender. Installment loan repayments are split into equal monthly installments, including the principal loan amount plus interest and fees. If approved, the lender will likely require your banking information to automatically deposit the loan. Similarly, on the repayment date, the lender will automatically withdraw the funds from the same account. 

Rates and Fees

As mentioned earlier, Big Picture Loans operates under Tribal law. Therefore, the loan agreements are governed per the laws of the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians – not by state laws. This means that the company can legally charge interest rates that exceed the state’s maximum limit. Big Picture Loans’ APR ranges from 200% to 699%. Applicants can borrow between $200 and $3,500.

The company also charges a late fee of up to $20 per occurrence if a scheduled payment is more than 10 days late. Returned payments and non-payments may also result in additional charges. On the other hand, borrowers are encouraged to pay back their short-term loans earlier than scheduled with no early payment penalties to save on finance charges.

How to Apply for a Loan with Big Picture Loans

After clicking the “Apply Now” button on the lender’s website, you will be directed through the online application. Once on the application page, you must:

Step 1: Fill out your personal information

This includes your name, last name, date of birth, and address.

Step 2: Read the Consent to Electronic Communications and Privacy Notice

Thoroughly read the consent to electronic communication and privacy notice.

Step 3: Create a username and password for your account

Choose a username and password to create an online account.

Step 4: Fill out your financial information

This includes your monthly income, credit score, and existing debts.

Step 5: Review and electronically sign your loan documents

Make sure that the information included in the application is relevant and up to date. Then sign your loan documents.

Step 6: Click the “Submit” button

Once you have entered and reviewed all your information, you can go ahead and submit your application.

After submitting your online application, the company will review and verify your information. A customer service representative may also call you to confirm your information over the phone.

Pros and Cons of Big Picture Loans

Pros

Cons

 

  • 24/7 customer support
  • May work with applicants who have damaged credit
  • Small-dollar loans

 

  • Availability subject to change
  • High-interest rates and fees
  • Doesn’t have to abide by state rules and regulations

FAQ

What is Big Picture Loans?

Formerly known as Castle Payday Loans, Big Picture Loans is a tribal direct lender specializing in installment loans. Founded in 2012, the company is operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe, and operates under Tribal law. Big Picture Loans lends installment loans between $200 and $3,500, and the term ranges from four to 18 months. The APR ranges from 200% to 699%.

What Is the Minimum Credit Score That Big Picture Loans Will Consider?

There is no minimum credit score that Big Picture Loans requires from its customers. The company also states on its official website that bad credit, past bankruptcy, and other credit problems may not prevent applicants from being approved for a loan. However, the company discloses that additional requirements may apply, such as a steady and verifiable source of income.

What if I Miss a Payment?

U.S. laws have specific protections in place to ensure lenders don’t overcharge. However, Big Picture Loans operates under local Tribal laws. It is best to review your loan agreement to familiarize yourself with the possible consequences of missed payments. Most of the time, if a scheduled payment is more than ten days late, the company will charge a late fee of up to $20 per occurrence. Other than encountering financial penalties, a missed payment could also have a negative impact on your credit score if the lender reports the missed payment to the major credit bureaus.

What Is the Annual Percentage Rate (APR)?

Big Picture Loans charges an annual percentage rate of 200% to 699%. The APR is based on your eligibility, including income and creditworthiness. Therefore, applicants may be offered different APRs based on their circumstances.

Is Big Picture Loans Safe?

Big Picture Loans uses industry-standard security measures and has an SSL encrypted website to safeguard their customers’ information. Additionally, the lender has several positive reviews on numerous consumer reporting agencies.

Can I Get a Loan From Big Picture Loans if I am Not Employed?

Big Picture Loans may provide financing to unemployed applicants. It is best to contact a representative to confirm and determine what additional documents they may require.

How Many Times Can You Take Out a Loan?

You may take out another loan as soon as you have paid your existing loan in full. However, to ensure you are complying with the lender’s requirements, it is best to contact a representative and confirm the number of loans you are able to obtain.

Alternatives to Big Picture Loans

Not sure if Big Picture Loans is right for you? Consider these alternatives:

Alternatives:

  • If you need more products or services: Speedy Cash
  • If you need in-store or online products or services: Check Into Cash
  • If you need a larger-sum loan: Check ‘n Go
  •  If you have damaged credit: Cash Express

Speedy Cash

Speedy Cash offers a variety of financial products and services such as payday loanstitle loans, installment loans, lines of credit, check cashing, money orders, and prepaid cards. For example, the payday loan amount ranges from $200 to $1,500, with an interest rate of 15% to 23%. You can fill out the company’s loan application in four ways: online, over the phone, via their free mobile app, or by visiting their store.

Speedy Cash is available in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

Check Into Cash

Check Into Cash provides different financial products and services, in-store and online. Consumers can borrow payday loans, auto title loans, installment loans, lines of credit, flex loans, or receive prepaid debit cards, and Western Union bill pay services. The loan amounts range from $50.00 to $1,000, whereas the APR may range from 153% to 1,042%. 

Check Into Cash is available in Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. 

Check ‘n Go

Check ‘n Go offers payday loans, installment loans, prepaid debit cards, and check cashing services. The maximum amount Check ‘n Go offers is $5,000. But the minimum and maximum loan amounts, rates, and loan terms are different for each state.

Check ‘n Go is available in Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, and Utah.

Cash Express

Cash Express provides short-term loans. Additionally, the lender may be willing to work with applicants who have damaged credit. Founded in 1968, the company has over 950 locations in 23 states. Cash Express offers payday loans, installment loans, title loans, check cashing services, prepaid debit cards, and bill payments. Loan amounts vary by state, and the APR can range from 163% to 807%. However, it is important to note that Cash Express doesn’t report to the three credit bureaus. So, if your goal is to improve your credit score and history, you may want to choose another lender.

Cash Express is available in California, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Bottom Line

Big Picture Loans is a direct lender that specializes in short-term installment loans. Applicants can borrow $200 to $3,000. However, the lending company’s interest rates are high, ranging from 200% to 699%. Moreover, because installment loans must be paid in equal monthly payments, the borrower may end up paying more than the original loan amount. Also, Big Picture Loans is operated by the Lac Vieux Desert Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, a federally recognized Indian tribe, and are regulated by Tribal law – not state law.

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Ana-Maria Sanders, author at OpenLoans
Financial Analyst
Ana-Maria Sanders writes about consumer and business finance. She has been featured on Business.com, CreditCards.com, FOX News, and FOX 29.
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