Payday loans, sometimes referred to as cash advance loans, have received quite a bit of bad press, but when used properly, a pay day loan can have a definite upside. A short term financial bind can happen to a lot of people and being able to get a small loan quickly can save you money by avoiding costly late fees or overdraft charges. Sure, $50 is a steep price to pay for a $300 payday loan, but if it means you are able to get your rent check, house payment, or car payment in on time and avoid the hefty late fees and possible damage to your credit score, it is more than worth it.
We recommend exploring alternatives before getting a payday loan. These are expensive loans with high fees, and they can catch you up in a cycle of taking out new loans to pay off previous ones. Each state regulates payday loans differently – some outright ban them. As such, depending on where you live, the costs vary widely. With this in mind, our pick for the top payday lender is Check Into Cash. It is the most broadly available lender, with stores and online loans available in 32 states. It offers a variety of payday loans, installment loans and lines of credit.
A medical emergency needs an immediate response. You can't hold off on treating a major problem, and your primary care physician may not be able to see you soon enough. Emergency room visits rack up bills from the hospital, the doctors and the specialists. If you have health insurance, the coinsurance or copayment for your stay may be a hard-to-handle amount. The best payday loans let you focus on getting well rather than your healthcare costs.
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.

To prevent usury (unreasonable and excessive rates of interest), some jurisdictions limit the annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge. Some jurisdictions outlaw payday lending entirely, and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders. In the United States, the rates of these loans used to be restricted in most states by the Uniform Small Loan Laws (USLL),[4][5] with 36–40% APR generally the norm.


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The best online lenders comply with all state laws regulating payday loan fees, terms and rollover restrictions. Most websites require you to enter your ZIP code or select your state before they display your loan options with their terms and rates. Because of the patchwork nature of payday loan regulation, some lenders don’t operate in every state. Other lenders only offer certain types of loans in some states, not their full range of options.
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In a profitability analysis by Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law, it was determined that the average profit margin from seven publicly traded payday lending companies (including pawn shops) in the U.S. was 7.63%, and for pure payday lenders it was 3.57%. These averages are less than those of other traditional lending institutions such as credit unions and banks. 

This reinforces the findings of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) study from 2011 which found black and Hispanic families, recent immigrants, and single parents were more likely to use payday loans. In addition, their reasons for using these products were not as suggested by the payday industry for one time expenses, but to meet normal recurring obligations.[15]
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A minority of mainstream banks and TxtLoan companies lending short-term credit over mobile phone text messaging offer virtual credit advances for customers whose paychecks or other funds are deposited electronically into their accounts. The terms are similar to those of a payday loan; a customer receives a predetermined cash credit available for immediate withdrawal. The amount is deducted, along with a fee, usually about 10 percent of the amount borrowed, when the next direct deposit is posted to the customer's account. After the programs attracted regulatory attention,[89][90] Wells Fargo called its fee "voluntary" and offered to waive it for any reason. It later scaled back the program in several states. Wells Fargo currently offers its version of a payday loan, called "Direct Deposit Advance," which charges 120% APR. Similarly, the BBC reported in 2010 that controversial TxtLoan charges 10% for 7-days advance which is available for approved customers instantly over a text message.[91]
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).

In May 2008, the debt charity Credit Action made a complaint to the United Kingdom Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that payday lenders were placing advertising which violated advertising regulations on the social network website Facebook. The main complaint was that the APR was either not displayed at all or not displayed prominently enough, which is clearly required by UK advertising standards.[26][27]
Payday lenders have made effective use of the sovereign status of Native American reservations, often forming partnerships with members of a tribe to offer loans over the Internet which evade state law.[72] However, the Federal Trade Commission has begun the aggressively monitor these lenders as well.[73] While some tribal lenders are operated by Native Americans,[74] there is also evidence many are simply a creation of so-called "rent-a-tribe" schemes, where a non-Native company sets up operations on tribal land.[75][76]

If your employer works with any of these companies, it’s a good option to take advantage of their services since they are less expensive in the long term than a payday loan. Still, if you find yourself taking advantage of these services regularly or your employer doesn’t offer them, you may want to look at your finances, make a budget or look for additional ways to earn income.


Signature loans, or installment loans, are not regulated by the same law. Lenders that make installment loans can charge 27 percent interest on loans up to $2,910. This interest rate is similar to a high-interest credit card. However, signature loans can have a prepayment fee, which lets the lender charge you extra money if you pay the loan back early.
Repaying your payday loan is also easy and convenient. At the time that you apply for your payday loan online, you will provide routing information for your bank account. This not only allows the funds from your approved loan to deposit directly into your account, but it also makes it much easier for you to pay back your loan on time via electronic debit. You will simply need to provide authorization for the payment to be withdrawn from your account on or by the specified due date.

In many cases, borrowers write a post-dated check (check with a future date) to the lender; if the borrowers don't have enough money in their account by the check's date, their check will bounce. In Texas, payday lenders are prohibited from suing a borrower for theft if the check is post-dated. One payday lender in the state instead gets their customers to write checks dated for the day the loan is given. Customers borrow money because they don't have any, so the lender accepts the check knowing that it would bounce on the check's date. If the borrower fails to pay on the due date, the lender sues the borrower for writing a hot check.[33]
The process to obtain a payday loan is very easy, and it all starts with filling out our online request form on the left side of this page. Within minutes of submitting it, a representative from your nearest store location will call you back to confirm your information, answer your questions and make sure you have the simple required items for your payday loan.
In Ohio, SCIL, Inc. dba Speedy Cash, is a registered Ohio Credit Services Organization (CS.900174.000) operating pursuant to the Ohio Credit Services Organization Act. The actual lender is an unaffiliated third party. The Ohio laws against discrimination require that all creditors make credit equally available to all credit worthy customers, and that credit reporting agencies maintain separate credit histories on each individual upon request. The Ohio civil rights commission administers compliance with this law.

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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.
States have varying regulations in place to protect consumers when it comes to short-term 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.
Prior to 2009 regulation of consumer credit was primarily conducted by the states and territories. Some states such as New South Wales and Queensland legislated effective annual interest rate caps of 48%.[53] In 2008 the Australian states and territories referred powers of consumer credit to the Commonwealth. In 2009 the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (Cth) was introduced, which initially treated payday lenders no differently from all other lenders. In 2013 Parliament tightened regulation on the payday lending further introducing the Consumer Credit and Corporations Legislation Amendment (Enhancements) Act 2012 (Cth) which imposed an effective APR cap of 48% for all consumer credit contracts (inclusive of all fees and charges). Payday lenders who provided a loan falling within the definition of a small amount credit contract (SACC), defined as a contract provided by a non authorised-deposit taking institution for less than $2,000 for a term between 16 days and 1 year,[54] are permitted to charge a 20% establishment fee in addition to monthly (or part thereof) fee of 4% (effective 48% p.a.).[55] Payday lenders who provide a loan falling within the definition of a medium amount credit contract (MACC), defined as a credit contract provided by a non-deposit taking institution for between $2,000–$5,000 may charge a $400 establishment fee in addition to the statutory interest rate cap of 48%. Payday lenders are still required to comply with Responsible lending obligations applying to all creditors. Unlike other jurisdictions Australian payday lenders providing SACC or MACC products are not required to display their fees as an effective annual interest rate percentage.[citation needed]
First-time online payday loans applicants can borrow between $200 and $600. Repeat borrowers with positive payment histories can be approved up to $1000. Mypaydayloan.com urges clients to borrow what they need and what they can comfortably pay back with their next paycheck. If you are looking for a small payday loan, please visit our Small Cash Advance Loans page.
In 2014 several firms were reprimanded and required to pay compensation for illegal practices; Wonga.com for using letters untruthfully purporting to be from solicitors to demand payment—a formal police investigation for fraud was being considered in 2014[61]—and Cash Genie, owned by multinational EZCorp, for a string of problems with the way it had imposed charges and collected money from borrowers who were in arrears.[62]

According to a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Most payday loan borrowers [in the United States] are white, female, and are 25 to 44 years old. However, after controlling for other characteristics, there are five groups that have higher odds of having used a payday loan: those without a four-year college degree; home renters; African Americans; those earning below $40,000 annually; and those who are separated or divorced." Most borrowers use payday loans to cover ordinary living expenses over the course of months, not unexpected emergencies over the course of weeks. The average borrower is indebted about five months of the year.[14]
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