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Payday Lenders

Updated November 06, 2019

2019 Payday Lender Rankings

Payday lenders can often provide quick access to cash overnight. They do not require collateral or good credit. This convenience comes at a cost. These lenders charge much higher fees than credit unions, banks, credit cards, friends, and family.

Payday lenders are best used only if completely necessary. For example, a typical situation that might justify one of these loans is in an un expected, emergency situation where the loan can be paid off by your next pay period. We review and rank payday lenders according to our Sniff Test, costs, and features. Inclusion in our rankings is not an endorsement.

Filter by state:
Company Name Description Rating
Loan By Phone

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Loan By Phone to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $500 - $1000
  • APR: 195% - 521%
  • State Licensed Lender
Check Into Cash

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Check Into Cash to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $25,000
  • APR: 195% - 521%
  • State Licensed Lender
Ace Cash Express

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Ace Cash Express to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $2,000
  • APR: 175% - 1,029%
  • State Licensed Lender
CashNetUSA

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit CashNetUSA to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $2,000
  • APR: 299% - 456%
  • State Licensed Lender
LendUp

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit LendUp to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $500
  • APR: 155% - 164%
  • State Licensed Lender
Check City

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Check City to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $500
  • APR: 158% - 639%
  • State Licensed Lender
Cash Central

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash Central to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $5,000
  • APR: 180% - 740%
  • State Licensed Lender
Quik Check

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Quik Check to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 - $500
  • APR: 146% - 548%
  • State Licensed Lender
Speedy Cash

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Speedy Cash to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 to $2,000
  • APR: 178% to 680%
  • State Licensed Lender
Check 'n Go

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Check 'n Go to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $250 to $5,000
  • APR: 314% to 662%
  • State Licensed Lender
Cash Advance Now

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash Advance Now to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $300 to $1,500
  • APR: 725%
  • Tribe Based Lender
Big Valley Financial

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Big Valley Financial to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $300 to $500
  • APR: 780%
  • Tribe Based Lender
NationalPayday

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit NationalPayday to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $200 to $1,500
  • APR: 782%
  • Unlicensed Lender -- Costa Rica
MyPaydayLoan

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit MyPaydayLoan to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 to $500
  • APR: 782%
  • Unlicensed Lender -- Costa Rica
Cash in a Wink

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash in a Wink to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100, to $1,000
  • APR: 456% to 2,281%
  • Unlicensed Lender
Tremont Lending

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit Tremont Lending to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $100 to $750
  • APR: 495%
  • Tribe Based Lender
East Side Lenders

eligible credit type ⓘ

Visit East Side Lenders to determine actual product eligibility. This is a general estimate and actual eligibility will vary. Credit Types are defined below.

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
[close]
all
fair
good
great
  • Loans: $300 to $1,000
  • APR: 550% to 780%
  • Unlicensed Lender

* Rates and fees vary by state. Not all lenders operate in all states. Check each lender's website for up-to-date information.

Who Are Payday Lenders

Payday lenders are direct lender. They provide loans based on your paycheck amount, pay date, and access to your checking account. They typically do not consider your credit profile or require collateral.

They differ from companies who provide matching services because payday lenders actually underwrite and lend money. Many sites will advertise payday loans and even take an application, but they are not lenders. Instead, they are matching services representing a network of lenders. These sites sell your information on to actual payday lenders who then make loans. In some cases direct lenders may pass your information along if they are unable to make a loan to you. One can distinguish direct lenders from matching services by looking at the fine print of most websites. Matching services will say something like, "the operator of this website is NOT A LENDER." Direct lenders will not include this disclaimer.

These loans are also referred to as direct payday lenders online, payday loan direct lenders, and cash advance lenders.

Direct Lenders Versus Matching Service

The main advantage of using a matching service is that only one application is required to apply to multiple lenders. This can save time and effort as each application can take 5 to 15 minutes to complete. The downside to matching services is you are unable to pick the lenders. This means the lenders may include unlicensed lenders as well as licensed lenders. The Payday Hound prefers state-licensed lenders. If you use a matching service, once you are offered a loan, make sure you are comfortable with your lender and the terms.

Whether you use a matching service or a direct lender there is a high likelihood that your data will end up with other lenders. An article on the NPR blog recounts a story where after applying to a matching service (with fake data) the author received calls months later from possible lenders. The Payday Hound generally does not see anything wrong with a matching service in concept but one should be aware of how the services work. For more information see Direct Lenders or Matching Services

Licensed Lenders

Payday lenders regulation varies. Lenders typically regulated by federal, state, or tribal laws. In the past, there were also many offshore entities that tried to avoid all regulations but most have these closed shop in recent years. For US-based lenders, federal regulations are generally less stringent and less enforced than state regulations. Payday lenders licensed in your state are regulated and monitored by your state so are more closely regulated than lenders not licensed by your state. In order to be state-licensed, lenders typically are required to apply, register, and remain compliant in all states where they are licensed. Individual states have separate licensing and compliance processes so the licensing and compliance process can be expensive and time consuming for lenders. As a result state-licensed payday lenders are generally larger more permanent companies.

Unlicensed state payday lenders operate under the assumption they can export laws from their state, tribe, or foreign country into other states. Tribes are American Indian tribes generally recognized as federal entities that operate under their own tribal laws. Tribal lenders typically partner with another company that manages the loan program. The Tribe will provide their legal status while the partner will operate the business. This type of tribal lender was very popular in the past but then saw a slow down a few years back as states challenged the position that tribes or states could export their laws into other states. The result was a slow down in the growth of tribal-based payday lenders but recently with the current administration, we've seen a significant uptick the growth of tribal lenders. For more information on lending laws see Payday Loan Laws

What Are Payday Loans

Payday loans are short-term loans tied to your paycheck. They do not require collateral and are generally available to people with all types of credit. Typically, payday lenders are deposited funds into your checking account overnight. Payment is due in full the next pay period. The loans can be very expensive so are best taken to cover emergency, unavoidable expenses. See Payday Loans to learn more about these loans.

Avoid a Vicious Debt Cycle

Payday lenders charge around $9 to $45 per $100 borrowed. This means if you borrow $300, and your fee is $15 per $100 borrowed, then on your next payday $345 will be automatically deducted from your account. If full payment is made then the loan is paid off and you are done. If you are unable to pay in full some payday lenders allow, and even encourage, you to renew the loan. The renewal is generally at the same rate and you will pay fees on the unpaid fees from the previous loan. This means at your next payday (now the second payday since you took the loan) $397 will be pulled from your checking account. Clearly, these fees add up very fast and one can end up owing way more than the original loan. This is what people mean when they refer to a debt cycle -- one starts off needing a small amount of cash but within weeks the debt quickly escalates into an unimaginable amount. For this reason, The Payday Hound believes payday loans should only be used for emergency situations and at most 1 or 2 times every couple of years. See Don't Use A Payday Loan for Summer Vacation Cash to determine if there are other options to taking a payday loan.

Find Loan Lenders by State

Payday lenders are state regulated so not all lenders make loans in all states. Select your state below to find available lenders in your state.