Editor's choice: OppLoans Installment Loans
- Easy online application
- Quick approval
- Fast funding
- Long repayment terms
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We reviewed over 130 short-term lenders to help you compare payday loans. Select your state to browse our marketplace of lenders and connection services — including same-day options.
Compare the maximum loan amount, turnaround time and requirements of payday loans available online.
Online payday loans are short-term loans for emergency expenses. The loan application process can be done entirely online from a mobile device or computer. While convenient, they often have high fees that can make it difficult to repay by the due date. And since online payday loans are typically repaid on your next payday, they have a high APR (annual percentage rate) compared to other lending options.
In some cases, a payday loan may be available on the same day you apply if you visit a storefront, usually as a check or cash. Some lenders may offer a payday loan through direct deposit, which doesn’t require you to wait the normal business day. You can compare lenders with physical locations to find one that may be able to fund your loan instantly.
A payday loan generally has a fixed fee from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed. However, it varies based on your state laws and the amount you borrow. This results in a high APR that can often be 300% or more.
If you decide to borrow, read over your payday loan agreement carefully. It should outline the total cost of your loan as well as any additional fees. If you don’t understand the costs, speak with a customer service representative before signing the loan agreement.
Learn more: 5 places to find low-cost payday loans
The fees a lender can charge will vary based on the laws of your state. However, these are the top five most common fees associated with borrowing a payday loan.
Not usually. Payday loans have a high APR, but it isn’t because of a high interest rate. APR is an expression of the loan’s total cost as a percentage, which includes both interest and fees.
Since payday loans have such short terms — sometimes as little as just seven days — there’s not enough time for interest to add up to a profit. When it comes to payday loans, a high APR is a reflection of the loan’s high fees, not its high interest rate.
Payday loans have some of the shortest terms and highest fees, which make them one of the most expensive forms of credit available. These four points are the main differences you’ll find between payday loans and other types of credit:
Although the actual application process will vary based on the lender you choose, these are the typical steps you’ll need to follow to apply for a payday loan.
Like the application process, the specific requirements you need to meet will vary by lender. However, most lenders have similar criteria:
Meeting these eligibility requirements does not guarantee you will be approved for a loan.
Though required documents also differ by lender, you’ll generally need to provide the following:
Payday loans are one of the most expensive ways to cover an emergency cost. If you can, consider a payday loan alternative to lower the risk of getting into a cycle of debt.
Use a mobile app to get a cash advance with a small fee.
Borrow up to $1,000 from a federal credit union.
Take part in a rotating savings club.
It depends on where you live. Some states prohibit payday loans altogether by enforcing a cap on interest rates, called a usury law. Others restrict how much payday lenders can charge, or impose other regulations to protect borrowers. Unfortunately, many states allow payday lending without enforcing heavy regulations.
How you repay your loan depends on the lender you apply with. Here are three of the most common repayment methods:
Some lenders may only set up renewal or rollover fees on the day your loan is due, meaning you can extend your loan term instead of paying it off at that time. In some cases, you may get three months or more to repay your payday loan — which only increases the total cost.
It’s not uncommon to have trouble paying off a payday loan, but sometimes it’s unclear what your lender can and can’t do to get the money you owe. If you default, your lender will likely turn your debt over to a collection agency.
Debt collectors sometimes take extreme measures to ensure you repay what you owe, some even going as far as — illegally — threatening you with jail time. While you can’t face criminal charges for defaulting on a cash advance, your lender can sue you for assets to cover what you owe.
Answers to common questions about payday lending.
Payday lenders generally don’t send your information to the main credit reporting agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. However, they may send information on your loans and repayments to smaller credit reporting agencies, like Teletrack or LexisNexis.
The main danger to your credit scores is repayments. If you’re late on or miss repayments, your credit score could be negatively affected. Your 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.
In short: It probably won’t help your credit, but it could hurt it.
Check the lender’s state licenses, online reviews and contact information. If you can easily find out how to get in touch with a representative and find its license to operate in your state, then your lender will likely be above board.
However, it still pays to be careful. Some scams have been known to adopt the logo and website design of popular lenders. Always confirm that the lender you choose is the real thing before submitting any personal information online or over the phone.
States have different regulations in place regarding waiting periods and rollover loans. If it’s legal in your state, your lender may offer the option of paying a fee to lengthen your loan term, which is typically referred to as renewing or rolling over.
The fee usually isn’t what you have to worry about, however: It’s the mounting interest over a longer term that can make your loan unaffordable. Before you roll over your loan, consider the potential costs to avoid trapping yourself in a cycle of debt.
Lenders will ask for your bank account details, such as the account and routing number, to know where to deposit your payday loan and process repayments.
An ACH authorization gives permission to withdraw money from your checking or savings account. Unless you can make repayments by check, you will need to sign an ACH authorization.
But before you do, 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 how to revoke the authorization.
Provided you can afford your loan, you may still qualify with government benefits.
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.
Yes, some lenders like MoneyTree offer payday loans to business owners. And there are other types of business financing that work similarly to payday loans, including merchant cash advances and short-term business loans.
However, these are best saved as a last resort since they tend to come with ridiculously high costs and inflexible repayments. You can learn more with our guide to business payday loans.
While you can use your loan funds for a variety of purposes, there are some restrictions in place on how you spend your loan. Loan funds can’t be used to pay for anything illegal, and you typically can’t use them for gambling or college expenses, either.
Other restrictions may vary by lender — so check with yours to ensure you aren’t violating your loan contract when you spend your funds.
A standard connection service that works with lenders that offer large loans.
Good if you want information on state regulations — but not transparent about other details.
Wise Loan may be an expensive choice, but it’s upfront about its costs.
Secured loans — but no information online about interest or other fees.
This lender is transparent about fees — but still a risky choice.
A lack of transparency and customer reviews means you may want to look elsewhere.
With limited information available online, you may want to consider other options.
Find a line of credit — even if you don’t have a perfect score.
This connection service is transparent about rates — but asks for lots of personal information before you know where it’s going.
You won’t be able to apply for a new loan unless you’re a returning customer.
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