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Alternatives to Zocaloans

Zocaloans is a tribal lender that offers loans with sky-high interest rates. Here are 8 alternatives that are cheaper to use.

Zocaloans is a tribal lender offering loans between $200 and $1,500. While tribal lenders can get you quick cash with no credit check — similar to payday lenders — they’re not subject to the same rate caps and are known to charge APRs exceeding 700%.

While Zocaloans is transparent about its costs and explains that a $300 loan will end up costing $1,188 by making minimum payments, that’s a whopping $888 in interest. Even if you have bad credit, there’s no reason to pay so much for a small-dollar loan.

Our 8 alternatives to Zocaloans offer cheaper loans and financing options, with no credit check in many cases. As long as you have some form of regular income, you may qualify.

8 alternatives to Zocaloans

Alternative for overdrawn accounts: Chime SpotMe

Chime SpotMe®

4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

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If you frequently overdraw your bank account, Chime's SpotMe could be a lifesaver. SpotMe is a free feature for Chime account holders that lets you overdraw your account from $20 to $200 with no fees. The SpotMe feature works with the Chime debit card. If you accidentally overspend, SpotMe kicks in to cover the difference.

SpotMe limits start at $20 but could increase to $200 with a history of direct deposits and account activity. You can also get paid two days early — another benefit for Chime customers. If you haven't opened a Chime account yet, the good news is you only need $200 direct deposited into your account every month to qualify for SpotMe.

  • Available in all states
Chime is a financial technology company, not a bank. Banking services provided by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC. Direct deposit: Early access to direct deposit funds depends on the timing of the submission of the payment file from the payer. We generally make these funds available on the day the payment file is received, which may be up to 2 days earlier than the scheduled payment date. SpotMe: Chime SpotMe is an optional, no fee service that requires a single deposit of $200 or more in qualifying direct deposits to the Chime Checking Account each at least once every 34 days. All qualifying members will be allowed to overdraw their account up to $20 on debit card purchases and cash withdrawals initially, but may be later eligible for a higher limit of up to $200 or more based on member’s Chime Account history, direct deposit frequency and amount, spending activity and other risk-based factors. Your limit will be displayed to you within the Chime mobile app. You will receive notice of any changes to your limit. Your limit may change at any time, at Chime’s discretion. Although there are no overdraft fees, there may be out-of-network or third party fees associated with ATM transactions. SpotMe won’t cover non-debit card transactions, including ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, or Chime Checkbook transactions. See Terms and Conditions.
Pros
  • No fees or obligation to tip
  • Low monthly direct deposit requirement
  • Get paid two days early
Cons
  • SpotMe limits start at $20
  • Must have Chime Checking account and debit card
  • Only covers debit card purchases and ATM withdrawals
Loan amountUp to $200
Loan TermNext deposit
Turnaround timeInstant

Alternative for employees

EarnIn

4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

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Earnin is a cash advance app that lets you borrow up to $750 of your earned wages before payday with its Cash Out feature. This borrowing limit is significantly higher than most cash advance apps and unlike payday loans, there's no interest or financing fees to use Cash Outs.

To qualify for Earnin Cash Outs, you need to be employed, have regular direct deposits and earn a minimum of $320 each pay period. You can transfer $100 a day to a linked bank account, or more than $100 per day to an Earnin card. Regular transfers are available in one to three business days or in minutes for a fee.

  • Not available in: Connecticut
Pros
  • No credit check required
  • No mandatory fees, interest or tipping
  • Free credit score tracking included
  • Cash Out more than $100 per day with an EarnIn card
Cons
  • Verification of employment earnings required
  • Same-day (Lightning) transfers attract a fee
  • Can only qualify with employment income
  • Not ideal for gig workers
Loan amountUp to $750 per pay period, but only $100 per day
Loan Term1 to 4 weeks
Turnaround time1 to 3 business days or instant for a fee

Alternative for freelancers: Cleo

Cleo

4.1 / 5 ★★★★★

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Cleo is a budgeting and cash advance app that can make your financial life as a freelancer easier. Unlike other apps, you don't need to show a minimum amount of recurring deposits to qualify for cash advances. As long as you show some type of consistent income, you could qualify for a cash advance.

Cleo cash advance amounts start at $20 to $70, but you could potentially increase that to $250 with a history of consistent income. The app also packs tools to help you budget and track your spending better. To get advances through the Cleo app, you'll need to pay a monthly subscription fee of $5.99. If you need a same-day transfer, it costs an additional $3.99.

  • Available in all states
Pros
  • No payslips or W-2 forms required
  • No credit checks or interest charged
  • Set monthly goals and track your spending
Cons
  • Monthly fee to access cash advances
  • Borrowing amounts are limited initially
  • Mixed customer reviews
Loan amountUp to $250
Loan TermNext deposit
Turnaround time3 to 4 days standard transfer. Same day with $3.99 to $9.99 express fee.

Alternative for building credit: OppLoans

OppLoans Installment Loans

4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

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OppLoans is a highly rated installment lender offering personal loans to bad credit borrowers and only runs a soft credit check to apply that won't affect your FICO credit score. While APRs on its loans run at a high 179%, this is still cheaper than Zocaloans and what most payday lenders charge. And funding can be fast: same-day funding is possible if your loan is approved before noon CT.

OppLoans also offer higher loan amounts and longer repayment terms than Zocaloans and most cash advance apps. If eligible, you could secure a loan between $500 to $4,000 and have up to nine to 18 months to pay it back in most states. It also reports your payments to the three major credit bureaus, which could increase your credit score.

  • Not available in: Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia
Pros
  • Reports to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion
  • No prepayment penalties
Cons
  • Rates run high compared to many personal loans
  • Bank account must be at least 90 days old
  • Must receive income through direct deposit
Loan amount$500 - $4,000
Interest rate typeFixed
Loan Term9 to 18 months
Turnaround timeAs soon as the same business day

Alternative for lower rates: OneMain Financial

OneMain Financial personal loans

3.4 / 5 ★★★★★

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OneMain Financial offers personal loans from $1,500 to $20,000 to lower credit borrowers and caps its rates at 35.99%. It doesn't have a stated minimum credit score requirement, and you can secure your loan with collateral or add a cosigner to your application to increase your chances of approval.

OneMain's minimum APR on personal loans is 18%, but rates won't exceed 35.99% even for the lowest credit borrowers — a rate much lower than Zocaloans or a payday lender. But it charges an origination fee between 1% and 10%, as well as late and nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees, which can run high.

  • Not available in: Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont
* OneMain Disclosures:

Not all applicants will be approved. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). If approved, not all applicants will qualify for larger loan amounts or most favorable loan terms. Larger loan amounts require a first lien on a motor vehicle no more than ten years old, that meets our value requirements, titled in your name with valid insurance. Loan approval and actual loan terms depend on your state of residence and your ability to meet our credit standards (including a responsible credit history, sufficient income after monthly expenses, and availability of collateral). APRs are generally higher on loans not secured by a vehicle. Highly-qualified applicants may be offered higher loan amounts and/or lower APRs than those shown above. OneMain charges origination fees where allowed by law. Depending on the state where you open your loan, the origination fee may be either a flat amount or a percentage of your loan amount. Flat fee amounts vary by state, ranging from $25 to $500. Percentage-based fees vary by state ranging from 1% to 10% of your loan amount subject to certain state limits on the fee amount. Visit omf.com/loanfees for more information. Loan proceeds cannot be used for postsecondary educational expenses as defined by the CFPB’s Regulation Z such as college, university or vocational expense; for any business or commercial purpose; to purchase cryptocurrency assets, securities, derivatives or other speculative investments; or for gambling or illegal purposes.

Borrowers in these states are subject to these minimum loan sizes: Alabama: $2,100. California: $3,000. Georgia: Unless you are a present customer, $3,100 minimum loan amount. North Dakota: $2,000. Ohio: $2,000. Virginia: $2,600.

Borrowers (other than present customers) in these states are subject to these maximum unsecured loan sizes: North Carolina: $7,500. An unsecured loan is a loan which does not require you to provide collateral (such as a motor vehicle) to the lender.

Example Loan: A $6,000 loan with a 24.99% APR that is repayable in 60 monthly installments would have monthly payments of $176.07.

Time to Fund Loans: Funding within one hour after closing through SpeedFunds must be disbursed to a bank-issued debit card. Disbursement by check or ACH may take up to 1-2 business days after loan closing.
Pros
  • Same-day turnaround available
  • Secured and unsecured options
  • Bad credit applicants considered
Cons
  • Hard credit check required
  • Origination fee charged
  • Full coverage property insurance required for collateral
Loan amount$1,500 to $20,000
APR18% to 35.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. credit scoreNot specified
Turnaround TimeAs soon as one hour
Maximum Loan Term5 years
Minimum Loan Term2 years

Alternative for new hires: Upstart

Upstart personal loans

4.2 / 5 ★★★★★

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Upstart could be a good choice if you're just starting to build your credit with a new job. This unique lender accepts credit scores as low as 300 and considers other factors besides your credit score — including your education and career.

It also offers a range of loan amounts from $1,000 to $50,000, with rates between 7.8% and 35.99%. However, if you have bad to fair credit, you can expect your APR to be on the higher end. And though Upstart also charges an origination fee on its loans, it gets excellent reviews on Trustpilot from thousands of satisfied customers.

  • Not available in: Iowa, West Virginia
Pros
  • Accepts bad credit
  • Factors in alternative criteria
  • Low minimum loan amount
Cons
  • Origination fee as high as 12%
  • Not ideal for debt consolidation
Loan amount$1,000 to $50,000
APR7.80% to 35.99%
Interest Rate TypeFixed
Min. credit score300
Turnaround TimeAs soon as 24 hours
Maximum Loan Term5 years
Minimum Loan Term3 years

Alternative for short-term loans: CashNetUSA

CashNetUSA Loan

3.6 / 5 ★★★★★

CashNetUSA is an installment lender with both retail and online locations. It offers lines of credit and installment loans with amounts between $100 and $3,000. Depending on the state, APRs can reach up to 400% or more, with a high of 579% in Texas. It also charges a 15% transaction fee in certain states.

CashNetUSA is known for getting borrowers funds the same day they apply, and it's transparent on fees and terms. While it's not the cheapest option, CashNetUSA's rates are regulated — unlike Zocaloans' — and customers give it generally good reviews on Trustpilot as a source of quick emergency funds.

  • Available in: Alabama, Alaska, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Pros
  • Same-day funding available
  • Coupon codes may be available
  • Quick online application
Cons
  • Legal issues in 2015
  • High borrowing costs
  • Limited state availability
Loan amount$100 - $3,000
Interest rate typeFixed
Loan TermVaries by state
Turnaround timeAs fast as same business day

Alternative for free paycheck advances: MoneyLion Instacash

MoneyLion Instacash advances

4.5 / 5 ★★★★★

  • Available in: Alabama, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Pros
  • Free to use with 0% interest
  • No credit check required
  • Options to increase advances to $1,000 per pay period
  • Payment extensions are available through chat
Cons
  • Normal funding takes 24 to 48 hours
  • Takes 3 to 8 weeks to be eligible for maximum Instacash
  • Instant delivery costs $8.99 per $100 borrowed
Loan amountUp to $500 or $1,000 with RoarMoney account
Loan TermDue by your next pay date
Turnaround timeUp to 5 days or instant for a fee of $0.49 to $8.99

Other alternatives to Zocaloans

Cash advance apps and loans may not help in every situation. If you don’t have regular employment or need to borrow higher amounts, consider these alternatives.

  • Ask your employer for an advance. Check if your employer offers paycheck cash advances. Some employers offer advances through employer-sponsored apps like Even or DailyPay, which let you access larger portions of your paycheck early.
  • Consider a loan from a CDFI. Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) offer small-dollar, short-term loans at a lower cost than a payday or installment lender. But they’re not quick: Funds can take up to a month to receive.
  • Take out a personal loan. Bad credit lenders like Upstart, OneMain Financial or Avant work with lower credit borrowers and cap rates at 36% APR. As long as you receive regular income, you may qualify.
  • Take out a credit card cash advance. Credit card advances are a way to pull cash from an ATM or bank counter. Rates run high, so consider a card like the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card that offers a lower-than-average cash advance rate.
  • Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) apps. BNPL apps let you purchase necessary items you need and pay them off later, which could help in an emergency. Choose from the best BNPL apps for cash-free purchases.

Compare local resources and more payday loan alternatives to explore more alternative funding options.

Is Zocaloans legit?

Zocaloans is supposedly a legit tribal lender — but it doesn’t mean you should get a loan from it.
Because Zocaloans a tribal lender, it’s not subject to the same rate caps as payday lenders, which means it can charge APRs of 700% and up. Zocaloans’ parent company, Rosebud Lending, was the subject of a class action lawsuit in 2019 in Virginia for charging 790% on small-dollar loans while claiming to operate as an extension of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe.

According to plaintiffs in the lawsuit, “Most of Rosebud Lending’s business was performed outside tribal lands by non-affiliated third parties, despite these alleged ties to the tribe,” enabling it to charge 65 times the legal rate limit in Virginia.

Bottom line

When it comes to bad credit loans, you have choices. Cash advance apps are generally the cheapest option for accessing cash, since you don’t pay interest or financing fees on what you borrow. Bad credit lenders like OneMain Financial or Upstart may also be a good choice, as they cap rates at 35.99%.

But if you can’t qualify for these, you can turn to alternative bad credit lenders like OppLoans or payday lenders like CashNetUSA in an emergency. While APRs run high with these options, you’re still likely to pay far less than with Zocaloans.

Written by

Kat Aoki

Kat Aoki was a personal finance writer at Finder, specializing in consumer and business lending. She’s written thousands of articles to help consumers make better decisions on their home loans, bank accounts, credit cards, cryptocurrency and more. Kat is well versed in working with leading brands in the real estate, mortgage and personal finance industries, and her expertise has been featured on Forbes Advisor, Lifewire and financial comparison sites like iSelect and realestate.com.au. She holds a BS in business administration from California State University, Sacramento and enjoys hiking and yoga in her spare time. See full profile

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