Advance America loans review
This payday lender offers relatively low rates compared to similar providers. But APRs still top 100%.
Bottom line: While Advance America’s rates often top 150% APR, they’re lower than what you might find with other payday lenders. But watch out for loans with long repayment terms — those can be more expensive than you think. Read our full review.
- Payday loans as low as $50 at some locations
- APRs on the low end — for a payday lender
- Online title loans available in some states
- Faced lawsuits for violating state rate and fee limits
- Higher rates for cash payments in some states
- Not very transparent about title loan rates, fees and terms
Anna Serio is a trusted lending expert and certified Commercial Loan Officer who's published more than 1,000 articles on Finder to help Americans strengthen their financial literacy. A former editor of a newspaper in Beirut, Anna writes about personal, student, business and car loans. Today, digital publications like Business Insider, CNBC and the Simple Dollar feature her professional commentary, and she earned an Expert Contributor in Finance badge from review site Best Company in 2020.
Advance America is a licensed payday lender that offers loans across 26 states. The rates and terms vary depending on where you live and the type of loan you apply for. But generally, its APRs are on the lower end of what you’ll find with a payday lender. It’s also one of the few providers that offers loans low as $50 or title loans online.
That doesn’t mean Advance America loans are cheap. You’ll pay an APR over 100% in most cases. It’s even faced lawsuits from North Carolina and California over the high cost of its loans. Like with any payday lender, save Advance America for emergencies.
Advance America rates, fees and terms
Advance America charges different rates, fees and terms depending on where you live and the type of loan you get.
Advance America payday loans usually come with a flat fee of $15 to $20 per $100 borrowed instead of interest.
Terms are either 14 or 30 days, depending on if you paid once a month or every two weeks.
This means you’ll get an annual percentage rate (APR) of 200% to 450%. But it can top 700% in some cases.
While it offers payday loans from $50 to $1,000, how much you can borrow depends on your state. And if you borrow online, the minimum loan amount is usually $100.
Advance America installment loans come with interest and fees that usually range from 150% to 400% APR, depending on your state. In many states, rates are higher if you make payments in cash or get paid once a month.
Repayment terms can range from 6 to 24 months, though they can be as short as 90 days. Loan amounts tend to run from $100 to $2,500.
Advance America isn’t very transparent about the cost of its title loans in every state. But it varies depending on whether you borrow online or in person.
Generally, online title loans range from $2,000 to $25,000 with rates as low as 36% APR if you borrow over $5,000.
In-store title loans often range from $400 to $10,000 with rates from around 120% to 300% APR. Advance America doesn’t disclose the range of terms available on title loans in most states.
What is Advance America and is it legit?
Advance America is licensed lender that offers payday loans, installment loans, auto title loans across 26 states. It also offers lines of credit in Kansas. It’s a founding member of the Community Financial Services Association (CFSA), a body that encourages fair lending practices with full disclosure.
However, it’s faced lawsuits from multiple states over its high interest rates and fees. It doesn’t hurt to double-check your state’s laws before you sign off on your loan.
How do Advance America loans compare?
See how Advance America holds up to other payday loans available online.
Advance America reviews and complaints
Advance America gets mixed reviews from people on Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Positive reviews don’t have any details at all, just praise for the company. Complaints against Advance America were usually over poor customer service — and many claimed the lender didn’t exactly follow the contract.
California and North Carolina have both sued the company over its high interest rates and fees. These lawsuits partly stemmed from a high volume of complaints that customers filed with the state attorney general’s office.
Am I eligible?
To be eligible for a short-term loan from Advance America, you will need to meet the following requirements:
- Steady source of income
- Not involved in bankruptcy
- At least 18 years old — varies by state
- US citizen or permanent resident
Where is Advance America located?
Advance America has over 1,400 stores spread across 26 states.
|State||Number of stores||Available online?||Types of loans|
|Alabama||105||Yes||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|California||175||Yes||Payday loans, title loans|
|Delaware||12||Yes||Installment loans, title loans|
|Florida||193||Yes||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Idaho||4||No||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Illinois||19||No||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Indiana||64||Yes||Payday loans, title loans|
|Kansas||37||Yes||Payday loans, lines of credit|
|Louisiana||61||Yes||Payday loans, title loans|
|Mississippi||60||Yes||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Missouri||61||Yes||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Nevada||10||No||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Ohio||60||Yes||Installment loans, title loans|
|Rhode Island||18||No||Payday loans|
|South Carolina||86||Yes||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Tennessee||51||Yes||Payday loans, lines of credit, title loans|
|Texas||126||Yes||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Utah||2||Yes||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
|Wisconsin||32||Yes||Payday loans, installment loans, title loans|
Store information last updated February 2021.
Some loans might only be available online in some states, while others might only be available at an Advance America store. Visit the Advance America website for the most up to date details about what’s available to you.
What information do I need to apply?
When you visit an Advance America store or apply online, make sure you have this information to keep the application process simple:
- Valid government-issued ID
- Proof of an active checking account
- Proof of income
- Social Security number
How do I apply?
The application only takes a few minutes, and you can apply either online or at an Advance America store near you. If you want to save time when visiting a store location, you can start your application online and complete it with an Advance America employee later.
- Visit the Advance America website.
- Click Apply for a loan to start your application.
- Select Use my current location or enter your ZIP code.
- Select whether you want to apply in-store or online — options depend on state.
- Create your account.
- Enter your personal information, including your address and phone number.
- Enter your financial information, including your income and bank account.
- Read the General Disclosures and the other general agreements before submitting your application.
Advance America’s electronic underwriting system will analyze your application. If you’re approved, you may be required to submit additional information to provide proof of your identity and income.
What are my repayment options?
Once you have your loan, check your loan agreement for information about how to repay and what fees you might be charged if you’re late. Also look for your repayment options — in some states, you might be able to repay your loan by bank transfer or cash.
If you’re late, Advance America might charge a late fee. But because Advance America doesn’t report to the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian or TransUnion — you don’t have to worry about your score being damaged.
There are no prepayment penalties for paying off your loan early, and some states even allow you to get a partial refund of your interest rate if you do. Contact your Advance America store for more details.
Because of the high cost and the lack of in-depth reviews, you may want to compare your options to see if you can find a better deal with another lender.
Frequently asked questions
Answers to questions you might still have about Advance America.
What happened to Advance America locations in Nebraska and Virginia?
Advance America has stopped offering loans in Nebraska and Virginia. According to its website, it shuttered its stores in these states after they passed laws that limit the rates and fees that payday lenders can charge.
What other products does Advance America offer?
In addition to its short-term loan options, most Advance America stores also offer prepaid debit cards and MoneyGram as an in-store service. Like with its loans, you can call or visit a storefront for more details.
How can I contact Advance America?
You can call Advance America at or visit its contact page to fill out a simple email form. Customer service representatives are available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET. But if you want to get in touch with a store directly, you can enter your zip code on its Store Locator page and to view a specific location’s phone number, email and business hours.
What is the difference between an in-store and online payday loan from Advance America?
With an in-store loan, you may be able to receive your loan funds immediately upon approval. With an online loan, you can expect the funds to be deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day.
Can I refinance my loan?
It depends on your state. Contact Advance America to see if this option is available to you.
Does Advance America check my credit score before approving a loan?
No, but it could evaluate your eligibility by making use of an Experian custom rating model.
What is the maximum amount I can borrow?
The maximum amount you can borrow through this payday loan depends on where you live. Advance America provides an online tool to help you determine your state’s regulations on payday loans.