Payday Loans

Updated October 06, 2017
Loan review team sm

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2017 Payday Loan Rankings

Payday loans are quick, easy loans that can get cash into your bank account overnight. They do not require good credit or collateral but when compared to other options they can be very expensive. If banks, credit cards, friends, or family are an option getting cash from them is generally cheaper. These loans are best used for emergency, short-term cash situations and when full repayment can be done with the next paycheck. We review direct loan providers 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 loans 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
C+ BBB Score. Application in Spanish and English.
Spanish version of application.
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
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
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
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
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
Payday Loan Today
Neveda licensed national lender.
Informative website. Flexible payment terms.
Governing Law: Nevada
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 510%
Cost: $58.74
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
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
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
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
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
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
Payadvance
No longer accepting new applications
Costa Rica based lender.
Governing Law: Costa Rica
Loan Amt: $300
APR: 460%
Cost: $53
Bad
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
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
500FastCash
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.

What Are Payday Loans

These loans based on your pay check. The typical process is once approved for a loan the lender will deposit funds directly into your checking account. At your next pay date the lender will automatically deduct the principal and fees from your checking account. These fees range from around $9 to $30 per $100 borrowed. So if you get $300 deposited into your checking account, on your next payday $327 to $390 will be automatically deducted from your account depending on the fee for your particular loan. If the full deduction can be made then the loan is paid in full and you are done. If you are unable to make this full payment some payday lenders allow you to renew the loan. The extension usually is 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) $356 to $507 will be automatically deducted from your account. As you can see the fees add up fast and one can end up owing in fees way more than the original loan so please be careful with these loans. If you think you will be unable to pay the loan off in one or two pay periods, an installment loan may be a better option.

These loans are also referred to as direct lender payday loans, online payday loans, and payday advances.

Why Are Payday Loans So Expensive

Payday loans are generally unsecured loans and not based on credit history. Traditionally, when lenders make loans they evaluate person's credit history and also take collateral. This helps lenders predict the likelihood of being repaid and in the event of not being repaid they can seize the collateral to cover the loan. Payday loans have neither security nor credit history. This makes them fairly risky loans for lenders so they charge more to cover the loans for people that do not pay back their loans. In addition, there is adverse selection. This means individuals who do have good credit history and collateral are taking other types of loans so people applying for payday loans are already, on average, high risk. So one of the reasons these loans are expensive is the nature of the loan. Another reason they are expensive is the lack of consistent regulation, enforcement, and transparency. This is why pricing varies so much. The market is very inefficient. See Payday Loans Too Taboo To Touch for more information on improving the payday lending space. Finally, these types of loans can be very expensive because some lenders take advantage of the emergency nature of loan and charge very high rates.

Avoid a Vicious Debt Cycle

Payday loans are a very expensive form of borrowing. As described above, if one is unable to pay off the loan at the next payday, costs can quickly spiral out of control. This what is often referred to as a debt cycle. One starts off in a bind with a small amount of debt but within weeks the debt quickly escalates into an unimaginable amount. For this reason The Payday Hound believes these loans should only be used for emergency situations. This means one should almost never take out one of these loans. See Don't Use A Payday Loan for Summer Vacation Cash or Borrow Money Options to determine if there are other options.

How Payday Loans Work

If you do decide you need emergency cash, the application process can be quick, taking 5-15 minutes, and approval is often instant. To qualify one must be employed, have direct deposit, and be over 18 years old. These loans are not available to members of the military so you must be a civilian as well. If approved, the money is generally deposited into your checking account by the next business day. The deposited cash is a loan and is due in full your next pay period plus fees. These loans can sometimes be renewed, but additional fees are incurred. These costs add up quickly, as you end up paying fees on your fees. Renewing is generally not a good choice, so if you believe you are unable to pay your loan in full at your next pay period, consider an installment loan.

Installment Loans Versus Payday Loans

The difference between these types of loans is that installment loan payments are spread out over time. This reduces the amount of individual payments and APR for an installment loan but the total fees paid increases. See Payday Loans or Installment Loans for more information. Many consumers prefer installment loans because paying the entire loan at your next pay period, as payday loans require, is often too difficult or impossible and renewing becomes extremely expensive.

Payday Loan Lenders

Companies offering these loans vary greatly from those matching services to direct lenders, and from state licensed lenders to fly-by-night lenders. There are numerous stories in the press of individuals being taken advantage of by unscrupulous lenders. The Payday Hound strongly prefers using established state licensed lenders. See Payday Lenders to learn more about lenders.

Find Loan Lenders by State

Payday loans 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.