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
Compare short-term loans
A selection of short-term loans
A selection of lender-connection services
Learn how payday loans work
What exactly is a payday loan?
A payday loan is a short-term form of credit that can get you cash quickly even if you have bad credit or a low income. Traditionally, borrowers have to repay payday loans in one lump sum on their next payday. You can also find lenders hawking “payday loans” with terms as long as six months. Because of their speed and lax requirements, payday loans typically have a higher APR than you’ll find for other personal loans or credit cards. And 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.
How do payday loans actually work?
Compare important features of top short-term loan providers
|Lender||Maximum loan amount||Loan term|
|$1,000||Varies by state|
|Varies by state||Varies by state|
|$5,000||1–2 business days|
How are payday loans different from other types of credit?
- Shorter loan term. Payday loans are designed to be short-term solutions to financial shortfalls. You generally won’t find a loan that extends beyond six months, although terms differ by state.
- Accepts low credit. Payday lenders often do not conduct a credit check, though you need to provide proof that you can repay the loan — say with a steady income, a bank account in good standing.
- Higher rates and fees. Due to their short-term nature and accessibility, payday loans across the board come with a much higher APRs 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.
- Smaller loan amounts. Again, how much you can borrow depends on the state you’re in, but you can typically borrow between $100 and $1,000.
Are payday loans actually available in my state?
How do I find a legit online payday loan provider?
Ask yourself these questions before deciding on a payday lender. If you answer no to any, you might want to consider borrowing from someone else — or at least do a little more research.
- Is the lender reputable? 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 where you live. You might want to check if it has physical locations in your area.
- Does the lender display the loan’s APR? Lenders are required to display APR on their sites, even if the loan terms aren’t longer than a year. This is one of the best ideas to tell how much their loans will cost you and helps you compare it to other credit products with the same term length.
- Does the lender ask for money upfront? If a lender asks you to put down money before you get your funds, it could be a scam.
- Is the lender pushing insurance? Some lenders use insurance policies to get around state APR regulations, since they can count insurance separately. Not only does the insurance protect them — not you — in the event of an accident, it also allows them to rope you into paying a lot more for a loan than you thought you would be.
Looking for a specific amount?
Up to $500
If you have bad credit, don’t despair. You could borrow up to $500 if you meet specific criteria.
What can I use my payday loan for?
Though payday loans can be used for a wide range of purposes, they’re generally designed to cover 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 item 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|
Can I get a payday loan if I don’t have a bank account?
Yes, some lenders offer loans without requiring a bank account. The two main options available are prepaid debit card loans and in-store loans.You can apply in-person or online for an in-store loan and receive your money fairly quickly by picking it up at the store. Lenders offering prepaid debit card loans will issue you a card and then load the approved amount onto the card for you to use as you please. Some may even be able to load money onto an existing prepaid debit card. They often come with fees, however, so make sure to read the terms and conditions before you swipe.
The costs that come with payday loans
What will I definitely have to pay?
- 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 might I have to pay?
- Rollover fees. If you “roll over” your loan or take out an additional loan with the same lender it’ll tack on a fee that you need to pay on top of everything else you owe.
- Fees for prepaid debit cards. Many lenders offer prepaid debit cards as a means of disbursing your loan. 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.
- Late payment fees. If you’re late on a payment, you may be charged a fee by your lender. These fees are regulated by state law.
- Returned check or nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees. Also regulated by state law, lenders often charge you a fee if your check doesn’t clear or they unsuccessfully attempt to withdraw money from your bank account.
- 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. Make sure that you have enough money to cover your repayments on the day they are due.
Did you know?Many payday lenders have the option of paying a fee to lengthen your loan term, which they call 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 impossibly unaffordable. Loan renewal and rollover fees are where many borrowers fall into a cycle of debt, and they’re illegal in many states. Try to avoid it as much as possible.
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 — usually 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%.
Does a payday loan affect my credit score?
Payday lenders generally do not 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 that can be accessed by mainstream lenders when you are applying for credit. 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.
More types of short-term loans
Positives and negatives of payday loans
- 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.
- No collateral required. Short-term loans are usually unsecured, so you don’t have to worry about putting up any asset to secure the loan.
- 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 put in 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 payday 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.
Five questions to increase your chances of approval
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 meet the lender’s minimum eligibility — like age and residency requirements.
- Can I take out a payday loan in my 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 I have an active bank account? You’ll need to have a checking account in good standing to qualify.
- What is my employment status? Lenders may require you to be employed.
Avoid these mistakes when applying for a payday loan
- Taking out a loan you can’t afford. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay back the loan by the due date, you may not want to take it out in the first place. It could end up costing you more in the form of non-sufficient funds fees or late payment fees.
- Quickly skimming the contract. All lenders are required to provide you with a contract that outlines the total costs of your loan. Read it carefully so you know exactly what you’ll have to pay, and if you don’t like it, you are under no obligation to sign.
- Refinancing another loan. While this is illegal in some states, others will allow you to refinance a loan in order to extend the payment deadline. Be careful if you choose to do this. You’ll have to repay the original loan in full and the second loan you take out.
- Agreeing to continuous payment authority (CPA). Also known as a recurring payment, this allows payday lenders to charge a payment to your debit or credit card based on how much they believe you owe, whether you’re able to afford that payment or not.
How do I repay my payday loan?
What happens if I can’t pay back my payday loan?
Find out more about what happens when you default on a payday loan
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 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.
- Consider a credit union. You may be able to take out a small loan with a credit union, which typically has more lax credit requirements than banks.
- Check with your local government. Depending on factors like income, credit score and what you need a loan for, your local government might be able to provide financial assistance to cover unexpected expenses.
- Talk to your employer. Some companies have programs to give employees in good standing interest-free loans to cover sudden expenses — such as medical bills, vehicle repairs or family emergencies.
- 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 card 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.
- Start an emergency fund. Start putting aside some money each time you’re paid — no matter how small — to make sure you have a fallback for future financial crises.
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?
A warning about payday loansPayday loans are banned in more than a dozen states — and heavily regulated in even more — often with good reason: Payday lending is one of the single most predatory forms of financing available and can easily ruin your finances when you’re already in a pinch. When APRs reach over 1,200%, it’s glaringly clear that these seemingly quick fix-it loans are anything but. State regulations are put in place in order to protect consumers. Racketeering laws, criminal usury statutes and even a state constitution are used to cap loan rates. When a state is willing to amend its constitution, it may be a not-so-subtle hint that these loans aren’t strictly on the level. All of the legislation introduced is to help borrowers avoid a debt spiral that payday lenders set them up for. Before you dive into a product marketed as a one-stop financial Band-Aid, consider your alternatives. Though they aren’t significantly better, installment loans can come with slightly less egregious terms and more manageable payments. While it may requires a level of humility and openness, asking to borrow from friends or family could be another possibility. Better damaged pride than ruined finances. You can also look into alternatives to borrowing. Social services may be available in your area to those in need. Even if you aren’t sure whether you qualify, it’s worth researching local assistance programs for food, housing and other necessities. These services may also be able to help you identify and address any structural issues that can keep you in debt, such as a lack of a budget or overspending. Though you may not have a lot of extra time, a side gig could too be an option. Ideas include driving with a ride-share service like Uber, walking dogs, participating in research studies or even taking online surveys to earn more cash. If you find yourself regularly needing small amounts of money to last you through the week, consider exploring ongoing freelance opportunities in your area of expertise — Upwork and Fiverr are a few places to start. Payday loans have both a high rate of default and repeat borrowing, which could trap you in a debt cycle and even more financial distress than when you started. By researching your many options, you may be able to avoid getting caught in dangerous lending while still getting the money you need.
Payday loan glossary
A to H
Collection agency. A company hired by lenders to get borrowers to pay what they owe on an unsecured loan that they are either delinquent on or have defaulted on.
Credit check. When a lender reviews your credit score and history to evaluate your track record on repaying debts. Many payday lenders don’t run a credit check.
Default. When a borrower misses several loan repayments or has given up on attempting to repay a loan.
Finance charge. A fixed fee that you pay in exchange for being able to borrow a payday loan.
Loan shark. An illegal lender who typically charges high interest rates.
I to P
Maturity date. Also, due date. The day you’re required to completely repay your loan, in addition to interest and fees.
Post-dated check. A check with a date written sometime in the future, sometimes used as collateral for a payday loan.
Q to Z
Risk-based pricing. When a lender adjusts (usually raises) the interest, fees or loan amount because a borrower is seen as likely to have trouble repaying a loan.
Sent to collections. When a lender transfers a loan with overdue payments to a collection agency to recover the amount owed.
Subprime lender. A lender willing to work with borrowers that have poor credit, typically charging high interest and fees.
Unsecured loan. A loan that isn’t backed by collateral, meaning that the creditors can’t come after your house, car or any valuables if you can’t repay your loan.
Usury laws. Local laws that cap the APR on certain loans.
Wage garnishment. When a lender is allowed to take money directly from a borrower’s paycheck after a court order. Typically after a borrower is sued by a lender for defaulting on an unsecured loan.
Common questions asked about payday loans
Ask an Expert