Advance America Loans
Need a short-term loan? This lender has multiple positive reviews and plenty of options.
Bottom line: Advance America is a nationally recognized financial organization that provides an array of services from over 1,900 locations in the US. But it’s had some negative press in the past, so you may want to consider your other options before you settle on one of Advance America’s short-term loans.
- Available in 26 states
- Payday loans, installment loans and auto title loans available
- Prepaid Visa cards available
- Conflicting customer reviews, including over 100 complaints
- Not transparent about potential rates
- Recent government action for violating interest rate limits in the state
Advance America rates, fees and terms
The amounts available, terms and rates all depend on the state you live in. The absolute minimum that can be borrowed is $50 for those living in Wisconsin, but most other states Advance America offers loans in have a minimum of $100.
The maximum APR and term also depends on your state, but APRs can reach over 700%. Many states allow for terms of just 14 days, or one typical pay cycle. As with most short-term loans, you should understand the full cost of the loan before you take it out.
What is Advance America and is it legit?
Advance America is a short-term lender that offers payday loans, installment loans, auto title loans and lines of credit to residents of 26 states. Like many lenders spread across a wide area, the exact amount you can borrow — along with the length of your loan term and the fees you pay — will depend on where you live. You can check Advance America’s website to learn specific details about your state.
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.
Advance America is a fully-accredited, nationally-recognized financial institution, and it is a founding member of the Community Financial Services Association (CFSA), a body that encourages fair lending practices with full disclosure. Advance America complies with all applicable state and federal laws and outlines its fees clearly in loan offer documents. However, it has settled with the state of California for charging interest rates over the legal limit, so you should make sure your loan follows your state’s laws before you sign.
How do Advance America loans compare to other loans?
Advance America reviews and complaints
There has been government action taken by the state of California — in addition to over 100 customer complaints filed against the company. Reviewers comment that Advance America had poor customer service and that the loans didn’t exactly follow the contract.
TrustPilot paints a much different picture. There are over 44,800 reviews, and many of them are positive. However, there aren’t many that don’t have any details at all, just praise for the company. When making your decision, take both the positive and negative reviews into account before signing on for a loan.
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
What states is Advance America available in?
Advance America has over 1,200 locations throughout the US, but it doesn’t serve residents in the following states:
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
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. But while you may be charged a late payment fee, Advance America doesn’t report to the three major credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian or TransUnion — so you won’t have to worry about your score being damaged.
There are no prepayment fees 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.