Understanding the Costs of Lawsuit Loans: What You Need to Know Before Taking One Out

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How much do lawsuit loans cost

When you’re swamped with medical bills and a personal injury lawsuit, the wait for a settlement can feel like an eternity. You might be optimistic about your lawsuit’s outcome, but optimism doesn’t pay the bills. Does it? And while your attorney is fighting tooth and nail for your compensation, they can’t lend you the money you so desperately need right now. 

Lawsuit loans, also known as pre-settlement legal funding, offer financial assistance when you’re caught in the seemingly endless cycle of a legal battle. Unique in its structure, this form of financing is directly tied to your future compensation. That means you won’t have to repay a dime if you don’t win.

However, here’s what most people don’t consider: the cost of a lawsuit loan directly impacts how much of your settlement—your hard-fought money—will actually end up in your hands after all is said and done. Let’s shed light on the actual costs of lawsuit loans, understand the common funding terminology, and how to calculate your costs so you can make the right choice.

Key Points:

  • Lawsuit loans have high interest rates due to their non-recourse nature, while traditional loans offer lower rates, which can impact your credit score.
  • Lawsuit loans typically require no upfront fees and use your future settlement as collateral, whereas traditional loans often require tangible assets like a home or car.
  • The cost of a lawsuit loan is influenced by various factors such as interest rate type, capped rates, case duration, and state regulations.
  • Additional fees and your attorney’s cooperation can significantly influence the final cost and processing speed of your lawsuit advance.

The Costs of Lawsuit Loans vs Traditional Loans – A Quick Overview

So, you’re in a tight spot and considering a lawsuit loan, yet the high interest rates—from 35% up to 60% per year—have you second-guessing. Here’s the underlying reason for those high rates: lawsuit loans are non-recourse, meaning if you lose your case, you don’t owe a cent. The funding company loses its investment. It’s a risk the lender takes, not you.

On the flip side, traditional loans might tempt you with lower interest rates—around 4-6% per year. Nonetheless, you miss a payment, and your credit score takes a hit. That’s a risk you take.

Now, let’s talk about another key difference: fees and collateral requirements. Both types of loans have fees, but lawsuit loans usually don’t have upfront fees. Traditional loans often require collateral like your home or car, while lawsuit loans use your future settlement as collateral.

Need cash for living expenses? Lawsuit loans offer more flexibility and larger amounts based on your case’s merits and value. In contrast, traditional loans are usually more restrictive and come with a more thorough approval process. If speed is what you’re after, settlement loans can often get you cash in as little as 24 hours.

Want a more detailed comparison? Read our full article on the topic.

Factors Influencing the Cost of a Lawsuit Loan

When you’re struggling with the financial stress of a pending lawsuit, a lawsuit loan might seem like a lifeline. Nevertheless, it’s not as straightforward as borrowing and repaying. Several variables can influence how much this financial relief will cost you when it is time to repay. Let’s take a look into these factors so you can better anticipate what portion of your future settlement will go toward repaying the loan.

Type of Interest Rate

Interest rates on lawsuit loans vary from company to company, as they’re not all structured the same way. Some are non-compounding, meaning they’re based only on the original amount you borrowed for the loan’s lifetime.

Others use compounding rates, which can inflate your repayment sum once your case settles since the interest is calculated on the new total (your principal plus any accrued interest) at set intervals. Some lenders even offer tiered rates that also escalate over time.

Knowing the type of interest rate you’re getting can help you accurately estimate your loan’s cost.

Capped Rates

A rate cap is a maximum limit set on the interest that can accrue over the life of the loan unt il your settlement comes through. For instance, some lenders cap the interest accumulation after 3 years to prevent an unending cycle of rising costs. It’s a feature that can make a big difference in what you’ll ultimately owe when you win the case. 

Duration of the Case

Even with capped rates, the length of your case still matters. Although some lenders cap interest accumulation after a certain period, not all do. And even if they do, other costs might still add up. For example, if your case takes 2 years to settle, you might face additional administrative fees or find yourself in a tiered rate structure that wasn’t initially apparent. So, while you may have some protection against excessive interest, the clock is still a factor you can’t afford to ignore.

Case Merits

While it’s a common misconception that the type of lawsuit sets the interest rate, the reality is different. Lenders are more interested in the merits of your case. Factors such as the strength of your claim, the level of liability involved, insurance limits, and potential settlement value are what truly influence the rate you’ll be offered.

State Regulations

State laws can affect not only the cost but also the availability of pre-settlement loans. In some states, regulations are so tight that they effectively make legal funding unattainable, forcing plaintiffs to settle for less. That’s why it’s not only advisable; it’s essential to know your state’s stance on lawsuit loans, as it could either open doors or close them for you.

Additional Fees

Beyond the principal and interest, you may also be subject to fees. Lawsuit funding fees are additional costs that some lenders charge for processing your lawsuit loan. These could range from application fees to underwriting charges, and even penalty fees for early payoff.

Your Attorney’s Cooperation

Your attorney’s willingness to collaborate with the lender could also be a deciding rate factor. If your attorney drags their feet in providing essential lawsuit details, it could not only delay the loan process but also raise your loan costs.

Pro Tip from Baker Street Funding: When your attorney takes the lead in sending over your case details, you’re more likely to score lower rates. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

Strategies to Minimize the Cost of Your Pre-Settlement Loan

In a world where 46% of Americans can’t cover a $400 emergency expense, a lawsuit loan can be a game-changer. But remember, choosing your pre-settlement loan cost wisely can be the difference between relief and regret. Here are several things you should consider to minimize its cost.

Key Points:

  • Borrow only what you need.
  • Consider refinancing for better rates.
  • Research lender reputation and demand transparency.

Make Sure You Borrow Less

Limit your lawsuit borrowing to only what’s essential. The less you borrow, the less you’ll owe in interest and fees. Remember, every dollar you borrow now will impact the amount you receive from your settlement later.

Refinance a Previous Advance for a Better Rate

If you’ve taken a lawsuit loan at a sky-high interest rate, consider refinancing. Shop around for better rates and make the switch. By securing a lower interest rate, you can significantly reduce the overall amount that will be deducted from your settlement and save money in the long run.

Dig Deeper into Reputation

Don’t assume a company with slick marketing is a reliable indicator of a lender’s credibility or the favorability of their loan terms. Instead, investigate the lender’s reputation. Online reviews can offer some insights, but don’t stop there. Look into how the company has resolved past complaints and check for any history of financial crimes or fraud.

Demand Transparency

A reputable lawsuit loan company will be upfront about all its costs and conditions. Are they answering your questions clearly and promptly? If not, take it as a red flag. Transparency is non-negotiable; you have a right to know exactly what you’re getting into.

Balance Speed with Caution

Your need for quick cash should never compromise your understanding of the funding agreement. Remember to slow down—your financial settlement is at stake.

Examine the Interest Rates Thoroughly

Don’t be lured by the initial low-interest rate that catches your eye. Take it a step further by asking the lender: is the interest simple, tiered, or compound? Remember, compounding and tiered interest can escalate your costs faster than you may realize.

Uncover Hidden Fees

As noted above, beyond the principal and interest, you might face additional fees. While fees might not be a deal breaker, always ask for an approximate fee breakdown and how they are calculated. Any reluctance to disclose these details should raise eyebrows.

Ask for the APR

Don’t just focus on the interest rate or fees alone; ask for the Annual Percentage Rate (APR). This figure gives you a complete picture of your loan’s true cost. Aim for a fixed APR, ideally no higher than 42% per year, to ensure stability in your repayment.

Always Confirm the Presence of a Rate Cap

Make it a point to ask if there’s a rate cap. This protective measure ensures that all costs stop at a certain period if your lawsuit takes longer than anticipated to settle.

Understand Your Case’s Risk Profile

Familiarize yourself with the merits of your case, and know what the potential value is. The higher the value of your case, the lower your legal funding terms could be.

Engage Your Attorney

Encourage your attorney to be proactive in providing case details or referring the case to the legal funding company so you secure better rates.

Decoding Loan Payment Terminology in Your Pre-Settlement Funding Agreement

Making sure you know about all the common loan terminology can save you from unfavorable terms.

  • Principal/Funding. The original amount of money advanced to you.
  • Existing Amount. Any previous amounts you may have borrowed before taking out the current lawsuit loan.
  • Interest Rate. The percentage of the principal that you’ll need to pay back in addition to the principal itself. This can be either simple or compound interest.
  • Non-Recourse Debt. A type of loan where you’re not personally liable to repay if you lose your case.
  • Capped Rates. Maximum limits set on the interest that can accrue over the life of the loan.
  • Itemized Fees. Additional costs that some lenders charge for processing your lawsuit cash advance, such as application fees, wire fees, courier fees, and origination fees.
  • Tiered Rates. Interest rates that start at a lower rate and increase after a certain period.

Quick fact: Securing lawsuit funding at a 60% APR is not uncommon in the legal funding industry. Very few lenders even skyrocket their rates to a staggering 100% annually.

The Takeaway

You’ve explored the costs of lawsuit loans compared to traditional loans, you’ve learned the factors that can influence these costs, strategies to minimize them, and even decoded the terminology in your funding agreement. So, what’s the bottom line? The true costs of your pre-settlement advance will directly impact how much of your well-deserved settlement actually ends up in your pocket.

That’s why you shouldn’t just settle for any legal funding offer that comes your way. With rates starting at 2.95% per month, Baker Street Funding offers you a transparent and cost-effective option when you’re caught in a lawsuit and need to make ends meet.

Ready to take control of your financial future without compromising your legal battle? Apply for a cash advance on your pending lawsuit today. It’s more than just money—it’s your ticket to breathing easier and fighting smarter.


What Are Lawsuit Loans?

A lawsuit loan is a financial option for plaintiffs involved in a lawsuit. Unlike traditional loans, these are non-recourse debts. In simpler terms, if you lose your case, you don’t have to pay back the loan. The risk is entirely on the lender.

How is the Cost of a Lawsuit Loan Determined?

The total cost of a lawsuit loan doesn’t only include the cash you get upfront—it’s a blend of the lender’s interest rates, any extra charges, how long your case drags on, and the specific details of your claim.

What Happens After My Settlement?

Once your case settles, your attorney will repay the advance from your settlement funds. This includes the principal amount, the accumulated interest, and any other fees outlined in your legal financing agreement.

Are There Any Ways to Reduce the Cost of a Lawsuit Loan?

Shopping around for lenders who offer non-compounding interest rates that are capped with fewer additional fees can help reduce the overall cost of the loan.

At Baker Street Funding, we give you the inside scoop on pre-settlement funding by covering a variety of ... financing and legal topics to help you made the best financial decision for you and for your case. Our experts break down complex ideas in a way that's easy to understand so you can stay informed on current trends as well as tips and fact checked information by the CEO and founder, Daniel Digiaimo. Furthermore, Despite its name, consumer legal funding is not a loan. If you don't win your case, no payment needs to be made back. To avoid confusion and simplify matters on, we'll use the word "loan" throughout this article.

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