Payday Lenders

Updated November 11, 2018

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2018 Payday Lender Rankings

Payday lenders provide quick access to cash. They make loans to you directly and can deposit money into your checking account 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 loans from payday lenders should only be taken if completely necessary. They generally only make economic sense if the expense is unavoidable, like an emergency situation, and the loan can be paid off by your next pay period. We review payday lenders and rank them according to our Sniff Test (reputation), costs, and licensing. Inclusion in our rankings is not an endorsement. We aim to rank every lender who provides payday lenders online.

Company Name Description Costs* Sniff Rating
Check Into Cash
Direct lender online or at stores.
Founding member of CFSA. Live chat.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 510%
Cost: $57
Great
Cash Central
Discounts for repeat customers. Live chat.
B BBB rating. Bad credit okay but does check credit.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 651%
Cost: $75
Great
CashNetUSA
Get 50% initial loan fees. Code: NEWCASH50
Large online lender. Live chat
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 651%
Cost: $75
Great
Ace Cash Express
Large established lender. A+ BBB Score.
Multiple loan options. Physical store fronts.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 651%
Cost: $75
Great
Check City
A+ BBB Score and accredited. $30 referral credit.
One of the few payday lenders who are BBB accredited.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 651%
Cost: $75
Great
Loan By Phone
Online site powered by Check Into Cash
Member of CFSA, Live chat.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 510%
Cost: $57
Great
Cash 1
Nevada Licensed storefront and online lender.
Payday loans for NV only. Same day cash pick up at stores.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 469%
Cost: $54
Great
Check 'n Go
Solid state licensed lender.
F BBB score for no response to compliants.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 651%
Cost: $75
Great
Quik Check
State licensed lender. Pricing shown based on Utah.
Competitive pricing. They have store fronts.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 548%
Cost: $63
Great
Speedy Cash
State licensed lender. Pricing shown is based on SD.
Pricing appear competitive. They have store fronts
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 652%
Cost: $75
Great
Cash Store
State Lic lender. Storefront lender only.
Must go to store to complete application.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 585%
Cost: $67
Great
Payday Loan Today
Neveda licensed national lender.
Informative website. Flexible payment terms.
Governing Law: Nevada
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 510%
Cost: $58.74
Fair
Discount Advances
Stopped Accepting New Applications
No responses to BBB complaints.
Governing Law: Anguilla
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 456%
Cost: $53
Fair
PayDay Max
Stopped Accepting New Applications
No responses to BBB complaints.
Governing Law: Anguilla
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 485%
Cost: $56
Fair
MyCashNow
Stopped Accepting New Applications
F BBB Rating, Based in Canada.
Governing Law: Canada
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 485%
Cost: $56
Fair
Integrity Advance
Offers loans in multiple states.
F BBB rating, phone contact available.
Governing Law: DE
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 782%
Cost: $90
Fair
Cash Advance Now
Tribal lender. Upfront disclosures and pricing.
Appear to have purchased name and domain in Sept 2012.
Governing Law: Tribe
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 782%
Cost: $90
Fair
AAA Payday Cash
Makes loans based on UT laws.
Use to have A rating by BBB but now unlisted
Governing Law: UT
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 651%
Cost: $75
Fair
MyPayDayLoan
Revamped website. Up to $600 1st time.
Been in business over 10 years.
Governing Law: Costa Rica
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 782%
Cost: $75
Bad
USAdvance
Not a state licensed lender.
Bsed in Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
Governing Law: St Kitts and Nevis
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 782%
Cost: $90
Bad
AmeriCash Advance
No longer taking applications.
Taken over by Platinum Finance Co.
Governing Law: DE
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 782%
Cost: $90
Fair
Jupiter Funding Group
Very limited information on website.
No BBB Rating. No privacy policy.
Governing Law: DE
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 782%
Cost: $90
Bad
East Side Lenders
Offer loans in all states.
C- BBB rating. Dispute settled through arbitration.
Governing Law: DE
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 782%
Cost: $490
Fair
NationalPayday
One of the simplest applications.
No BBB Rating, Based in Costa Rica.
Governing Law: Costa Rica
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 651%
Cost: $75
Bad
Payday Avenue
Appear to be Canada based.
No renewals allowed.
Governing Law: unlisted
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 938%
Cost: $108
Fair
Payadvance
No longer accepting new applications
Costa Rica based lender.
Governing Law: Costa Rica
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 460%
Cost: $53
Bad
Tremont Lending
Appears to be basic tribal based lender.
Site updated with pricing. States not listed.
Governing Law: Tribe
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 782%
Cost: $90
Fair
Sonic Cash
Eligible states not listed.
Very little information available
Governing Law: unlisted
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 912%
Cost: $105
Fair
Cash in a Wink
Settled in 2012 with California for excessive fees.
Bare website. Appear to be Delaware based.
Governing Law: Delaware
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 608%
Cost: $75
Bad
BorrowSource.com
Very limited information on website.
Appears to be unlicensed lender. Maybe offshore based.
Governing Law: unlisted
Loan Amt: ?
APR: ?
Cost: ?
Bad
Castle Payday
Site has unclear pricing and limited info.
Does not appear to offer loans in all states.
Governing Law: Tribe
Loan Amt: $1000
APR: 913%
Cost: 350
Bad
500FastCash
Charged by FTC: inflating fees and illegal actions
No pricing information provided.
Governing Law: Tribe
Loan Amt: ?
APR: ?
Cost: ?
Bad
Wells Fargo
NO LONGER OFFERED. Phased out May 24th, 2014.
Advance limit is lower of $500 or 50% of direct deposit amount.
Governing Law: State Lic.
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 195%
Cost: $23
Great
AmeriLoan
Charged by FTC: inflating fees and illegal actions.
No pricing information provided.
Governing Law: Tribe
Loan Amt: ?
APR: ?
Cost: ?
Bad
United Cash Loans
Charged by FTC: inflating fees and illegal actions
No pricing information provided.
Governing Law: Tribe
Loan Amt: ?
APR: ?
Cost: ?
Bad
OneClickCash
F BBB Rating and strong warning.
The Payday Hound suggests avoiding this one.
Governing Law: Tribe
Loan Amt: ?
APR: ?
Cost: ?
Bad

* Costs vary by state. Cost shown are based on pricing for Delaware residents when available. Check each lender's website for updated information. Some lenders will not provide pricing data until an application is completed.

Who Are Payday Lenders

Payday lenders make actual loans. As a direct lender they differ from other 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 actually matching services. These sites sell your information on to 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 a lot of time and effort as applications can take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to complete. The downside to matching services is you are unable to pick the lenders to whom you are applying and you expose yourself to having your data sold to unknown entities. In the first situation, being unable to chose your lenders, this often means the lenders with whom you are matched include unlicensed lenders as well as licensed lenders. The Payday Hound strongly prefers licensed lenders to unlicensed lenders. This means if you use a matching service, once you are offered a loan, make sure to evaluate your lender to decide if they are licensed or not. In the second situation, exposing your data to multiple entities, when you agree to the matching service's terms you permit them to sell you information to third parties. This information includes your personal data including bank account data. In most cased the buyers are other lenders but there may be buyers with unscrupulous practices as well. 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 what they are agreeing to when they use one of these services. For more information see Direct Lenders or Matching Services

Licensed Lenders

Payday lenders may or may not be licensed lenders. Lenders can be regulated by both federal and state laws. There are also some offshore entities that try to avoid all regulations. 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 as opposed to fly-by-night lenders.

Unlicensed payday lenders operate in states 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 who operate under their own tribal laws. Tribal lenders typically partner with another company that manages the payday loan program. The Tribe will provide their legal status while the parter company will operate the business. This type of tribal lender was becoming very common until recently when the position that tribes or states could export their laws into other states was challenged. The result has been a slow down in the growth of tribal based payday lenders. The Payday Hound believes this change is good for the industry as we believe licensed lenders are a safer choice for borrowers. For more information see Payday Loan Laws

What Are Payday Loans

Payday loans are short-term loans tied to your paycheck. The do not require collateral and individuals with bad credit can fairly easily qualify. Typically payday lenders can deposit funds into your checking account over night. Payment which includes the principal and fees are due in full the next pay period. These 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 provide a very expensive form of borrowing. Their fees range from around $9 to $30 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. On the other hand 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 the lender 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. This means one should almost never take out a payday loan but if they do it should be at most taking 1 or 2 times a year. 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. To find the best rates that are available in your state select your state below.