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Legit Payday Loans

Legitimate 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? We take you through what you need to know.

While short term loans, also known as payday loans, can give you fast access to money when you need it, it’s important to deal with legitimate lenders. Payday loans aren’t legal in every state, and if they are legal, they must abide by state-specific rules and regulations.

Legitimate payday loans are provided by lenders that have all required licenses in place. State regulations govern features like maximum interest rates, fees and loan terms.

Read our guide to find out how you can make sure you are dealing with a legit lender and that the loan you are applying for is the real deal.

LendUp Payday Loans

LendUp Payday Loans

Apply for a payday loan conveniently online and borrow between $100 and $250.

  • Min. loan amount: $100
  • Loan term: 7–30 days
  • Total costs: Depends on your state, loan product, loan amount and the term of the loan.
  • Must be 18+
  • No security deposit needed
  • Confidential and secure
  • Accepting new applications in the following states only: CA, LA, MS, MO, OH, TN, TX, WI

    What is a “legit” short term loan?

    Short term loans typically need to be repaid by your next payday. 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.

    Generally, short term lenders have more relaxed criteria than banks and other lenders. You will be able to apply for a short term loan if you have bad credit, are on a lower income or receive government benefits. This relaxed eligibility criteria does mean rates and fees are higher than other loans, but lenders still have to stick to the state-mandated APR.

    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.

    A selection of loans you can consider applying for

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

    Rates last updated May 25th, 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 Maximum Loan Amount Term of Loan Turnaround Time Requirements
    Check into Cash Payday Loan
    With 1,000 branches in 30 states, get $50 to $1,000 in days from this direct lender.
    Varies by state
    1–2 business days
    You must be at least 21 and an American citizen and have a bank account, email address and phone number.
    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.
    7–30 days
    generally receive the money the next business day
    Be 18+ years of age and have a checking account that can accept electronic transfers.
    CashNetUSA Loan
    Apply for a short-term loan with an easy online application and dedicated customer service.
    Varies by state
    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 Payday 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
    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.
    LoanByPhone Payday and Installment Loans
    This mobile lender offers convenient cash loans. Apply online or by phone.
    Varies by state
    1–2 business days
    Must be 21 years old and have a Social Security number, a regular source of income, a valid email address, an active checking account and a phone number.
    With straightforward, simple qualifications, these loans offer easy approval for people with poor credit.
    3 to 36 months
    Depending on lender requirements, people from all 50 states may not be eligible for a personal loan.

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Three things to look for in a legit short-term loan

    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. If you’re looking for online legit short term loans, 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 they are before you apply. A legitimate short term lender should not shy away from providing a physical address, phone support or live chat.
    • Fees and charges. 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.

    How to protect yourself from payday loan scams

    Are these payday lenders legit? Find out now

    ACE Cash Express
    Check City
    Check Into Cash
    SWIFT Money Loans

    Benefits of a legit short term loan

    If you want to find a legit short term loan, keep an eye out for the following features:

    • 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 what the regulations are in your state to see if your lender is operating legally.
    • Multiple options. You can get in touch with direct lenders of legit short term loans, and you can go through a loan matching service. Sites such as that offer reviews of lenders can help you find legit lenders to apply with.
    • Bad credit is OK. Many lenders provide legit short term loans for bad credit, and while they may run a credit check, they focus more on your ability to manage the loan repayments.
    • Quick access to funds. If you apply in-store, you can get cash almost as soon as a lender approves your application. With online legit short term loans, the money is transferred into your bank account after you accept the loan contract, usually within one business day.
    • Use money for any reason. Short term lenders don’t place any stipulations on how you can use loan funds as long as you’re using the money for legitimate reasons.

    Don has a costly vet bill

    Man with dog Don has heard the horror stories with payday loans — those scams run by con men online. But when he finds a stray puppy and takes it to the local vet for shots, he spends more than he thought he would, leaving him strapped for cash for the rest of his monthly expenses.

    Don has bad credit from when he was younger and isn’t current on some credit card bills, so he doesn’t have a large line of credit. Traditional banks don’t lend small amounts of money, so Don thought he was stuck.

    Instead of giving up, Don heads online and looks up how to tell if a lender is legit or not. He compares different types of short-term loans and determines that, since they’re legal in his state and many are part of the Online Lender’s Alliance (OLA), it’s a good deal for him.

    He takes out a $200 payday loan with a reputable lender and works the costs into his next month’s budget.

    Some more considerations before you apply

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

    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. If your lender says you can, they may not be trustworthy.

    If you need funds fast, a cash advance loan can give you up to $1,000.

    Are payday loans available in my state?

    Frequently asked questions

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    29 Responses

    1. 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?

      • Staff
        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!


    2. 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,

      • Staff
        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!


    3. 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

      • Staff
        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.


    4. 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

      • Staff
        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,

    5. Default Gravatar
      LeandingJanuary 4, 2018

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

      • Staff
        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,

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

      Are they a legit company

      • Staff
        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,

    7. Default Gravatar
      davisNovember 26, 2017

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    8. Default Gravatar
      MrlenderNovember 8, 2017

      Is this company legit

      • Staff
        DanielleNovember 8, 2017Staff

        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.


    9. Default Gravatar
      RayAugust 28, 2017

      I am offered a loan but they want to pick it up at western union .Does this sound legit

      • Staff
        JoanneAugust 28, 2017Staff

        Hi Ray,

        Thanks for your question.
        When you are approved for a loan online, usually you would receive the funds through your bank account. Some others, if you applied in person, would require you to collect the funds from a store/branch in your area and not in Western Union or any other third party remittance centers.
        Best if you do your research first before applying for any loans whether online or in person so you would know if the lender is legit or not. Please refer to the above article for more helpful tips on checking lender’s legitimacy.

        Hope this helps,

    10. Default Gravatar
      TerrieJuly 27, 2017

      I am looking for a short term loan of $5000. Which company would you recommend?

      Thank you!

      • Staff
        AnndyJuly 27, 2017Staff

        Hi Terrie,

        Thanks for your question.

        Kindly note that we are unable to recommend a specific lender. If you are looking to compare short term loans, you may compare your options above. You can also check this page.

        Short term loans may not be available in some states. Also, the amount that you can borrow depends on where you are located.

        It would be good to review the eligibility criteria and the terms and conditions of the loan before submitting your application


    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