Advance America loans review 2021: Is it legit? | finder.com
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Advance America loans review

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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.

$1,000

Max. Amount

Details

Product NameAdvance America
Max. Amount$1,000
Loan TermVaries
RequirementsEarn $1,000+ a month, operational checking account with direct deposit ages 18+ and US citizen or resident

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Expert review

Anna Serio

Review by


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.

Expert review

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.

Payday loans

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.

Installment loans

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.

Title loans

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.

Data updated regularly
Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 - $35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
LendYou Short-term Loans
$100 - $15,000
Same business day to 1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
BadCreditLoans.com
$500 - $10,000
Varies
Depending on lender requirements, people from all 50 states may not be eligible for a personal loan.
With straightforward, simple qualifications, these loans offer easy approval for people with poor credit.
Slam Dunk Loans
$100 - $50,000
Same business day to 1 business days
Employed, $800+ regular monthly income, checking account, ages 18+, US citizen
Fill out a simple online form to compare offers from several lenders that may be able to help.
CashUSA Installment Loans
$500 - $10,000
As fast as same business day
Regular source of income, bank account, US citizen or permanent resident, age of majority in your state
Explore its online education center to get tips on budgeting, how to prioritize your bills and more.
CashAdvance.com Payday Loans
$100 - $1,000
1 to 2 business days
Employed, $1,000+ monthly income after taxes, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Use its repayment calculator to see how the loan term and amount you borrow affects the overall cost.
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Compare up to 4 providers

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.

Search:
StateNumber of storesAvailable online?Types of loans
Alabama105YesPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
California175YesPayday loans, title loans
Colorado13YesInstallment loans
Delaware12YesInstallment loans, title loans
Florida193YesPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Idaho4NoPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Illinois19NoPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Indiana64YesPayday loans, title loans
Iowa29NoPayday loans
Kansas37YesPayday loans, lines of credit
Kentucky47NoPayday loans
Louisiana61YesPayday loans, title loans
Michigan118YesPayday loans
Mississippi60YesPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Missouri61YesPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Nevada10NoPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Ohio60YesInstallment loans, title loans
Oklahoma20YesInstallment loans
Rhode Island18NoPayday loans
South Carolina86YesPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Tennessee51YesPayday loans, lines of credit, title loans
Texas126YesPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Utah2YesPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Washington6NoPayday loans
Wisconsin32YesPayday loans, installment loans, title loans
Wyoming9YesPayday 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
  • Check

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.

  1. Visit the Advance America website.
  2. Click Apply for a loan to start your application.
  3. Select Use my current location or enter your ZIP code.
  4. Select whether you want to apply in-store or online — options depend on state.
  5. Create your account.
  6. Enter your personal information, including your address and phone number.
  7. Enter your financial information, including your income and bank account.
  8. 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.

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12 Comments

    Default Gravatar
    Josie
    August 29, 2018

    Person by the name of Mike Alfred contacted me and said I was approved for a $7000 loan through your company is this a scam

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarcelo
      August 30, 2018

      Hi Josie,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

      It would be ideal if you can call Advance America Loans directly to verify the call you received. To help you avoid getting ripped off, we cover the signs of a personal loan scam and what you can do to avoid them.

      Scammers put a lot of work into gaining your trust so that you click, share, or open what they’re pedaling. This means that real loans are increasingly hard to tell from the fakes. In the end, knowledge is the best defense against personal loan scams.

      To find a personal loan from a trustworthy company, you can compare fees, rates, and terms of legit lenders we’ve reviewed.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    Stacy
    May 21, 2018

    Do I have to have direct deposit to qualify for the personal loan?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Joshua
      May 22, 2018

      Hi Stacy,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well for you. :)

      Usually, Advance America provides the fund by transferring it to your bank account. You might as well directly get in touch with them to know if they offer other means of giving you your approved loan money.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!

      Cheers,
      Joshua

    Default Gravatar
    Robert
    March 30, 2018

    I need a telephone number to speak with a representative regarding someone claiming to be advance America and took me for $150

      Default Gravatar
      joelmarcelo
      March 30, 2018

      Hi Robert,

      Thanks for leaving a question on finder. Please note that we are a comparison website and we do not represent any of the providers on our page.

      If you are looking to verify with Advance America directly, you contact them at 844-562-6480 for questions regarding in-store loans or call 877-505-0701 for online loans.

      Cheers,
      Joel

    Default Gravatar
    Sheri
    December 22, 2017

    Can u get a small loan with family assistance

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Rench
      December 23, 2017

      Hi Sheri,

      Thanks for your inquiry. Please note that we are not affiliated with Advance America or any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

      There are lenders that offer easy-approval loans for people with bad credit or low income so it’s still possible for you to get a loan if you are on Family Assistance program.

      If you are referring to Advance America payday loan, you may contact them directly by visiting their official site and inquire about your eligibility.

      Best regards,
      Rench

    Default Gravatar
    Monica
    September 15, 2017

    I would like to see if I qualify for an installment loan. I need to pay my rent so my daughter and I don’t get evicted.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Maria
      September 15, 2017

      Hey Monica,

      Thank you for reaching out to us.

      You may find useful information on this page on Installment Loans.

      As Finder is an online comparison service and is not a product issuer, it would be best to get in touch with a lender featured on our pages to discuss your eligibility or options.

      Before applying, please ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria and requirements and to read the details, as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statements/ Terms and Conditions of the option before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Best,
      Maria

    Default Gravatar
    Rasheeda
    June 28, 2017

    In the state of Texas do you have to have proof of income?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      Harold
      June 28, 2017

      Hi Rasheeda,

      Thank you for your inquiry.

      In the state of Texas the general requirements are:
      – You should be at least 18 years of age
      – You should be an American citizen or a permanent resident of the US
      – You should have a regular source of income

      You can learn more and compare your options for short-term loans in Texas and see which lender suits you.

      I hope this information has helped.

      Cheers,
      Harold

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