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Legit short-term loans

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Before you submit your application, it’s always worth checking: is the short-term loan you’re applying for legit?

Times can be tough, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for just any short-term loan you can find. Payday loans and installment loans aren’t legal in every state, and even if they are legal, lenders usually have to abide by strict regulations. Any lender that isn’t willing to comply with state law won’t be legit.

Finding a legit lender doesn’t have to be difficult. All you need is a good sense of your state laws and a baseline for finding a good deal.

LendYou Short-term Loans

For fast cash: LendYou

Find a lender that offers cash advances between $100 and $15,000.

  • Min. Loan Amount: $100
  • Max. Loan Amount: $15,000
  • Turnaround Time: 1 business day
  • Must have regular income of $1,000/month and be a US citizen or permanent resident
  • No collateral needed
  • Bad credit is OK

    What is a legit short-term loan?

    A legit payday loan is one that is offered to you legally. The lender needs to abide by the regulations set by your state, even if you are temporarily visiting somewhere else. Short-term loans can be applied for online and in-store but fall under the same regulations.

    Generally, short-term lenders have more relaxed criteria than banks and other lenders. You’ll be able to apply for a short-term loan if you have bad credit, are on a lower income or receive government benefits. However, the relaxed eligibility criteria does mean rates and fees are higher than other loans.

    Lenders still have to stick to state-mandated APR and can only lend up to the state’s maximum amount.

    The 'ability to repay' rule

    Lenders must make a reasonable judgment on an applicant’s ability to repay the loan. The lender should assess factors such as income, housing expenses and existing debt in determining if the applicant can reasonably repay the loan.

    If a lender doesn’t ask you for any of that information or doesn’t attempt to evaluate if you can afford the loan, the lender probably isn’t legit. Since there are plenty of lenders that check, you should move on and find one that combines good terms with a strong lending ethic.

    A selection of legit loans you can apply for today

    Check the websites of any providers you’re interested in to confirm they operate in your state of residence.

    Rates last updated November 19th, 2018
    Unfortunately, none of the short term loan providers currently offer loans in your state. Learn more about short term loans in your state to find an alternative.
    Name Product Product Description Max. Loan Amount Turnaround Time Requirements
    CashUSA Installment Loans
    A connection service for quick cash loans up to $10,000.
    As early as 1 business day
    Must have a monthly income of $1,000+ after taxes and valid checking account.
    OppLoans Installment Loans
    Installment loans with competitive rates from a top-rated direct lender.
    1 business day
    Must have direct deposit and meet minimum income requirements.
    Jora Installment Loans
    Installment loans with repayment terms up to 30 months, depending on your state.
    1–2 days
    Must have an active checking account, regular source of income and email address.
    Check into Cash Payday Loan
    With 1,000 branches in 30 states, get $50 to $1,000 in days from this direct lender.
    1–2 business days
    You must be at least 21 and an American citizen and have a bank account, email address and phone number.
    LendYou Short-term Loans
    Apply online with this loan-connection company offering unrestricted short-term loans at high maximums — fast turnaround.
    1 business day
    You must be a US citizen or permanent resident, age 18+ and have a regular income.
    CashNetUSA Loan
    Apply for a short-term loan with an easy online application and dedicated customer service.
    Varies by state
    1 business day
    You must be a US citizen or permanent resident, be at least 18 years old and have regular income and a bank account.
    ACE Cash Express Short-term Loans
    Quick payday, installment and title loans with no prepayment penalty and a 72-hour satisfaction guarantee. Funds can be loaded on an ACE Elite™ Visa® Prepaid Debit Card.
    Varies by state
    Generally receive the money the next business day
    Must be 18+ years old, have a steady source of income and a checking or savings account. Must not be a debtor in bankruptcy.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    6 ways to tell a short-term lender is legit

    The following should help you find legit short-term loans easily:

    • Better Business Bureau accreditation. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is more than a century-old nonprofit organization that helps identify trustworthy business. Different short-term lenders across the country have BBB accreditation, and dealing with these businesses provides extra peace of mind.
    • Contact details. Take some time to find a lender’s contact details. If a lender provides no more than a contact form or an email address, see how responsive it are before you apply. A legitimate short-term lender shouldn’t shy away from providing a physical address, phone support or live chat.
    • Fees and charges. Direct lenders of legit short-term loans are legally required to be upfront about the fees and charges you have to pay during the loan term, and they adhere to all given maximum limits. The loan contract should clearly set out all applicable fees and charges.
    • Abides by state regulations. With legit payday loans, you don’t have to worry about lenders charging you more than the maximum limits set by the state. Check the regulations in your state to make sure your lender is operating legally.
    • Use money for any reason. Legit short-term lenders don’t place any stipulations on how you can use loan funds as long as you’re using the money for a legal reason. If your lender tries to dictate how you can use your loan funds, it might not be legit.
    • Doesn’t require money upfront. One of the biggest red flags when researching a lender is if it requests money upfront. Origination fees are paid out of your loan amount, and you shouldn’t have to pay anything before you borrow.

    How to protect yourself from payday loan scams

    Are payday loans available in my state?

    Are these payday lenders legit? Find out now

    ACE Cash Express
    Check City
    Check Into Cash
    SWIFT Money Loans

    Even legit short-term loans can be costly

    Whether you’ve decided on a payday loan, installment loan or auto title loan, you may face a bigger expense than you initially expected. Short-term loans are designed to be repaid quickly. If you’re unable to pay on the due date, you’ll be charged more fees and extra interest, which can quickly increase the total cost of your loan.

    As with every lending option, always be sure you can repay what you borrow.

    More considerations before you apply

    Take some time to go through the loan’s terms and conditions, as this document tells you how much you may have to pay in different circumstances such as rollovers and late payments. Some states don’t allow you to refinance a loan or take out more than one within a given period of time.

    You’ll also have to pay additional fees if you make a late payment, and your lender may report your missed payments to credit bureaus. Reconsider applying if you think you may have troubles repaying your borrowed funds.

    Don has a costly vet bill

    Man playing with dog in a yard next to the seaImagine this scenario: Don knows how costly payday loans can be, but after receiving a large bill from the vet, he realizes he has no other choice but to take one out. Rather than applying with the first one he finds, Don chooses to compare different lenders.

    He checks his state laws and finds that some are offering much more than they’re legally allowed. Others claim that they don’t conduct credit checks or have guaranteed acceptance.

    Don passes over these and instead picks a lender that clearly outlines its fees and has a good customer service line. He borrows $200 and works the extra cost into his budget for the next month.

    Bottom line

    Knowing what to look for in a legit lender is just as important as understanding common scams. Once you’ve checked over your state laws, know how much you need to borrow and have an idea how to repay, start comparing your options to be sure you’re getting a good deal.

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    33 Responses

    1. Default Gravatar
      ToyaOctober 11, 2018

      Is arrowhead advance a good legit loan

      • finder Customer Care
        joelmarceloOctober 11, 2018Staff

        Hi Toya,

        Thanks for leaving a question on finder.

        Unfortunately we do not have information about Arrowhead Advance directly from finder. However, we have general guide to determine if loan company is legit or not. Please click HERE for more info.

        Please send me a message if you need anything else. :)


    2. Default Gravatar
      MissyJune 23, 2018

      I’m looking for a loan options that are not a scam and are legit I looking for a loan before mon June 25 it’s a emergency do you have and suggestions or help

      • finder Customer Care
        nikkiangcoJune 24, 2018Staff

        Hi Missy,

        Thanks for contacting finder.

        You can check this page to find out how to borrow money fast.
        Please know that all information on our website is legitimate and not scam.

        Hope this helps.


    3. Default Gravatar
      BellaMay 16, 2018

      I’m trying to find out if trust loan network is legit or a scam before I give them any information that could leave me bankrupt. Can someone please help?

      • finder Customer Care
        JeniMay 16, 2018Staff

        Hi Bella,

        Thank you for getting in touch with finder.

        As a friendly reminder, while we do not represent any company we feature on our pages, we can offer you general advice. TrustedLoanNetwork only deals with lenders that follow responsible lending practices. Your application is processed in a secure environment and connected with a lender that is best suited to your needs.

        You may want to read more about TrustedLoanNetwork’s review page with finder in this page.

        I hope this helps.

        Have a great day!


    4. Default Gravatar
      StanFebruary 20, 2018

      I have a Important Infornation letter from Social Security that states I have been approved for disability payments, but have yet to receive any funds. I’m at bare bones now, and I need money badly. Can I use this letter as enough guarantee of ability to repay the loan? I expect to start getting the money soon, but they’re taking a long time to get back to me.
      Thank you,

      • finder Customer Care
        JoshuaMarch 28, 2018Staff

        Hi Stan,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder.

        I’m sorry to hear about your situation. I hope all things would get better for you soon.

        Regarding your question, it is really up to the lender. However, in most cases, they need other documents aside from the Social Security letter that you received. They need to ensure that a borrower can surely make the repayments.

        However, you may still want to try. Explore the options on our page and click on the “Go to site” green button to initiate your loan application.

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

        Have a wonderful day!


    5. Default Gravatar
      KeishaJanuary 28, 2018

      Is there a payday loan that I could borrow from living in New York, I needed to borrow less than a thousand dollars my credit is not the best but I do a stable job. I just want to be able to pay my bills and still be able to pay back on payday

      • finder Customer Care
        HaroldFebruary 4, 2018Staff

        Hi Keisha,

        Thank you for your inquiry.

        While payday loans aren’t legal in New York due to NY Banking Law 373. There are loan-connection services that can help you find a suitable loan. Another option available for you are tribal loans but you have to note of its interest rate and fees which are usually high. You may also want to check resources available to you locally. You can check this page for other alternatives to payday loan.
        Please check the eligibility criteria and make sure that you meet them before applying for a loan.

        I hope this information has helped.


    6. Default Gravatar
      KalaJanuary 8, 2018

      I received a message through what seemed to be through Facebook and messenger saying i could put in a application through white rock Loans , I’m just wondering if there legit b4 i go through with it. Please help

      • finder Customer Care
        RenchJanuary 8, 2018Staff

        Hi Kala,

        Thanks for reaching out to us. Please note that we are not affiliated with any company we feature on our site and so we can only offer you general advice.

        Unfortunately, we don’t have information about White Rock Loans and it’s also not in our list of loans from our comparison reviews/pages.

        A “legit” payday loan is one that is offered to you legally, meaning the lender abides by all regulations set by your state, even if you are temporarily in somewhere else. Short term loans can be applied for online and in-store, but all fall under the same regulations.

        You’re actually already on the correct page on where you can compare your options by entering your state.

        Please click the name of your preferred lender to find out the details and the minimum eligibility. You may then click the green “Go to Site” button to submit your loan application online.

        Best regards,

    7. Default Gravatar
      LeandingJanuary 4, 2018

      Say my loans ready just pay a 120$ documation fee? Is this right

      • finder Customer Care
        JoanneJanuary 5, 2018Staff

        Hi Leanding,

        Thanks for reaching out.

        Direct lenders of legit short term loans are upfront about the fees and charges you have to pay during the loan term, and they adhere to all given maximum limits. The loan contract should clearly set out all applicable fees and charges.

        You may also research further if a lender asks you to put down money before you get your funds. For your reference, here are the usual list of fees or cost that usually comes with payday loans.

        Best Regards,

    8. Default Gravatar
      Welderholt@yahoo.comDecember 6, 2017

      Are they a legit company

      • finder Customer Care
        RenchDecember 6, 2017Staff


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

        Yes, they are legit lenders. You may click each lender that you prefer to know more through our review pages and also check their eligibility criteria before you apply.

        Best regards,

    9. Default Gravatar
      davisNovember 26, 2017

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    10. Default Gravatar
      MrlenderNovember 8, 2017

      Is this company legit

      • Default Gravatar
        DanielleNovember 8, 2017

        Hi there!

        Thank you for contacting finder. We are a comparison website and general information service, we’re more than happy to offer general advice.

        Which company are you referring to? Any of the companies listed on the table are legitimate. You may review and compare the offers available on the table. Once you have selected one, you may proceed by clicking the green “Go to Site” button.

        I hope this helps.


    US Payday Loans Offers

    Important Information*
    Slam Dunk Loans

    Potentially get approved for a short-term loan through this lender-connection service, even with poor credit history.

    LendUp Payday Loans

    LendUp offers $250 loans for first-time borrowers. Good credit is not required. Visit the site to see if available in your state.

    Check into Cash Payday Loan

    With 1,000 branches in 30 states, get $50 to $1,000 in days from this direct lender.

    OppLoans Installment Loans

    Installment loans with competitive rates from a top-rated direct lender.

    Go to site