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
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Learn how payday loans work
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 form of credit that can get you cash quickly even if you have bad credit or a low income. Traditionally, payday loans had to be repaid in one lump sum on your next payday. Now, 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 annual percentage rate (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.
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?
- 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 with the three main credit bureaus. They’ll likely 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 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.
- 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 between states. Some states, like New York, prohibit payday loans altogether. Others restrict how much payday lenders can charge or impose other regulations to protect borrowers. Many states allow payday lending without heavy regulations. Learn more about the payday loan regulations in your state or go to our payday loan cities directory to find loan options where you live.
Are payday loans actually available in my state?
Online payday loans — what do I need to know?
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? You could 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.
- Does the lender ask for money upfront? If a lender is asking you to put down money before you get your funds, it could be a scam.
- Can you apply online and in stores? Many lenders that accept online applications also have brick-and-mortar storefronts where you can apply or make payments. 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?
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 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|
Five questions that can 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.
Lauren takes out a loanIt’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.
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. 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 your existing prepaid debit card. Some payday lenders have storefronts in states where they’re permitted. You can apply in-person or online and receive your money fairly quickly by picking it up at the store.
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.
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.
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, you will still owe the original amount you borrowed, 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, 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. Make sure 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%.
More types of short-term loans
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.
- 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.
Three things to avoid when applying
- 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.
What happens if I can’t pay back my payday loan?
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 payday lender will likely turn your debt over to a collection agency.
Debt collectors sometimes take extreme measures to get their money, some even going as far as (illegally) threatening you with jail time. While you can’t face criminal charges for defaulting on your payday loan, your lender can sue you for assets to cover what you owe.
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.
Common questions asked about payday loans
How can I apply for a payday loan?
How do I make sure the lender I'm applying with is safe?
I don't have a bank account. Can I still get a payday loan?
Will a payday lender check my credit score?
Do I have to fax documents or visit the lender if I apply online?
Why do lenders ask for my bank account details?
How do I repay my payday loan?
What is an ACH authorization — and do I need to sign one?
Is there such a thing as a guaranteed loan?
How long will I have to repay my loan?
I have an emergency — can I use a payday loan?
Can taking out a payday loan damage or improve my credit score?
What do I do if I'm having trouble repaying my loan?
Can my payday lender garnish my wages?
Why won't lenders in my state consider me for a loan?
Can I rollover my payday loan?
How often can I get a payday loan (or cash advance)?
Can I get a loan if I'm on welfare?
Can I still get a direct deposit advance from my bank?
I share my car with my partner. Can I get an auto title loan on it?
I received a phone call from a payday lender asking for money. What should I do?
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