A payday loan (also called a payday advance, salary loan, payroll loan, small dollar loan, short term, or cash advance loan) is a small, short-term unsecured loan, "regardless of whether repayment of loans is linked to a borrower's payday."[1][2][3] The loans are also sometimes referred to as "cash advances," though that term can also refer to cash provided against a prearranged line of credit such as a credit card. Payday advance loans rely on the consumer having previous payroll and employment records. Legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different countries, and in federal systems, between different states or provinces.

6. Beware of scams. It can be difficult to spot a scam among legitimate online lenders. Scammers may not offer you a loan, but instead take the highly private personal and credit information you provided and sell it for misuse. A company may be a scam if it requires upfront fees, ignores your payment history, initiates contact or contacts you nonstop, asks you to pay with a prepaid card or isn’t registered in your state.
As an alternative to traditional payday loans, LendUp also has several different types of loans. A traditional payday loan means you must repay the full value of the loan with your next paycheck. That could leave you in a financial tight spot. LendUp offers up to 30 days for repayment. The added flexibility makes it much easier for you to repay these alternative loans without failing to meet other financial obligations.
Check Into Cash is one of the most widespread payday lenders in the country, offering payday loans, installments loans and other financial services to customers in 32 states. Payday loans aren’t legal everywhere, and in some states, Check Into Cash may offer different services. Because it has the broadest service area, reasonable fees for a payday lender and an array of financial services, it is our pick for the best lender overall.

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]


Some payday loan companies gather your personal information and then shop around for a lender. That means your information could go out to third parties as part of the lending process. Other companies will even sell contact information, leaving you dealing with sales calls and spam emails. LendUp protects customer information and will never sell it.
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Customer Notice: Payday Loans are typically for two-to four-week terms (up to six months in IL). Some borrowers, however, use Payday Loans for several months, which can be expensive. Payday Loans (also referred to as Payday Advances, Cash Advances, Deferred Deposit Transactions/Loans) and high-interest loans should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction. See State Center for specific information and requirements.
We stuck with direct lenders who comply with state laws. A good way to tell if a lender follows the rules is if its website asks what state you live in before giving you a quote. If a lender says all loans have the same fee no matter where you live, that’s a tipoff you may be dealing with a less-reputable lender you should avoid. We didn’t include any of those lenders on our lineup.
When considering a pay day loan, make sure you only get loans when you really need them (not just to purchase non-essentials), that you will be able to repay the loan when it comes due (this is where some people get into trouble), and that you have selected a reputable, reliable, and fair payday loans company. To help with this last step, below is a list of the top ten payday loans providers.
The basic loan process involves a lender providing a short-term unsecured loan to be repaid at the borrower's next payday. Typically, some verification of employment or income is involved (via pay stubs and bank statements), although according to one source, some payday lenders do not verify income or run credit checks.[13] Individual companies and franchises have their own underwriting criteria.
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.

Before you apply, ensure that you won’t have any problems in repaying the loan. If you think you might have trouble, don’t take out the loan. Late or missed payments come with increased fees, charges and interest rates on top of negatively impacting your credit. Always work the repayment schedule into your budget, and the best loans will remain the best.


Upstart has more stringent employment requirements than other lenders. To qualify, you must have a full- or part-time job or another source of regular income or have a full-time job offer starting in six months.If not, you must be enrolled in a coding bootcamp with one of Upstart’s partners, and have plans to actively look for work after you graduate.
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