Amscot cash advance review

In-store payday loans up to $500 for Florida residents.

This Florida-based payday lender offers in-store advances on your next pay check in a matter of minutes with some branches open 24 hours a day. You don’t need to have a credit score to qualify, though you must have an active checking account. However, like other payday loans, this option can be expensive and is best saved as a last resort.

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Product NameAmscot cash advance
Min. Amount$50
Max. Amount$500
Loan TermNext payday
Loan SecurityUnsecured
Turnaround TimeSame day
RequirementsVerifiable income, Florida resident, active checking account, ages 18+, active phone number

What is an Amscot cash advance?

An Amscot cash advance is an advance on your next pay check that doesn’t require a credit check. You can borrow from $50 to $500, which you repay with your next pay check, plus a fee. The fee is typically between 10% and 14% of the loan amount, which translates into an APR between 276.36% and 338.93%. This includes a $2 verification fee.
Amscot is a more traditional payday lender. You have to apply in person and write a postdated check for the loan, plus any fees. When your payday rolls around, Amscot cashes the check as repayment.

What are the benefits of an Amscot cash advance?

From storefronts open 24/7 to no credit check, there are a few perks of borrowing from Amscot:

  • Some branches open 24 hours. Amscot is one of the few payday loan providers you can visit any time — day or night — to get funding in a real emergency.
  • No automatic renewals. This can protect you from mistakenly getting caught up in a cycle of debt by rolling over your loan rather than paying it off.
  • Doesn’t affect your credit. While Amscot doesn’t check your credit when you apply, not repaying your cash advance doesn’t affect your credit score either.
  • Verification fee is lower than state cap. Amscot’s verification fee of $2 is less than half the legal limit for that type of fee in Florida.

What to watch out for

Consider these potential drawbacks before taking out an Amscot cash advance:

  • Must visit a storefront. While you can get a head start on the application online, you have to visit a branch to get your advance.
  • Checking account required. You’ll need to consider other lenders if you don’t have a bank account.
  • Potentially better rates elsewhere. Lenders that don’t require a credit check tend to assume the worst about your creditworthiness and can be more expensive.
  • Arbitration agreement. Amscot’s contract requires you to waive your right to a jury trial or sue the company over a dispute. They’re common — you might have signed one when you set up Internet or a phone plan — but limit what you can do if something goes wrong.

Beware of no-credit-check loans

Although some of Amscot’s fees are lower than legally required, no-credit-check loans are typically more expensive than loans that do check your credit. If you’re concerned about the high costs, you might want to look into more affordable options like payday alternative loans (PALs) offered by federal credit unions.
Florida credit unions that offer PALs include:

  • FRSA Credit Union
  • South Florida Educational Federal Credit Union
  • First Coast Federal Credit Union
  • Compass Financial Federal Credit Union

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Is it safe to apply for an Amscot cash advance?

Generally, yes. You don’t have to submit any personal information online — which even the most secure sites can’t 100% protect. It’s also a member of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) and licensed with the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.

Watch out for phishing

Amscot itself might be safe, but be wary of scammers posing as Amscot employees. The payday lender has a phishing alert on its website, which warns that scammers have stolen information from several customers.
To avoid getting caught up, don’t answer or click on links in any unsolicited calls or emails. Amscot also warns against logging in to any other site other than the company’s website, even if someone who says they’re a representative tells you to. And don’t give away any account information or other personal information over the phone.

What do borrowers say about Amscot?

As of June 2019, Amscot has relatively positive reviews — especially for a short-term loan provider. It gets an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) based on factors like transparency and time in business. And it scores a 9.2 out of 10 on Trustpilot based on over 5,000 customer reviews.
While some reviewers complained about customer service, overall most had a positive experience. Other reviews cited low fees and quick service as the reason for their high ratings.

Am I eligible?

To qualify for an Amscot cash advance, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Verifiable income. You must either have a job or receive another type of regular, documented income.
  • Checking account. It must be an active checking account in good standing.
  • Phone number. You need to have either a mobile number or landline where Amscot can reach you.
  • Florida resident. You have to live in the Sunshine State to qualify for this loan.
  • Over 18. The legal age to borrow in Florida is 18 years old.

How do I apply?

After checking your eligibility, you can get started on the application online. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Amscot website
  2. Click Get Started Now
  3. Click Get Started Now With Your Cash Advance
  4. Select a branch near you
  5. Fill out the form with basic personal information

After you submit the online form, an Amscot employee should call you within 20 minutes to walk you through the rest of the application process. Generally, they instruct you to head over to your local branch with your required documents. At the branch, you typically write a check postdated for your next payday, sign the contract and pick up your money.

What documents do I need to apply?

Bring the following documents along when you visit your local branch:

  • Proof of income. Typically, customers bring a bank statement or pay stub.
  • Government-issued ID. This can be a passport, driver’s license or state ID card.
  • Checkbook. You need this to write a post-dated check.

I got an Amscot cash advance. Now what?

Since you pay your loan with a post-dated check, there isn’t much for you to do after you get the cash advance. Keep an eye on your bank account to make sure there’s enough to pay off your loan when it’s due. If the payment doesn’t show up on your statement, reach out to customer service by calling your local branch.

Bottom line

An Amscot cash advance comes with relatively few requirements and a low risk of getting caught in a debt cycle since you can’t renew it. But while its fees fall below the Florida maximum, it’s still an expensive product. Before you take out a payday loan, read up on what to expect from Florida payday lenders.

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