How Payday Loans Work

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How do payday loans or cash advances work?

A Payday Loan is a two to four-week short-term loan that is typically due on your next payday. Getting one is easy. Simply choose an in-store or online Payday Loan (where available) and fill out your application. This is how a Payday Loan works:

Apply for a Payday Loan In-Store:

  • You can start your Payday Loan application online, or by visiting an Advance America center with ID, proof of income, bank statement, and personal check, (ACH and debit cards may be used in lieu of a check in some states).
  • Examine the Payday Loan's terms and fees, sign the agreement, and write a personal check or provide an ACH or debit card authorization (in select states) for the loan amount plus fee.
  • Receive money on the spot.
  • Return to repay your Payday Loan on your due date and reclaim your personal check.

Apply for a Payday Loan Online:

  • Get started with a quick and easy online Payday Loan application.
  • After a few simple steps, you'll find out if you have been pre-approved.
  • Read the loan terms, review the fees, provide ACH authorization for payment and electronically sign the agreement.
  • Once your submitted application is approved, your Payday Loan could be deposited directly into your checking account as soon as the same day*.
  • Payment will be automatically withdrawn from your account on your previously agreed upon due date.

How much money can I get with a payday loan?

The amount of money you can get with a Payday Loan varies depending on your state, but payday loans typically range from $50 - $1,000. Once you enter your zip code or city, state, you can learn the Payday Loan amounts available in your area.

What fees are included with a payday loan?

The fees associated with a Payday Loan are specific to your state. In most states a Payday Loan has a flat fee and does not accrue interest fees. Your average fee for a Payday Loan is $15 per $100 borrowed.* This is a set price for a short term loan which makes a Payday Loan less expensive than missing a credit card payment or being late on a bill. Our fees comply with all applicable state and federal laws. Visit or call your local Advance America location. You can also learn more about our in-store and online payday loan rates and fees by viewing our Payday Loan fee slider.


Dispelling Common Myths: The Facts About Cash Advance Fees

What do I need to apply for a payday loan online?

Unlike other types of personal loans, with payday loans, the application requirements are fairly minimal. To apply for a payday loan, you’ll typically need to provide a government issued ID, proof of income and information for your checking account.

How can I find a reliable online payday loan?

Make sure you do your homework when looking for lender that provides online payday loans. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, online payday loans tend to come with the same or higher fees than storefront payday loans. Check the lender’s Better Business Bureau rating and state lending licenses if you have any doubts. Advance America operates as a state licensed lender and features an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, with many reviews from satisfied customers.

How quickly can I get cash from a payday loan?

The speed at which you’ll receive your payday loan depends on the lender. Some lenders will transfer the funds immediately or within several minutes. Other lenders may have a daily window when they transfer money. If you miss that window, you may need to wait until the next day.

Every lender is different so make sure you choose a payday lender with a timeframe that fits your needs.

*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.


The Advance America advantage

Since 1997, Advance America has helped millions of hardworking people with a variety of financial solutions including Payday Loans, Online Loans, Installment Loans, Title Loans and Personal Lines of Credit.
148+ million
loans issued
900+ stores
and online loans
25+ years
providing loans