A selection of loans you can apply for
You can apply for a loan directly through a lender or work with a broker that can help you shop around for a lender. Note that the maximum loan amount is based on the lender’s maximum. The maximum loan amount you can receive varies by your state of residence.
- If the provider quotes a different rate to the one above please let us know
A selection of lender-matching services you can apply with
These lender-matching services are not lenders, loan brokers or agents for any lender or broker. They also do not make credit decisions. Instead, they focus on matching you with a lender that might be able to provide you with the funds you’re seeking.
Note that the maximum loan amount is based on the matching service’s maximum, but it varies by your state of residence. If you proceed with one of these services, confirm that the lender is reputable by checking with your local government.
- If the provider quotes a different rate to the one above please let us know
Have unexpected bills or car repairs caught you off guard? Has your budget been stretched too tight this month? If your current finances won’t see you through to your next payday, a short-term payday loan could help bridge the gap.
You can conveniently apply for these loans online to receive your funds either by check, direct deposit or cash pickup in a store. The application process typically takes minutes, and you can see your funds quickly if you’re approved — in as little as 15 minutes with some lenders. Learn whether you’re eligible for a payday loan in our guide below and see how you can apply.
What exactly is a payday loan?
A payday loan is a short-term, alternative form of credit that can be accessed quickly and taken out by those with bad credit or on lower incomes. Because they can be accessed by those in need of urgent access to credit, or by those who wouldn’t be eligible for traditional loans, payday loans typically have a higher annual percentage rate (APR) than you’ll find for other personal loans or credit cards.
These loans are designed to be repaid in the short term, with an average loan term of two weeks to a month and sometimes extended to about six months. Because they are regulated at a state level, you’ll find that various payday loan interest rates, terms and laws apply depending on where you live.
Compare features of short term loan providers
|Lender||Maximum loan amount||Loan term|
|Depends on state of residency||Varies by state|
|$1,000||Varies by lender|
|$2,250||Varies by state|
|$5,000||1–2 business days|
How are payday loans different from other types of credit?
- They have a shorter loan term.
Payday loans are designed to be short-term solutions to financial shortfalls. So you generally won’t find a loan that extends beyond six months, although these terms differ by state.
- They accept borrowers with low credit scores.
Payday lenders often do not conduct a credit check or will still consider you for a loan if you have bad credit. That said, you’ll need to provide proof that you can repay the loan — say with a steady income, a bank account in good standing and your ID.
- They have higher rates and fees.
Due to their short-term nature and convenient accessibility, payday loans across the board come with a much higher APR and fees than other forms of credit. Most states regulate how high these APRs can be, but some are still very steep when compared with other types of credit. Be sure to take into account the full cost before you apply.
- They offer smaller loan amounts.
Again, how much you can borrow depends on the state you’re in, but you’ll typically be able to borrow between $100 and $1,000.
Are payday loans legal? It depends.
The legislation for payday loans differs among states. Some states outlaw payday loans altogether, while others restrict how much payday lenders can charge or impose other regulations to protect borrowers.
Higher-cost payday loans are authorized in 32 states, and 18 states plus the District of Columbia restrict the amount lenders can charge you in fees. New York, Arkansas and other states prohibit payday loans under various laws and regulations. If you live in Las Vegas, learn more about your options. Or check out this guide if you live in San Antonio.
Are payday loans actually available in my state?
Compare payday loans in your state
Online payday loans — what you need to know
- Is the lender reputable?
Whether a lender is reputable is sometimes hard to determine, but you will regret applying with lender that is not reputable if you haven’t done your research. Try finding independent third-party customer reviews online or see how easily the lender can be contacted. You should also compare the loan products to other providers to see if they are competitive.
- Is the lender operating legally?
Some payday lenders use online lending as a way to get around state restrictions, so ensure they are acting legally to the best of your ability. Take a look at our state pages to learn about the laws that apply in your state.
- Is the lender displaying the loan’s APR?
Lenders are required to display the APR on their sites even if the loan terms aren’t longer than a year. This helps you get an idea of the cost of the loan and lets you compare it to other credit products.
- Can you apply online and in stores?
Many lenders that accept online applications also have brick-and-mortar storefronts that you can apply or make payments at. Applying online can be quick and convenient, and the approved funds are typically sent straight to your checking account. But you must ensure that the payday lender is authorized to loan money to people in your state. If they don’t explicitly state this on their website, it’s best practice to ask.
Looking for a specific amount?
What can I use my payday loan for?
Though they can be used for a wide range of purposes, payday loans are generally for unexpected expenses. Common uses for payday loans include forgotten bills, car repairs, medical expenses or any other sudden event. You shouldn’t use payday loans to fix long-term issues in affording your credit, for day-to-day expenses or for a big-ticket items like a car or house.
Could a payday loan help?
|$350 for a doctor’s appointment|
|$250 for mechanical car repairs|
|$220 for an overdue phone bill|
|$575 for a broken water pipe repair|
|$6,300 for a secondhand car|
|$4,000 for a family vacation|
|$2,000 for a rental deposit|
Being approved for a payday loan
How can you make sure you’re approved for a payday loan? At the end of the day, there’s no sure-fire way to guarantee that your application will be accepted by a lender. But there are a few ways to give yourself the best chance.
- What eligibility criteria is set by the lender? There’s no point in applying for a loan if you don’t at least the lender’s minimum eligibility — like age and residency requirements.
- Can you take out a payday loan in your state? Confirm that payday loans are legal in your state before applying.
- What are the credit requirements? Lenders have various standards when it comes to your credit score — some don’t do credit checks, while others simply accept borrowers with poor credit. Find out the lender’s requirements before applying.
- Do you have an active bank account? You’ll need to have a checking account in good standing to qualify.
- What is your employment status? Lenders may require you to be employed.
Lauren takes out a loan
It’s two weeks before her next payday and the worst happens: Lauren’s car breaks down. She relies on her car to get to work and can’t afford to take time off. She finds out that the repairs will cost $300, but she doesn’t have that amount available in her bank account.
Lauren has a credit card, but it doesn’t have enough available credit to cover the whole amount. And she doesn’t like her chances of being approved for another one with her credit score. She looks at her payday options and finds a lender that she can apply for online.
She learns that with a payday loan, she’ll pay higher fees than she would by using her credit card. She will need to repay $345, due on her next payday. But after working out a budget, she discovers that she can afford it. She applies for the loan, and the money is transferred into her checking account the next business day.
Does a payday loan affect my credit score?
Payday lenders generally do not send your information to the three main credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. However, they may send information on your loans and repayments to smaller credit reporting agencies that can be accessed by mainstream lenders when you are applying for credit.
If you don’t repay your payday loan on time, miss repayments or make repayments late, you could also find that your credit score is negatively affected. The lender may choose to take legal action to bring in unpaid loans or pass your loan on to a debt collection agency, which will affect your score.
The costs that come with payday loans
What you will be charged
- A fixed fee based on the amount you borrow. These fees vary depending on state regulations but can be anywhere from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed.
What you might be charged
- Rollover fees. If you “roll over” your loan or take out an additional loan with the same lender, you will still owe the original amount you borrowed and the original fixed fee, plus the fees for the subsequent loan. Rolling over loans is how borrowers can easily fall into debt, so think carefully before applying for another loan.
- Fees for prepaid debit cards. Many lenders offer prepaid debit cards through which you can receive your loan amount and subsequent cash advances or other offers. But be aware that many lenders charge application fees, monthly fees and payment fees for these cards. Research the total costs associated with the card before you sign up for one.
- Late payment fees. If you make a payment late, you may be charged a fee by your lender. These fees are regulated by state law.
- Returned check fees. Also regulated by state law, if your check doesn’t clear (or “bounces”), your lender may charge you a fee.
- Fees charged by your bank. If the lender attempts to withdraw money from your account and there is insufficient funds, your bank may authorize the payment but charge you an overdraft fee. Ensure that you have enough money to cover your repayments on the day they are due.
Why do I hear that payday lenders charge more interest than they state in their fees?
When you apply for a payday loan, you’ll typically see the amount you want to borrow and the amount you need to repay — which could be anywhere from $10 to $30 for every $100 you borrow. So the lender may advertise that their fees are around 15% to 30%. The lender is also required to clearly display the loan’s APR online so that you’re able to compare it to other types of credit that have repayment terms of a year or longer.
Because payday loans come with such short repayment terms — typically between two weeks and a month — it can bring the APR up quite a bit. For example, if you take out a loan of $100, pay a $15 fee and your repayment terms are two weeks, that results in an APR of around 390%.
Weigh the benefits and drawbacks of a payday loan
- Convenient online application. You no longer need to visit a lender in person to deal with complicated applications for a payday loan. Complete your paperwork online and sign the documents electronically.
- Quick turnaround time. Applications usually take minutes, and you can find out if you’re approved soon after. Depending on how you receive your funds, you may be able to receive your money within a day.
- Receive an account deposit or pick up cash. Many payday lenders offer both online and brick-and-mortar storefronts. You may have the option of applying online and then receiving your funds into your checking account, as a check, on a prepaid debit card or even as an in-store cash pickup.
- High costs. Payday loans are notorious for their high APRs — 300% or more, depending on how much you borrow and your repayment terms. Make sure you understand the costs associated with the loan you take on.
- Nonreputable lenders. Some payday lenders operate online to get around state regulations tin place to protect consumers. Make sure the lender you’re applying with is trustworthy, and verify with your state banking regulator or attorney general that they’re operating legally.
- Easy to fall into debt. Make sure you don’t take on a loan you can’t afford. With payday loans, you often need to repay the entire loan amount on your next payday. Confirm that you’ll have sufficient funds left over to budget for the rest of that pay period.
How do I apply for a short term loan?
Payday loans differ from other lenders in their application process and criteria. You typically can apply for a payday loan online and get a response quickly. To be approved for a payday loan, you’ll need meet the lender’s eligibility criteria and provide documentation.
- You are at least 18 years old and reside in a state where payday loans are available.
- You earn a minimum income — around $350 a week is typically required.
- You have a job with steady income (or benefits).
- You get paid by bank deposit (not in cash) daily, weekly or monthly.
- You receive less than half of your income from benefits.
- You are not self-employed (though some lenders may make an exception).
- If you have bad credit, you can prove that your current financial situation is stable and reliable.
Meeting these eligibility requirements does not guarantee that you’ll be approved for the loan.
Though required documents differ by lender, you’ll generally need to provide:
- Government-issued ID and a Social Security number, alien registration number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
- Personal contact information, such as your address and phone number.
- Evidence of your income.
- Details of your checking account.
- Your bank’s routing number — a nine-digit number at the bottom of your checks.
What payday loan alternatives are there?
When money is tight, the last thing you need is pressure to divert your hard-earned cash into paying excessive fees and services. Before you take out a payday loan, consider your possible alternatives.
- Contact your creditors. If you need a payday loan to cover bills that you owe, get in touch with your creditors or loan servicer to ask for more time. They may be willing to work with you to extend your due date or pay off your debt in installments.
- Call your bank or credit union. You may be able to take out a small loan with your bank, but approval will depend on your account’s standing and your credit history.
- Seek the help of a community assistance program or nonprofit. These resources can not only help you develop a budget but also may be able to offer no- or low-cost credit counseling — even financial advances, if you meet specific eligibility.
- Consider your credit cards or a pawn loan. Your credit loan’s fees and terms may be better than what you can find with a payday loan. As may a pawn loan, which allows you to use something of value for collateral until you can pay back what you’ve borrowed.
- Talk to your friends and family. By explaining the situation, your loved ones may be willing to advance what you need quickly without having to take out a formal loan.
Remember: A payday loan is a high-cost financial product. If possible, exhaust all of your other options before you apply for one.
Can I get a loan if I’m receiving social assistance?
The questions you’ve asked us about payday loans
How can I apply for a payday loan?
How you will apply for a payday loan will vary by lender and your state of residence. For an online loan, you will complete and submit an online application and then sign an online contract. Applying in a store requires you to bring in your required documents and sign your contract in person.
How do I make sure the lender I'm applying with is safe?
First, make sure the lender is approved to loan money to borrowers in your state and complying with state regulations regarding payday loans. Also take a look at third-party customer reviews online to learn other people’s experiences with them. How easily can you contact them with questions, and can you find real information about their loans? This is also a good way to check their reputability.
Will a payday lender check my credit score?
Most payday lenders won’t check your score, but some will. Generally low credit scores are accepted either way as long as you can prove that you are able to repay your loan. Confirm the eligibility requirements and application terms before you apply.
Do I have to fax documents or visit the lender if I apply online?
Generally, no. Most online lenders have systems that allow for you to submit all of your information electronically and even sign your contract online. If you don’t want to visit a storefront to pick up your cash, you can choose for the amount to be deposited into your checking account.
How do I repay my payday loan?
Repaying a loan will depend on the lender you apply with. Generally, you will need to provide an ACH authorization for the lender to take the repayment amount from your checking account on the due date. If the lender also has a physical loan office, you may be able to write a personal check to make your repayments. Make sure you understand your repayment terms. Some lenders may only set up a renewal fee on the day your loan is due, meaning you still have money owing. In some cases, you may get three months or more to repay your payday loan.
What is an ACH authorization — and do I need to sign one?
You’ll sign an ACH authorization to give the payday lender permission to withdraw the repayment amount from your checking or savings account. Unless the lender allows you make repayments by check, you will need to sign this authorization. Before you sign the authorization, make sure you know how much will be debited and on what dates, whether this amount will repay your loan or simply renew it, and also how to revoke the authorization (federal law requires lenders to state this).
Is there such a thing as a guaranteed loan?
While many lenders and brokers offer the feature of a “guaranteed payday loan,” they cannot legally offer these types of loans. They will still need to assess your credit rating, your income, your FICO score and other information. Ensure that you meet the criteria before applying for a guaranteed loan.
How long will I have to repay my loan?
This depends on the repayment terms set by the lender, but the loan amount will generally be due on your next payday. Typical loan terms are between two weeks and one month. If you need a longer time to pay off your loan, it might be worth considering a bad credit installment loan instead of a payday loan.
I have an emergency — can I use a payday loan?
Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and you may not have the cash to deal with it. If this sounds like you, consider applying for an emergency payday loan. But understand the terms and conditions of your loan before signing any contracts.
Can taking out a payday loan damage or improve my credit score?
Payday lenders generally do not report to the three main credit reporting bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, so taking out one of these loans is unlikely to positively or negatively affect your credit score unless you have trouble with your repayments. Keeping that in mind, sometimes payday lenders send your repayment information to smaller credit reporting agencies, so that information can still be accessed by mainstream banks and lenders.
What do I do if I'm having trouble repaying my loan?
You first should to speak to your lender to ask if they offer any form of payment plans or extended repayment terms. Check the regulations imposed in your state to see if this is a requirement. If your lender places undue pressure on you to take out subsequent loans to cover the first, submit a formal complaint against them.
Can my payday lender garnish my wages?
A lender or debt collector can only garnish your wages if it has obtained a court judgment. A court judgment could be the result of you failing to repay the loan and then disputing the lender or collector after you’ve been sued to collect the losses. If someone is threatening to garnish your wages and you’re unsure if they can, seek the advice of a lawyer or nonprofit credit counselor.
Why won't lenders in my state consider me for a loan?
States have varying regulations in place to protect consumers when it comes to payday loans. Payday loans are illegal in some state, while other states regulate or restrict them. Lenders, online or otherwise, must comply with these regulations when they consider you for a loan, so the state you live in will play a part in whether you are eligible.
Can I rollover my payday loan?
States have different regulations in place regarding waiting periods and rollover loans, so it depends where you applied for the loan. You will generally need to pay a fee to delay repaying your loan.
How often can I get a payday loan (or cash advance)?
How often you can be approved for a payday loan is regulated state by state, so be sure to confirm the regulations in your state before you apply. Repeatedly taking out payday loans could lead to a negative debt spiral. It’s always important to compare your options before applying.
Can I get a loan if I'm on welfare?
As with any personal finance decision, the ability to repay what you borrow is crucial. However, if you’re receiving government benefits you can still qualify for a loan.
Can I still get a direct deposit advance from my bank?
These types of loans were offered in the past by major banks and were similar to a payday loan. Direct deposit advances have been since discontinued by the majority of lending institutions, however. If you need more information, learn how deposit advances compare to payday loans.
I share my car with my partner. Can I get an auto title loan on it?
This can be a tricky situation. We’ve written a guide to getting a car title loan with a shared vehicle.
I received a phone call from a payday lender asking for money. What should I do?
There have been reports recently of payday companies calling Americans and demanding they make a payment for a loan they’ve taken out. If you receive one of these calls, contact your local government to report it.
Ask a Question