Online Payday Loans: Direct Lenders vs. Indirect Lenders

When emergencies happen, an online payday loan can help you take care of expenses between paydays. But how do you know which lender to choose?

We’ll discuss direct online payday loan lenders, loan brokers, and what to know before you apply for a payday loan.

What are the options for payday loans?

As you look for a payday loan, you typically have two options:

  1. Applying with a direct online payday loan lender who will service your entire loan.
  2. Applying with an indirect lender through a loan broker (also called a lead generator or loan connection service). Loan brokers will use your application to locate lenders that can finalize your loan.

A direct lender for online payday loans can help you manage every step of the loan process. Direct lenders will:

  • Receive and review your application.
  • Give you a decision about your application, usually within minutes.
  • Fund your loan quickly once you’re approved; you can usually receive your money as soon as the same day or on the next banking day.
  • Receive your loan repayment.

If you’d like to borrow a payday loan to cover an unexpected expense before your next paycheck, applying with a direct online payday loan lender can make borrowing simple and can help you avoid extra fees that you may see with loan brokers.

With indirect lenders, you may face:

  • Additional service fees.
  • Concerns about the security and privacy of your personal data.
  • Multiple steps or systems to complete the borrowing process.

You’ll find that online loans from direct payday loan lenders may save you time and money because there may be no lender connection fees or multiple lenders involved.

Differences between direct lenders and indirect lenders

Direct lenders offer payday loans directly to the borrower and interact with the borrower firsthand at every step of the loan process.

With indirect lending, you go through a loan broker service that facilitates the relationship with a third-party lender who takes care of the rest of the loan process.

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each:

Direct lenders vs. Indirect lenders


Is Advance America a direct payday lender?

Yes, Advance America is a direct lender. We offer payday loans online and in-store to provide you with the money you need between paychecks. Payday loans can be a good financial solution for avoiding bounced checks, credit card late fees, and overdraft charges, but it’s important to do your own research and compare loan options.

Best of all, it’s easy and convenient to apply for a loan at Advance America because we handle the entire process internally. You never have to worry about a middleman, time-consuming paperwork, extra fees, or privacy issues with your personal information. If approved, you may be able to receive the money within 24 hours, giving you quick access to the funds you need.

With indirect lenders, you may experience delays in your application decision and loan payout. You can’t control which lenders your private information is shared with, and additional service fees may apply.

How to apply for a direct payday loan

Here’s how to apply for a direct payday loan in person and online:

In person

Gather your information

Collect the following:

  • Your driver’s license or another form of government ID
  • Proof of an open and active checking account
  • A recent pay stub or other proof of current income
  • Your Social Security number

Visit an Advance America branch

Go to an Advance America location near you. A customer service representative will guide you through the application process.


Gather your information

You will need to enter the following information:

  • Your Social Security number
  • An active email address
  • An active checking account (routing and ABA number)
  • Your source of income

Visit the Advance America website

Once you visit our website and enter your zip code, complete the online application by following these easy steps:

  1. Provide your contact information.
  2. Tell us about your income information. We accept many types of income.
  3. Share your banking details.
  4. Submit your application.
  5. Receive an instant approval decision within minutes.
  6. Get the money as soon as today. Online approvals before 10:30 ET (M-F) are typically funded to your bank account by 5 PM ET on the same day. Approvals after 10:30 ET are typically funded in the morning of the next banking day.

Apply for an online payday loan with Advance America today

Applying for a payday loan with a direct online payday loan lender like Advance America is convenient, simple, and fast. Best of all, you may be able to quickly get the money you need for dealing with life’s emergencies that happen in between paychecks.

Ready to apply? Visit Advance America to start your application.

About the Author

Bree Ewers has contributed to Advance America since 2023. Writing from her home office in Portland, Oregon, she shares a relatable perspective on the financial triumphs and challenges many readers face.

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.
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