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Payday loan alternatives in Missouri

Compare 3 federal credit unions that offer low-cost short-term loans.

Life doesn’t always happen according to plan — or budget. If you have an emergency and don’t have the cash to pay for it, you may consider taking out a payday loan if you don’t have the credit to qualify for a traditional personal loan. But payday loans are expensive — with APRs as high as 400% on average nationwide, though there’s pending legislation in Missouri to reduce the cap to 36%.

Fortunately, there are other options. Many credit unions in Missouri offer payday alternative loans (PALs). You may also qualify for government assistance to help pay for day-to-day expenses if you’re struggling to get by.

3 federal credit unions that offer payday loans in Missouri

Many federal credit unions have started offering PALs as a more cost-effective alternative to expensive short-term loans. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) regulates these loans and sets limits on rates and terms. With most PALs, you can borrow up to $1,000 with terms of up to six months and APRs capped at 28%.

Below are three credit unions that offer some sort of alternative to payday loans in Missouri:

Federal credit unionLocationsLoan amountsAPRsLoan termsEligibility requirements
County Credit Union
  • St. Louis
  • Clayton
  • Ladue
Up to $500Not statedNot statedMember for at least 6 months
Northeast Regional Credit Union
  • Hannibal
Not statedNot statedNot statedMeet credit guidelines — though it doesn’t disclose what those are
St. Louis Community Credit Union
Up to $1,00025% — plus a $25 application feeUp to 12 monthsMember with a checking account in good standing that’s been open for at least six months

The ins and outs of how payday alternative loans work

3 resources and programs for Missouri residents

If you’re struggling to make ends meet and pay for necessities like groceries or electricity, you may qualify for one or more government assistance programs. Some are federally funded, while others are specifically for Missouri residents.


  • What it provides: Financial assistance for medical and healthcare needs
  • Who’s eligible: Low-income women and families, people with a disability, women with breast or cervical cancer, children, seniors, pregnant women, unborn children, newborns

This federally funded program is offered through MO HealthNet in Missouri. Qualifying individuals and families can receive funds to access health and medical services.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

  • What it provides: Financial assistance to pay for groceries
  • Who’s eligible: Low-income families and individuals

The federal- and state-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers qualifying households financial assistance to pay for groceries. You’ll receive a Missouri Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that’s automatically loaded with funds each month that you can use at participating grocery stores. How much you receive depends on your income and household size.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

  • What it provides: Financial assistance for heat and electricity
  • Who’s eligible: Low-income families and individuals

Missouri’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income families and individuals with a one-time payment to your primary heating company November through March. It also has another program — Energy Crisis Intervention — that provides financial assistance to pay your fuel bill when your electricity is shut off or about to be shut off. How much you receive in either case is dependent on the amount you need to settle your account with the energy company.

Consider an installment loan instead

If you’ve decided to get a short-term loan, consider these installment loan providers that offer loans with longer repayment terms than a typical payday loan.

Name Product Filter Values Loan amount Turnaround time Requirements
OppLoans Installment Loans
$500 to $5,000
1 business day
Direct deposit, meet minimum income requirements, live in eligible state
Comes with the option to change your due date so you won’t fall behind on repayments.
$1,000 to $25,000
2 to 3 business days
Be employed, have a US bank account, live in a state where Stilt operates, hold one of the following visas: F-1 and OPT, H-1B, H4, O-1, L-1, TN, J-1, DACA or be a US citizen.
No green card? You could still qualify for a personal loan.
Fast5kLoans Short-term Loans Connection Service
$100 to $35,000
As soon as the next business day
Regular source of income, verifiable bank account, US citizen, ages 18+
Get connected with multiple lenders you might qualify with — even if you have bad credit.
LendYou Short-term Loans
$100 to $2,500
Same business day to 1 business day
$1,000+ monthly income, direct deposit, US citizen or permanent resident, ages 18+
Get offers from potential lenders in minutes by filling out just one online form.
Monevo Installment Loans
$500 to $100,000
Varies by lender
Credit score of 500+, legal US resident, ages 18+
Quickly compare multiple online lenders with competitive rates depending on your credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Before you take out a payday loan, consider stopping by your local credit union. More and more are starting to offer PALs to help members with less-than-ideal credit get access to funds without going deeper into debt. And if you’re tired of repeatedly borrowing simply to get by, consider applying for government assistance available to Missourians.

For more ways to avoid the high costs of typical short-term loans, check out our guide to payday loan alternatives.

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