Many payday lenders offer prepaid debit cards, but not all will load your cash advance onto a debit card. Like with any short-term loan, prepaid debit cards loans are best used as a last resort — they can come with rates that top 700% APR.
3 lenders that offer prepaid debit card loans
These lenders will load a payday loan onto a prepaid debit card that you can swipe at stores or online.
How it works
Check Into Cash
Varies by state
Receive government benefits and your paycheck up to 2 days in advance after connecting your accounts.
Active bank account, government-issued photo ID, proof of income, most recent bank statement, checking account and bank routing number and Social Security Number or ITIN (for Indiana residents only)
Ace Cash Express
Varies by state
Connect your accounts to access your paycheck or government benefits up to 2 days in advance.
Steady source of income, checking or savings account, not currently in bankruptcy, ages 18+
These providers help connect you with lenders willing to provide you the funds you’re looking for based on your preferences and the lenders’ criteria — a solid option if you have trouble getting approved elsewhere.
Looking for a loan that doesn’t require a bank account?
Unfortunately, most lenders that offer prepaid debit card loans still require you to have a bank account. Instead, check out our guide to lenders that don’t require a bank account to compare your other options.
How does a prepaid debit card loan work?
The application process works just like any other short-term loan: Compare lenders before applying online, at a branch or over the phone. If you’re approved, your lender will transfer your funds into an eligible loan account and give you your debit card either in person or send it in the mail. From there, you may need to register the card in your name.
Because most prepaid cards are either Visa or Mastercard, you can then use it at retailers or to pay bills. You may even be able to withdraw cash from an ATM, although this might come with extra fees.
Can I reuse the prepaid card for another loan?
Yes. If you need a loan in the future, you’re often able to transfer your funds onto the same prepaid debit card for a fee. And you’re not limited to just loans. You may be able to receive direct deposits on your card — providing quick access to your paycheck, government benefits or tax refund.
Can I repay a payday loan with a prepaid debit card?
It depends on the lender. Some may allow you to make payments with a prepaid debit card, but it could mean you pay an extra fee. Other lenders may only accept bank account transfers — which means you won’t be able to make a payment with a debit card.
4 reasons to consider a prepaid debit card payday loan
Here are four ways you might benefit from this type of loan:
You can easily access your funds. Once your lender transfers your money to your card, you can use it to shop at stores, pay your bills and even withdraw cash at an ATM.
You can set up your card for other deposits. Most prepaid cards can receive direct deposits, offering fast access to your paycheck, tax refund advances and government benefits.
You could earn rewards with the right card. Some prepaid card providers allow you to earn cash rewards with your spending.
You can choose from multiple lenders. If you live in a state where payday loans are legal, you’ll find several lenders that offer this type of loan. Compare the ease of applying and turnaround to find the best option for your needs.
What are the drawbacks to consider?
Before you borrow any short-term loan — no matter how you receive your funds — be aware of these drawbacks:
High fees. Payday lenders charge considerably higher fees than other types of lenders, which could get you caught in a cycle of debt.
Short repayment terms. As the name implies, your loan is typically due on your next payday. Make sure it won’t strain your budget too much before you apply.
Disreputable lenders. Plenty of shady lenders are out there trying to take advantage of people at their most vulnerable. Confirm that your lender is licensed and operates legally in your state before signing a contract.
Debit card cash advances vs. prepaid debit card loans
Debit card cash advances are not the same as a prepaid debit card loan. With some bank accounts, you can use your debit card to overdraw your account to access cash for an overdraft fee of around $34 per withdrawal. Some banks might also charge an extended overdraft fee of around $25 per week your account is negative.
Since payday loans often cost around $15 per $100 borrowed, a debit card cash advance is generally more expensive. But once you top $300, it could cost you less — as long as you repay before the extension fees kick in.
Other considerations to keep in mind
Before you apply for a prepaid debit card payday loan, consider how you’ll repay it. Among the most notorious types of lending, payday loans often come with high fees. Late or missed payments can lead to additional fees and stiff penalties. And defaulting can result in a lower credit score and long-term damage to your overall credit.
Prepaid debit card payday loans are governed by state regulations that limit how much you can borrow and for how long. These laws are designed to protect you against predatory lending. Carefully review the terms and conditions of your specific loan, and ask questions about anything you don’t understand before signing any contract.
If your application is denied, applying through a loan connection service could also increase your chances of approval, as these providers have a large network of lenders that offer loans with varying eligibility criteria.
Are payday loans available in my state?
A prepaid debit card can be a convenient way to receive your payday loan, but it comes with the same risks and costs as any other short-term loan. Before you commit to a lender, learn more about how payday loans work to ensure they’re the right fit for you.
Frequently asked questions
No, you’ll need to have an active bank account in your own name to qualify for a loan.
Yes, you’ll find lenders that accept alternate forms of income when evaluating your loan application. Once you’ve narrowed down options that meet your needs, visit the lender’s website or call customer support to confirm you’re eligible.
Yes, but fees vary by lender. You could pay reloading, interchange, setup and ATM withdrawal fees, depending on the card. Ask about potential fees before you sign any contract.
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.
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