The Best Payday Loans in the US

Did you know that the ratio of payday lenders to McDonald’s restaurants in the US is roughly 2:1? Shocking, right? Even more shocking is that a whopping 69% of payday loans are used for recurring expenses, rather than emergencies. The bottom line is that payday loans set Americans back $4 billion per year in fees alone. We, therefore, compiled this list of the best payday loans to aid you in your search for a scam-free service and to ensure a fair and satisfactory transaction of funds. 

Best Payday Loans Providers

LendUp Logo

LendUp

The loan you need. Fast.

Founded in 2012, LendUp offers competitive rates, simple online application, and other various benefits that make them a cut above the rest. The company prides itself on its ethical practices and improving borrower responsibility by providing multiple finance/educational courses.

Available in: California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin

Loan amount: $100-$300 for first-time customers

Loan term: 14-30 days

APR: Depends on the loan term (190%-550%)

Min. credit score: N/A

Approval time: Almost instant

Funds available in: One business day

Online application: Yes

CashNetUSA Logo

CashNetUSA

With CashNetUSA, money’s on the way!

If you’re looking for a well-established company with long traditions and excellent reviews, then look no further. CashNetUSA has been in business since 2004, and they’ve partnered with more than four million customers across 18 states. They offer one of the best-rated payday loans in the industry.

Available in: Alabama, Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wyoming.

Loan amount: $100-$1,500 for first-time customers (some states have a lower cap)

Loan term: 14-35 days

APR: Depends on the loan term (208-520%)

Min. credit score: N/A

Approval time: Almost instant

Funds available in: Same business day if approved

Online application: Yes

Advance America

Advance America

Money today, momentum tomorrow.

One of the industry pioneers, Advance America has been in business since 1997. With over 1,400 physical stores across the continent and millions of clients served, Advance America offers some of the top payday loans on the market. They run a full-disclosure, no-nonsense kind of business where the customer always comes first.

Loan amount: Up to $1,000 (some states have a lower cap)

Loan term: 2-4 weeks

APR: Depends on the loan term (231-495%)

Min. credit score: N/A

Approval time: Almost instant

Funds available in: Same or next business day

Online application: Yes

Check into Cash Logo

Check into Cash

Your One Stop Money Shop

A true trailblazer, Check into Cash is among the best payday loans providers out there. The company was established in 1993, and they operate over 800 stores across 20 states. It is a well-established brand with numerous storefronts, which is quite reassuring to many customers. On the downside, they do run credit checks on new customers.

Available in: Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Loan amount: $50-$1,000 (some states might have a lower cap)

Loan term: 14-30 days

APR: Depends on the loan term (261-782%)

Min. credit score: 300

Approval time: Almost instant

Funds available in: Same or next business day

Online application: Yes

ACE Cash Express Logo

ACE Cash Express

Empowering your financial success since 1968

ACE Cash Express was established in 1968 making them a household name in their niche. This company offers reliable online payday loans as well as in-store loans. Speaking of which, they run over 920 stores in 13 states. School of Ace is an interesting feature on their website that aims to help you manage your finances better.

Available in: California, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia

Loan amount: $50-$1,500 (some states might have a lower cap)

Loan term: 9-35 days

APR: Depends on the loan term (231-661%)

Min. credit score: N/A

Approval time: Almost instant

Funds available in: Same or next business day

Online application: Yes

Check'n Go Logo

Check ‘n Go

Real solutions for real people

Check ’n go opened its doors to customers in 1994. Their first storefront was in Kentucky, and they’ve since expanded their business to over 20 states. This company offers quick payday loans, with interest rates that fall well within the industry average. With 26 years of experience and 1,000 stores across the US, you can’t go wrong with Check ‘n Go.

Available in: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin, Wyoming

Loan amount: $50-$1,500 (some states might have a lower cap)

Loan term: 10-35 days

APR: Depends on the loan term (214.68-661.80%)

Min. credit score: N/A

Approval time: Almost instant

Funds available in: Same or next business day

Online application: Yes

Speedy Cash Logo

Speedy Cash

Reset. Refocus. Restart.

Speedy Cash (or Rapid Cash in Nevada, Oregon, and Washington) is another reputable payday loans provider. They opened their first store in California back in 1997, and have been expanding ever since. Today, the company operates around 200 stores in 14 states. Speedy Cash is a member of the Online Lenders Alliance, ensuring fair treatment and adherence to a code of conduct.

Available in: Alabama, Alaska, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming 

Loan amount: $100-$500 (some states might have a lower cap)

Loan term: 14-30 days

APR: Depends on the loan term (214-460%)

Min. credit score: N/A

Approval time: Almost instant

Funds available in: Same or next business day

Online application: Yes

How We Rate the Best Payday Loans Services

The world of payday loans is filled with shady dealers, con artists, and swindlers. They prey on the gullible and take advantage of those in dire straits. To help you avoid the well-camouflaged traps of the “notorious” fine print, we’ve chosen the crème de la crème of the industry. 

Reputation and Complaints

All of the brands on our list have a long-standing tradition, and amazing reviews to boot. In our pursuit of the best place to get a pay day loan, we’ve vetted dozens of companies, to present you with the ones that users on Trustpilot and other third-party websites have rated as excellent. Our research makes this arguably the most legitimate online payday loans list you’ll find. 

Compliance

Not all payday loans are legal, and some states prohibit them altogether. To stay on the right side of the law, we recommend using only legal and compliant services that respect state laws.

APR Rates and Fees

All the companies on our list have reasonable average annual percentage rates (APR) and no hidden fees. A word of caution — you should never pay fees before getting approved, and under no circumstances should you accept an APR above what is allowed by the state you’re in. 

Repayment Times and Terms

All the safe online payday loans we’ve chosen for you have transparent and reasonable repayment times. Since these are short-term loans, all the companies would require you to pony up in 14 to 35 days. When paying the lenders back, you are usually presented with several options: 

Availability and Convenience

People who find themselves in a tough spot always want to resolve their problems as fast as humanly possible, that’s why we’ve included only the best online payday loans providers on the market. That said, most of them have brick-and-mortar stores in over 20 states too.

Then, as a rule, the companies providing the best online payday loan options make an effort to make the application process as simple as possible. Borrowers only need to visit the respective website, with the option to apply usually prominently displayed on the home page. 

Approval Time and Funds Transfer

Approval times are lightning-fast, so you’ll know if you got the loan in a matter of minutes. Borrowers who choose to apply in a store will get their money immediately, while online applicants usually have to wait between 12 and 24 business hours. Customers can collect their cash in person or have it wired to their bank account. 

Is Everyone Eligible for a Payday Loan?

The top payday loans companies are only available in 33 states, making their services unavailable or illegal in the rest of the US. To procure a loan, the borrower must have an open and active checking account, proof of income, a valid phone number, and they must be of legal age (18 in most states). Most active military personnel aren’t eligible for a payday loan, since the Military Lending Act (MLA) has a 36% cap on interest rates for short-term loans. 

Reviews of the Best Payday Loans Services

LendUp

Despite being one of the younger brands on our list, LendUp manages to hold its own against older industry veterans. Case in point, the Better Business Bureau gives it an A+ rating, while Trustpilot users rate it with a 4.7/5. An interesting fact is that Google and Paypal have also invested in LendUp, contributing to its reputation as the best online payday loan company

Pros 

Cons 

Lending Offer Overview

LendUp has one of the best online payday loans offered on the market. Their terms range from 14 to 30 days, well within the industry standard. First-time customers can borrow up to $300 from this top payday loan company. Repeat debtors, as they climb the LendUp Ladder, can increase this amount to $400. This brand offers several repayment options — via checking account, by debit card, using MoneyGram, and via check. You can also repay your debt ahead of the due date. Since payday loans are regulated by state law, fees and rates may vary based on your location. However, you should know that LendUp’s deferred deposit transaction fee never exceeds 20% of the total repayment amount. Instant payday loans offered by this company have an average APR of 391% to 459% based on the loan term. One-month loans usually have a lower APR.

Other Features

LendUp offers state-of-the-art security and strong encryption, ensuring the safety of your data. Customers can access their accounts and manage their loans 24/7 via smartphones or tablets. What sets them apart the most is that repeat borrowers can accrue points by paying back their loans on time or by participating in LendUp’s free financial education courses. Among other benefits, these points allow them to apply for bigger loans at lower rates. The most loyal and dedicated customers, who reach the Platinum level, can even increase their credit score. These features make LendUp one of the most trusted payday loans online.

CashNetUSA

CashNetUSA is a reputable brand with a proven track record. They’ve been in business for 16 years, during which they’ve helped over four million hard-working people deal with emergency expenses. Having a CashNetUSA account comes with multiple benefits such as discount coupons, a financial assistance tool, and financial education courses. 

Pros 

Cons 

Lending Offer Overview

While your CashNetUSA experience with terms and fees may vary depending on the state, they offer some of the best payday loans for bad credit regardless of the location. You can expect the loan to be due on your next payday, or 14 to 35 days after borrowing the money. Borrowers paid by a paper check will have a one-day grace period to deposit their check. Loan amounts are highly susceptible to state law, meaning that yet again, your mileage may vary. Generally speaking, a customer can expect anywhere from $100 to a more substantial sum of $1,500. As you might’ve realized by now, the APR depends on the loan term, however, to put things into perspective, you can expect to pay $15 to $20 in fees for every $100 borrowed.

Other Features

Customers can expect a same-day deposit if their request is approved before 10:30 AM local time. The application process is super easy, and the majority of requests go through instantly. Applying for a payday loan won’t affect your FICO® score, as they use alternative means to check your credit score. CashNetUSA wouldn’t be one of the top-rated online payday loans if they didn’t offer something extra. You’ll still be able to access their free financial courses and tools, even after you paid off your debt.

Advance America

Over 1,400 stores across the country, 23+ years of providing financial assistance at a moment’s notice, and customers who rate this as the best payday loans direct lender with an excellent (4.8/5) score on Trustpilot all speak volumes about Advance America. And while the old “the customer always comes first” mantra has become a cliche for many, this brand puts their money where their mouth is. 

Pros 

Cons 

Lending Offer Overview

Advance America has been well-respected in Indiana since 1997. Their offer falls in line with the state’s standard. The loan amount sta. This brand offers arguably the best online payday loans for bad credit, and customers can borrow up to $1,000, keeping in mind that most states have a lower loan cap. Advance America offers a bi-weekly and monthly repayment cycle. Paying your loan back is possible through in-person or online payment methods. Additionally, if a borrower is unable to make their payment on time, they promise to establish payment arrangements. 

Other Features

The whole application process is quick and usually doesn’t take more than 10 minutes. Borrowers can apply for a loan in stores or they could choose to do so online. Their support team is truly top of the line, underscoring how much they value their customers. Advance America wouldn’t be on this list if they didn’t belong among the best online payday loans direct lenders. What positively sets them apart is their “giving back” project through which they support both local and national nonprofit organizations and foundations.

Check into Cash

If you’re searching for a well-known and trustworthy company, then you needn’t look any further. Check into Cash is a founding member of the CFSA (trade organization for payday advance best practices), they have been in the game for almost three decades, and operate more than 800 stores. As if that isn’t enough, they’re highly rated by the BBB and Trustpilot. 

Pros 

Cons 

Lending Offer Overview

Check into Cash is another company that grants some of the best payday loans online for bad credit. Speaking of terms and fees, they are yet again heavily regulated by state law, meaning that they’ll vary based on your whereabouts. Broadly speaking, customers can expect rates from 260% to 780% on 14-day terms, which is a bit above the industry average. Repayment will be due on your next payday, or 14 to 30 days after the loan was granted. Unsurprisingly, loan amounts are state-dependent as well, ranging from $100 to $1,000. Rolling a loan over will incur extra fees, and customers should know that automatic loan renewal isn’t available. Regrettably, Check into Cash may exercise their right to turn delinquent accounts over to third-party collection agencies, which will inevitably lead to a ding in your credit score.

Other Features

Following the standard industry practices, the best same day payday loans from this vendor are available to in-store applicants. Both regular and online applications can be completed within minutes; however, online applicants might end up waiting up to 48 hours before their funds are deposited. To make the whole process even more convenient, Check into Cash developed a mobile app that lets customers access and manage their accounts on the go. Their excellent customer support is another standout feature, which makes them a cut above the rest.

ACE Cash Express

Nationwide availability and an abundance of storefronts make this company one of the best payday loans with no credit check options. Interestingly enough, this brand offers a 72-hour satisfaction guarantee on each of their payday loans. This means that customers can change their minds and return only the principal amount as long as they do it within 72 hours.

Pros 

Cons 

Lending Offer Overview

Each company has to follow the same rules and regulations, meaning ACE Cash Express is no exception. The terms and fees for the top online payday loans offered by this company will differ based on your location. Generally speaking, customers can expect 14-day and 30-day terms, while the APR can range from 230% to 661%. The loan amount is another factor that falls under local jurisdiction and can fluctuate between $100 and $1,500. You can repay your loan online from the comfort of your home, with in-store reimbursement also available. Early payment is also possible, and you won’t be penalized for it. Borrowers, however, should be advised that extending or refinancing a loan is only available in some states.

Other Features

ACE Cash Express values your time, and that’s why they’ve made the application process quick and convenient. Following the industry standards, both the in-store and the online application can be completed in a heartbeat. The best online payday loans with instant approval this vendor offers are available on the same business day for in-store applicants, while online customers might have to wait a bit more. Their customer support is available through email, phone, or in person. Finally, in some cases, they might perform a hard pull that could negatively impact your credit score.

Check ‘n Go

Check ‘n go is another widely available brand, with over 1,000 stores in more than 20 states. Payday loans are available for borrowers with a bad credit score online and in stores. The main difference is that in-store applicants can get their loan in a matter of minutes, while online customers will have to wait around 24 hours. 

Pros 

Cons 

Lending Offer Overview

You can expect only the best payday loans online with same-day approval from Check ‘n Go since they’ve been in business for more than two decades. Customers across the country can expect different terms and fees. Repayment terms mostly range from 14 to 35 days, while fees can vary anywhere from 214% to 661%. Under the omnipresent state laws, loan amounts will depend on the borrower’s location, starting from as low as $50 and rising to $1,500. Customers can repay their loans with cash or by credit card at a Check ‘n Go store, or they can do so online by setting up an ACH payment. Rollover and late fees aren’t mentioned, so borrowers are advised to check the application form.

Other Features

Check ‘n Go is yet another brand that extends some of the best online payday loans with no credit check to their customers. People who choose to submit an application in one of their stores can count on a same-day deposit. This is unfortunately not true for those applying online, as they’ll have to wait until the next business day. The application process is easy and doesn’t take more than 10 minutes for your request to be approved. Judging by reviews on Trustpilot, their customer service is second-to-none.

Speedy Cash

Last on our list of the best payday loans services comes Speedy Cash. They are a reputable brand with around 200 stores across the United States. One of their greatest achievements, as they like to point out themselves, is that they helped over five million people when the going got tough.

Pros 

Cons 

Lending Offer Overview

If you wish to procure one of the best no credit check payday loans, then Speedy Cash is the right place to be. As expected, the loan terms, fees, and amounts depend on your neck of the woods. This brand usually offers two repayment terms; a bi-weekly and a monthly one. To the satisfaction of their customer, fees are below average ranging between 214% and 460%. On the other hand, the maximum amount they lend is 500$, which might not be enough for some borrowers. Customers have several payment options at their disposal. They can choose to repay their loan with cash or by a debit card in one of the stores. Alternatively, they can do so online. Debtors who find themselves in a dire financial situation will be offered payment plans.

Other Features

Speedy Cash offers some of the best payday loans online with no credit check, and they come with near-instant approval times. Keeping up with the industry standards, this company has made its application process effortless and convenient, meaning that customers will complete it in the blink of an eye. Same-day deposits are available to in-store clients, while online borrowers will need to be a bit more patient. Their smartphone app, which lets you manage your loan and account on the go, is available on Google Play and on the App Store.

Tips for Choosing the Best Payday Loans Service for Your Needs

While we’ve provided you with reviews of the industry’s best, our job doesn’t end here — we’ll help you narrow down the options further. Read on for our trusted tips that will take you to the one service that has the highest chance of solving your short-term money problems. 

Remove Unavailable Options

This might sound obvious, however, the first thing on your journey to the best place for payday loans for your needs is whether the lender operates in your state. Even though some of the lenders covered in our best payday loans reviews advertise their nationwide availability, that doesn’t mean they can legally offer loans in your state. Customers should always ask to see the lender’s license before they proceed with the application. Another limiting factor could be your age, as some companies won’t work with people younger than 21. 

Define Your Needs

Planning ahead, even in emergencies, is always beneficial. Customers should have a clear plan in their minds before they request a loan. Write down how much money you need, and when you’ll be able to pay it back. Decide whether you’re more comfortable with in-store loans, or whether online loans are your cup of tea. This is not a location-related matter only, but also one relating to how fast you need the money, as online loans usually arrive to your account after 24 hours. These clear-cut requirements will help you trim this list of the best payday loans companies further.

Decide What’s Unacceptable

For every honest lender, you’ll likely encounter a dozen shady ones. That’s why you must be adamant in your resolve. Borrowers should always set clear boundaries that won’t be crossed even in the direst of situations. Lenders that require approval fees should be disregarded without a second thought, as they’re most likely trying to scam you. Companies with exorbitant APRs are trying to “legally rob you” and should also be dismissed instantly. While the best payday loans online and in-store services don’t go for such cheap tricks, you should stay vigilant regardless since it’s your money that’s at stake. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are payday loans legal?

Payday loans are legal in 36 states but are heavily regulated. These regulations are imposed to prevent exorbitant APRs and endless cycles of debt.

Are payday loans fixed or variable?

Payday loans are always fixed. You’ll pay back the exact amount agreed upon plus the applicable APR and/or other fees. 

Are payday loans installment or revolving?

Most of the time they’re revolving, however, some of the best payday loans providers offer installment options as well. 

Are payday loans easy to pay back?

Payday loans are short-term cash advances and should therefore be treated as such. They have extremely high APRs and could be difficult to pay back if extended over a longer period. 

Can payday loans go to collections?

Yes, they can, but only if the debtor repeatedly fails to repay the loan. 

Can payday loans be included in bankruptcy proceedings?

They can, but only if certain requirements are met. The first one is that the loan doesn’t exceed $750. Then, 70 or more days need to have passed between the loan approval and the declaration of bankruptcy. 

Can payday loans help your credit?

Some payday lenders offer to report your timely payments to Equifax or TransUnion, which could technically improve your credit score. However, you shouldn’t expect miracles. 

Can payday loans be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy?

Yes, they can. Payday loans are unsecured, which means they can be discharged in Chapter 7 bankruptcy. 

What payday loans accept unemployment?

As long as the borrower has proof of income (disabilities, welfare, benefits, etc.), they shouldn’t have any issues with landing a payday loan.

What payday loans accept prepaid debit cards?

Check into Cash, ACECashExpress, and Speedy Cash from our list of quick payday loans services offer prepaid debit card loans.

Where are payday loans illegal?

Payday loans are prohibited in 14 US states — Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and Washington DC.

Will payday loans affect getting a mortgage?

There isn’t an inherent correlation between payday loans and one’s ability to get a mortgage. However, payday loans affect your debt-to-income ratio, which could indirectly impact your likelihood of obtaining a mortgage. 

How many payday loans can you have at once?

The majority of payday loan companies will not issue a second loan before you’ve paid off your first one. Moreover, having more than one outstanding payday loan is ill-advised.

Conclusion

Here we are, hopefully, well-informed and equipped with the knowledge to make the best possible decision. Keep in mind that these are short-term loans with high APRs, and they need to be treated as such. Customers should never accept an offer that requires them to pay a fee before the loan is approved as these proposals are assuredly scams. Our list of the best payday loans will aid you in that, once you’re ready to make your choice. Note that payday loans can certainly be tempting, however, they should be used with caution. 

Remember to always borrow responsibly and never take out more cash than you can reasonably pay back. 

Your BalancingEverything Team