Frequently asked questions

Payday Loans

What is a Cash Advance (also known as a Payday Loan)?

A Cash Advance (or Payday Loan) is a short-term, small-dollar loan, often used to cover unexpected expenses or just get a little extra money before your next paycheck. A Cash Advance is a personal loan that provides an alternative to bouncing checks. Cash Advances are used to cover short-term financial situations — they are not a long-term financial solution.

How often can I use a Cash Advance (or Payday Loan)?

Advance America is regulated by state and federal laws. Depending on your state's laws, there may be specific guidelines regarding the use of a Payday Loan. You can view options available in your location here.

What is the difference between an in-store and online Cash Advance (also known as Payday Advance or Payday Loan)?

An in-store Cash Advance/Payday Loan allows you to visit one of our stores and receive your money in person. The entire process typically takes about 15 minutes, and you could get the money you need on-the-spot. An online Payday Loan gives you the convenience of processing your loan completely online without the need to visit a store. Simply submit an online loan application, and if approved, the funds from this personal loan are deposited directly into your bank account, as soon as the same day.*

*Online approvals before 10:30 AM ET (M-F) are typically funded to your bank account by 5 PM ET same-day. Approvals after 10:30 AM ET are typically funded in the morning the next banking day.

What do I need to apply for a Cash Advance (Payday Loan)?

If you’re applying in-store, you’ll need:

Government issued photo ID, proof of open and active checking account (statement), most recent proof of income (check stub, award letter or direct deposit), and verification of SSN. Depending on state, a check may be required.

If you’re applying online, you’ll need:

  • Valid Social Security Number

  • Have a valid and active email address

  • Active Checking Account

  • Source of Income

Are Cash Advances (or Payday Loans) regulated?

Yes, Advance America follows all applicable laws and regulations at both state and federal levels, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We’re also members of INFiN, so we follow all industry Best Practices where applicable to provide the most beneficial, responsible personal loan services.

Why should I choose Advance America for a Cash Advance?

For over 23 years, millions of hard-working Americas have trusted Advance America to provide flexible and personalized financial solutions to meet their needs. In fact, our customers rate us excellent, 5 out of 5. View reviews here.

We understand that financial solutions aren’t one-size-fits-all, so we provide a variety of services to meet customers’ needs. We have over 1,200 stores across the country, with a friendly and knowledgeable staff ready to talk through your options so you can be comfortable about your choice.

And as the nation's largest Payday Loan Company, we recognize the significant responsibility of following all applicable federal and state laws and presenting agreements and fees that are clear and easy to understand. We’re also proud to be a founding member of the Community Financial Services Association of America.

How often can I use a Cash Advance (or Payday Loan)?

Advance America is regulated by state and federal laws. Depending on your state's laws, there may be specific guidelines regarding the use of a Payday Loan. You can view options available in your state here.

Is my credit score checked or impacted when applying for a Payday Loan?

When reviewing your Payday Loan application, we may evaluate your credit eligibility by receiving information from third-party data sources.

Is my transaction confidential?

We take all necessary steps to respect and protect your privacy. Your Payday Loan transaction is confidential, as is your personal information. You can also be sure that all the information you submit online is sent through a secure server, and we keep your information in a secure database. One way for you to verify that our website is secure is to look for the security icon in the footer of our site that tells you that your information is secure and encrypted. The green padlock in the URL address bar also signifies that your information on this website is encrypted. For more details, see our Privacy Policy.

What are your store hours?

Our hours vary by store. Click here to view the hours of the store nearest you.

What is the process for getting a Cash Advance (Payday Loan)?

The application process at Advance America is efficient and simple and only takes 10-15 minutes. Below is a summary of our quick process:

  • Choose an in-store or online loan, where available.

  • Fill out quick application

  • Get an approval decision in minutes. Get money same day*.

  • Pay it back in a single payment on your loan due date.

  • Loans are typically due on your next payday. However, the exact timing depends on your pay schedule and state regulations.

*Online approvals before 10:30 AM ET (M-F) are typically funded to your bank account by 5 PM ET same-day. Approvals after 10:30 AM ET are typically funded in the morning the next banking day.

How much does a Cash Advance (Payday Loan) cost?

The fees are specific to your state or store, and can be viewed here. Often, the cost of a Cash Advance may be lower than the alternatives considered by many people, such as paying a bill late or incurring overdraft fees from banks and credit unions.

How are fees established?

Fees vary depending on the amount of your loan and your state regulations. Our fees comply with all applicable state and federal laws.

How much can I borrow?

The maximum loan amount available is regulated by state law. Within the allowed range, you qualify for a particular loan amount based on your current income. To view the available loan amounts in your area, click here.

What do I need to get a Cash Advance (Payday Loan)?

To qualify for a loan, you must provide personal identification, proof of income, a bank statement and a personal check. In many states you can provide a debit card or ACH authorization if you do not have a personal check. No personal property is required to get a Cash Advance. To view more details on what to bring to an Advance America store in your area, click here and enter your zip code.

How and when will I know my loan has been approved?

Whether you apply in store or online, which depends on your state, processing your completed application will only take a few minutes and you will receive an approval decision immediately.

When will my loan be due?

Payday loans are short-term loans that are typically due on your next payday. Timing depends on your pay schedule.

What if I change my mind after taking out a loan?

Advance America abides by INFiN Best Practices and state laws, where applicable, regarding rescission, which enable you to rescind the transaction at no cost within a certain time period by returning the full amount of the advance. Contact your local Advance America store, give us a call, or visit us online and enter your location to see which specific rescission policies apply to you.

How can I get a Payday Loan with no credit?

All credit levels can apply for a Payday Loan with Advance America. An established credit history is one of many factors considered when Advance America reviews a Payday Loan application.

How is the Cash Advance (Payday Loan) industry regulated?

Cash Advances are highly regulated on the state and federal level to protect both our company and the consumer. Laws and regulations include:

  • State Regulations: The Cash Advance industry is highly regulated by state officials across the country. State laws typically limit the principal amount on an advance; set maximum fees; limit a customer's ability to renew an advance; and require various disclosures. And, most states require that a customer have the right to rescind the transaction before the end of the next business day.
  • Federal Regulation: A number of federal laws and agencies regulate our business and help protect our customers, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).
  • Federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA): This law requires lenders to clearly define key terms of consumer lending agreements and fully disclose all associated fees and charges, ensuring that consumers are able to compare the costs of all credit options.
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA): Advance America only contracts with collection agencies that use legal, professional and non-aggressive collection practices.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA): We adhere to strict policies that regulate the collection, dissemination, and use of consumer information, including consumer credit information.
  • Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA): We do not discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, or because someone receives public assistance.
  • Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLB Act): The GLB Act is designed to protect consumers’ personal financial information held by financial institutions, which means we will not share yours or other customers’ personal information.
  • John Warner National Defense Authorization Act limits the total charges on certain loans to a 36 percent Military Annual Percentage Rate. As a result, we do not offer loans to military personnel.
  • Industry Regulations: Advance America is also a founding member of the Community Financial Services Association of America, now part of INFiN. INFiN’s mission is to serve as the voice of the vital and rapidly evolving consumer financial services industry including small-dollar consumer loans, pre-paid cards, money transfers, and electronic bill payments in a thriving, competitive marketplace, and to advocate on behalf of customers who choose and value these convenient, reliable, and transparent products and services for financial inclusion and stability.

What is INFiN?

INFiN, a Financial Services Alliance, is the leading national trade association representing the diverse and innovative consumer financial services industry. Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) and Financial Service Centers of America (FiSCA) formed an alliance comprising of more than 350 companies, operating approximately 8,000 locations throughout the United States and online. INFiN members deliver vital products and services – including small-dollar consumer loans, pre-paid cards, money transfers, and electronic bill payments to meet ever-changing consumer needs.

Do Cash Advances (Payday Loans) have unreasonably high interest rates?

Depending on your loan type and state, a Cash Advance charges a flat fee and does not have interest accruing fees. The typical fee for a Cash Advance is $15 per $100 borrowed — a set price for a short-term transaction. This makes a Cash Advance often less expensive than bouncing a check, missing a credit card payment or neglecting a bill.

The Federal Truth in Lending Act (TILA) requires all financial institutions to disclose loan fees as Annual Percentage Rates (APR). To comply with TILA, Advance America reports the implied APR of a cash advance — the amount you would pay if you renewed your advance every two weeks for a full year. However, the average loan term is only two to four weeks. APR is a more appropriate measure of costs associated with loans that last for at least a year, such as a mortgage loan or a car loan. However, even using APR as a measure of the cost of various options for short-term loans, Payday Loans and Cash Advances are still the least costly option compared to bank overdraft, bounced check, late payment and utility reconnection fees.

Image
APR of payday loans vs. average overdraft fee comparison bar graph

Image
Cash Advance Fee vs. Alternatives Bar Graph

Payday advance fee vs alternatives

Sources: CFSAA.com; Stephens, Inc. 2011; Moebs Services 2010 Fee Revenue Study; Bankrate.com; Readex Research National Data on Short-Term Credit Alternatives 2006; Moebs Services 2010 Financial Pricing Survey

Could Advance America charge a smaller APR?

Some of our critics have proposed capping interest rates for Payday Loans or a Cash Advance, but doing so would greatly impede our ability to operate. If we charged lower fees, we would not generate enough income to pay for basic business expenses, such as rent, utilities and wages. If we were to charge an APR of 36 percent, as some of our critics have suggested, that would mean customers pay a fee of $1.38 per $100 borrowed. No business — not a credit union, not a bank — can lend money for 10 cents a day for a two-week loan term without being subsidized. Such rate-cap models overlook the significant cost of operating a regulated business, and would be an effective ban on Cash Advances. Our customers recognize that the price of the one-time fee is appropriate for a short-term loan, relative to other options.

Why can’t cash advance customers just go to a bank instead?

Most banks do not provide small-dollar, short-term loans that our customers need. The average amount of a Cash Advance and Payday Loan is about $350, an amount significantly lower than what a bank will loan. Some banks and credit unions have begun to offer products they promote as "alternatives" to Cash Advances, but these options are not broadly available and involve a variety of restrictions and complex fee structures. And in some cases, though our customers all have a bank or credit union account, they may choose not to obtain credit from these institutions because of a negative past experience, such as encountering hidden fees. We support a competitive market and encourage our customers to weigh all of their options before choosing our service. Cash Advances are not for everyone, but our customers make informed decisions, and choose Advance America because they appreciate the simplicity, reliability and transparency of our Cash Advance services.

Do Cash Advances (Payday Loans) trap customers in a “cycle of debt?”

The "cycle of debt" catchphrase is our opponents' attempt to portray our industry as taking advantage of people. Our stores and service representatives work to prevent this by making Payday Loans and Cash Advances that match, but do not exceed, customer’s needs. It hurts the company, and the customer, when a loan is not repaid.

If a customer is unable to pay back an advance within the arranged timeframe, Advance America works with him or her to find the best way to deal with their individual situation and to repay the personal loan in full. For example, our stores offer an Extended Payment Plan — where available under state law — that allows customers a longer time period to repay at no additional charge. In fact, about 90 percent of our customers repay their advances when due and 95 percent are ultimately paid off.

Additionally, we have a high customer satisfaction rating indicating our customers need our services and are happy with their experience.

Who is the typical cash advance customer?

Our customers are hardworking individuals — including teachers, nurses, bus drivers and first responders — who make a positive contribution to their community. All customers must have a steady source of income and a checking account to receive a Cash Advance.

According to customer surveys, 92% of customers think Cash Advance lenders offer a valuable service and 90% are satisfied with their understanding of the terms and costs of Cash Advances.

Who is the typical cash advance customer?

Our customers are hardworking individuals — including teachers, nurses, bus drivers and first responders — who make a positive contribution to their community. All customers must have a steady source of income and a checking account to receive a Cash Advance.

According to customer surveys, 92% of customers think Cash Advance lenders offer a valuable service and 90% are satisfied with their understanding of the terms and costs of Cash Advances.

What should I look for in a Payday Loan company?

When choosing a company for the best Payday Loans, make sure to look for these important signs:

  • The Payday Loan process should be simple, easy, and offer users access to knowledgeable staff, whether in store or online through chat.
  • Make sure the website is secure. Consider looking for the security icon that states your information is safe and encrypted. Your URL within the top address bar should have a green padlock, signifying that this website is encrypted. See our Privacy Policy for more information.
  • Your Payday Loan terms and rates should be clear. At Advance America, we're always upfront with your Payday Loan details, and even provide you with a sample fee calculator to estimate your Payday Loan terms and fees based on the amount borrowed depending on your state. To learn more about the rates and fees in your state, click here.

How much can I borrow for a Payday Loan?

The maximum amount of money you'll be able to receive from a Payday Loan is regulated by state law. In addition, you'll qualify for a particular loan amount based on your current income, within the allowed range. To learn more about the loan amount ranges in your state, click here.

What is a Payday Loan?

A Payday Loan is a two to four week short-term loan that is due on your next pay date. Payday Loans are perfect for unexpected expenses or when you need a little extra money before your next paycheck. Depending on your state, you could get up to $1,800. To find out what is available in your state, click here.

What is the difference between an in store and online Payday Loan?

An in-store Cash Advance/Payday Loan allows you to visit one of our stores and receive your money in person. The entire process typically takes about 15 minutes and could get you the money you need on the spot. An online Payday Loan gives you the convenience of processing your loan completely online without the need to visit a store. Simply submit an online loan application and, if approved, the funds from this payday loan will be deposited directly into your bank account as soon as the same day.* To learn more about the options in your state, click here.

Can I get a Payday Loan without a checking account?

Requirements on what to bring for a Payday Loan vary by state, but a checking account is required in most cases. To see if this is required in your state, check out the What to Bring section on your state page. To learn more about what you need for a payday loan in your state, click here.

Are all Payday Loans guaranteed?

Not all Payday Loan approvals will be guaranteed, as certain criteria must be met. To find out what is available in your state, click here.

Are Payday Loans regulated?

Yes, Advance America follows all applicable laws and regulations at both state and federal levels, including INFiN. We’re also members of the Community Financial Services Association of America, so we follow all industry best practices where applicable to provide the most beneficial, responsible personal loan services.

Can I get a Payday Loan with bad credit?

Advance America accepts applications from consumers with all types of credit. Credit is not the only factor we consider when reviewing a Payday Loan application.

How many Payday Loans can I have at once?

In most states, an individual can only have one Payday Loan with Advance America. To learn about what options are available in your state, click here.

How to repay Payday Loans?

Your Payday Loan is typically due on your next pay date. We offer several options to make paying your loan back convenient, including in-person or online payment options (varies by state).

Can I pay off my loan early?

Yes, you can pay off your Payday Loan early with no penalty.

Does Advance America have any payment plans for Payday Loans?

If you are having difficulty paying back your Payday Loan, you can contact Advance America to arrange payment options.

Why get a Cash Advance from Advance America?

At Advance America, we understand that when you need money, you need it fast. That’s why we offer a simplified Cash Advance application process, along with a friendly and knowledgeable staff that’s ready to help you every step of the way. So when you choose Advance America, expect great service and money in your hands the same day*.

How much can I borrow with a Cash Advance from Advance America?

The maximum amount available with a Cash Advance is regulated by state law. Within the allowed range, you qualify for a particular loan amount based on your current income. To view the available loan amounts in your area, click here.

How do I apply for a Cash Advance online?

Applying for an online Cash Advance from Advance America is simple, but know that online Cash Advances are only available in certain states. Click here to find out if in store or online Cash Advances are in your state. Then, click Apply Now to get started on your Cash Advance application to start an online application. There are a few simple steps that take only a couple minutes of your time. You can expect to receive your approval notice same day*.

Is a Cash Advance similar to a Payday Loan?

Yes, a Cash Advance is also known as a Payday Loan. This is a short term, personal loan that is due on your next pay date.

Is a Cash Advance a short-term cash solution?

Yes, Cash Advances are a great short-term cash solution when you need a little extra money to get you to your next paycheck. Advance America understands that unexpected expenses can suddenly arise and financial help is needed.

How do I get cash fast?

Advance America can get you cash fast. Depending on your state, you can go in store for a Cash Advance or apply online. With either option, you can get money as soon as the same day*. Find your nearest location by clicking here or you can apply now.

Are Cash Advances regulated?

Yes, Advance America follows all applicable laws and regulations at both state and federal levels, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. We’re also members of INFiN, so we follow all industry Best Practices where applicable to provide the most beneficial, responsible personal loan services.

Can I get a Cash Advance online with bad credit?

Credit is not the only factor we consider when reviewing a Cash Advance application. Advance America accepts applications from consumers with all types of credit.

Are online Cash Advances safe?

With Advance America, you can be certain that all the information you submit for an online Cash Advance is sent through a secure server and kept in a secure database. One way for you to verify our website’s security is to look for the security icon in the website footer that tells you that your information is secure and encrypted. The green padlock in the URL address bar also signifies that your information on this website is encrypted. For more details, see our Privacy Policy.

Will applying for a Cash Advance affect my credit?

When reviewing your Cash Advance application, we may evaluate your credit eligibility by receiving information from third-party data sources.

How old do you have to be to get a Cash Advance?

In most states, you have to be 18 years old to apply for a Cash Advance. Exceptions do apply.

When will my Cash Advance be due?

Cash Advances are short-term loans that are typically due on your next pay date. Timing depends on your pay schedule.

Can I renew or refinance my Cash Advance?

Advance America follows all federal and state laws, so the ability to refinance your Cash Advance depends upon the state regulations. Please contact your nearest store for further information or call us at (844) 562-6480.

What if I cannot pay or will be late repaying my Cash Advance?

Advance America will work with you to establish payment arrangements for your Cash Advance. We're also committed to collecting past due accounts in a professional, fair and lawful manner. Past due payments may impact your ability to transact with Advance America or other lenders. If you are unable to pay your Cash Advance on time, please contact us at your local store or our toll free number (844)562–6480.

Still have questions?

We’re here to help. Connect by chat, phone, email, and more.

Contact Us