Need a short-term loan? This lender has multiple positive reviews and plenty of options.
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.
Aliyyah Camp is a writer and personal finance blogger who helps readers compare personal, student, car and business loans. Aliyyah earned a BA in communication from the University of Pennsylvania and is based in New York, where she enjoys movies and running outdoors.
What is Advance America?
Advance America is a short-term lender that offers payday loans, installment loans, auto title loans and lines of credit to residents of 28 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.
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:
What are the benefits of a short-term loan from Advance America?
Wide state availability. Unlike many lenders that only offer loans to residents of a handful of states, Advance America has locations in 28 states to provide its services to a wide variety of borrowers.
Multiple loan options. Although the exact type of loan you can borrow will depend on where you live, Advance America offers payday loans, installment loans and auto title loans to its borrowers. And if you qualify, you may even be able to get a flexible short-term line of credit.
Prepaid cards available. Advance America offers prepaid Visa cards that allow you to reload money as you spend it. You can use it anywhere Visa is accepted, and there is no credit check to apply.
What to watch out for
Multiple complaints. While Advance America has an excellent rating on TrustPilot, its Better Business Bureau page doesn’t fair as well. It has only 10 reviews — all negative — and over 100 customer complaints.
Not transparent. Advance America doesn’t make it easy to see your potential rates. You’ll have to enter your location or visit one of its state-specific pages to see the amount you could qualify for.
Recent government action. Advance America has recently come to a settlement with the state of California. The lawsuit accused Advance America of violating interest rate limits in the state. So double check your loan terms before you borrow to ensure Advance America is working within your state’s laws.
How do Advance America loans compare to other loans?
As of July 2019, Advance America isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). And while has an A rating from the BBB, there has been government action taken by the state of California — in addition to over 100 customer complaints filed against the company. Reviewers commented that Advance America had poor customer service and that the loans didn’t exactly follow contract.
TrustPilot is much different. There are over 21,000 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.
Is Advance America legit?
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.
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
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 (option depends 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 documents 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 (varies by state)
I got a short-term loan from Advance America. Now what?
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.
Are cash advance loans legal in your state?
Hover over your state of residence (or click on your state if you’re using a mobile device) to find out if cash advance loans are legal in your state.
Advance America has multiple options that make getting a short-term loan easy. But 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
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.
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.
It depends on your state. Contact Advance America to see if this option is available to you.
No, but it could evaluate your eligibility by making use of an Experian custom rating model.
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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