Payday Loans for Bad Credit

Did you know you may be able to get a Payday Loan with bad credit? In fact, Payday Loans are a viable option for people with all types of credit histories. Unlike most financial solutions, Payday Loans don’t solely rely on your credit score and consider other factors like your income and employment. 

Payday Loans also have other benefits. You typically get the loan funds fast and can use the money for whatever you need. 

Let’s dive deeper into Payday Loan options for people with bad or poor credit, what you can expect if you pursue one, and how to apply for a Payday Loan online. 

What is a Payday Loan for bad credit? 

A Payday Loan is designed to provide you with extra cash to hold you over until your next payday. This could make a Payday Loan for bad credit a good option for covering an emergency expense, like a car repair or medical bill, or simply paying for everyday essentials when money is tight. 

How do Payday Loans for bad credit work? 

When you take out a Payday Loan, the amount you borrow is typically based on a portion of your expected paycheck – usually a couple hundred dollars or less. You then use the money for what you need and repay the loan in full on your next payday, which is usually within two to four weeks.

Many payday lenders have less strict credit score requirements than banks and credit unions, so they rely on factors like your income and employment history when making their approval decision. This means you may still get approved for a Payday Loan without having good credit. 

Can I get one online? 

Direct lenders like Advance America may offer Payday Loans for bad credit online in addition to their storefront locations. Simply fill out the short application form online, review your approval decision and, if approved, wait for the funds to be deposited directly to your checking account.

Online Payday Loans for bad credit are the same as the Payday Loans you can apply for in person. You can get the same amount of money and receive it via direct deposit just as quickly, making online Payday Loans for bad credit a solid loan option. 

How quickly can you get a Payday Loan with bad credit? 

Payday Loans offer quick funding, making them a great option when you need cash fast. Even if you have less-than-perfect credit, you can apply for an Advance America Payday Loan online and, if approved, get your money by the following business day. We even offer same-day funding for applications approved before 10:30 AM EST. 

How much does a Payday Loan for bad credit cost? 

Rates vary by state, but you’ll typically pay about $15 to $20 fee for every $100 you borrow. The state you live in will also determine the amount you can borrow. Remember, you’re responsible for any interest or fees associated with late or missed payments, so borrow responsibly. 

Even though a Payday Loan does cost money, it can be a more affordable alternative to overdraft charges, credit card late fees, and bounced checks, especially when you know you can repay the loan as scheduled. 

Key benefits 

Easy application 

Payday Loans often come with easy applications that borrowers can complete online or in-store. In fact, you may be able to apply in just a few minutes from the comfort of home. 

Quick approval 

Once you apply for a Payday Loan, you should receive an instant or quick approval decision. Funding times vary by lender. 

Good credit not needed 

Bad credit, good credit, or no credit history at all; it doesn’t matter when you apply for a Payday Loan. Instead, payday lenders consider your ability to repay the loan on your next payday, which means looking at your anticipated income and employment history. This means you may still get approved even if you have bad credit. 

How to apply 

Whether you visit your nearest Advance America location or prefer to apply online, submitting your Payday Loan application is easy. Here’s what you’ll need to do: 

Gather the relevant information 

Before you start the application process, make sure you have the following information on hand: 

  • Social Security number 
  • Email address 
  • Checking account information 
  • Proof of income 

How to apply for a Payday Loan online 

Navigate to the online application form to start your application. 

  1. Provide your personal contact information. 
  2. Provide your employment information. 
  3. Provide your banking details, including your checking account number and ABA routing number. 
  4. Submit your Payday Loan application. 
  5. Review your approval decision and sign the agreement. 

How to apply for a Payday Loan in person 

We also accept in-store applications, and our staff is more than happy to assist. Simply stop by your local Advance America and speak with one of our friendly loan specialists. Be sure to bring the following: 

  • Your government-issued photo ID 
  • Proof of an active checking account 
  • Recent proof of income, such as a pay stub 
  • Social Security number 
  • Voided check (this requirement varies by state) 

Wait for funding and repay your loan 

Upon approval for a Payday Loan with bad credit, you should get the money that same day or the next business day. 

Remember, you’ll need to repay your Payday Loan in full when you get your next paycheck. Typically, this payment will be scheduled to automatically deduct from your account on the agreed upon repayment date. You can also make an early payment on your loan over the phone, online, or in person. 

How to improve your credit 

The better your credit is, the more favorable your loan rates and terms might be. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to improve your credit as much as possible. If you’re not sure where you stand, visit to check your credit report, then follow these tips: 

Pay your bills on time 

Even one late payment can ding your credit. Focus on paying all your bills on time, including your mortgage, utilities, auto loans, and credit cards. 

If you struggle to remember your payment dates, enroll in automatic payments or set calendar reminders on your phone so you don’t forget and miss a payment. 

Keep your credit accounts open 

Your length of credit history has a direct effect on your credit score. Generally, the longer you’ve had your credit accounts open and in good standing, the higher your score. 

If you can, try to keep your old accounts open, even if you want to avoid using them or have a zero balance. 

Reduce your credit utilization ratio 

The amount of debt you have divided by the amount of credit available to you is known as your credit utilization ratio. Since most lenders prefer a ratio of less than 30%, it’s important to reduce your ratio by paying down your balances. 

What can a Payday Loan for bad credit be used for? 

Payday Loans are small-dollar, short-term financing options that can be used for a variety of emergency expenses, such as: 

Car expenses 

If your car suddenly breaks down and you need new tires or another repair that only costs a few hundred bucks, a Payday Loan for bad credit can help you out. Without it, you might not have reliable transportation to work, school, and other important places. 


In the event you’re low on cash flow and can’t cover your next grocery bill, you can use a Payday Loan for bad credit. It can help you feed yourself and your family until you get your next paycheck.

Rent or mortgage payment 

A couple hundred dollars short on your rent or mortgage payment? A Payday Loan for bad credit may give you the extra funds you need to take care of it. Just make sure you don’t depend on it every month. 

Other loan options if you have bad credit 

While Payday Loans for bad credit can be a good option for many borrowers, they may not be right for everyone. If you need fast cash but don’t want to pursue a Payday Loan, consider these alternatives: 

Installment Loan 

Installment Loans for bad credit give you a lump sum of money upfront. You’ll pay the loan back over time (anywhere from a few months to several years) via fixed monthly payments, or installments. These loans might make sense if you need a lot of cash at once. 

Title loan 

Car title loans for bad credit are secured loans that use your car as collateral. Upon approval, you’ll give the lender your title in exchange for a lump sum of cash, based on the value of your vehicle. You’ll be able to drive your car as you repay your loan. If you own your car and are willing to use your title as collateral, a title loan through our partnership with LoanCenter might make sense. 

Line of Credit 

With a Line of Credit, you can withdraw money whenever you’d like up to a set credit limit, and you’ll only pay interest on the amount you borrow. Lines of Credit should be on your radar if you’d like a flexible loan but aren’t sure exactly how much you need to borrow right now. 

Get an Advance America loan today 

Whether you need a Payday Loan, an Installment Loan, or a Line of Credit, you can apply for one with Advance America. Regardless of which loan you choose, we offer affordable interest rates, a fast turnaround time, and no hidden fees. And best of all? You don’t need great credit to qualify. 

Ready to apply? Let’s get started!

About the Author

Jalin Coblentz has contributed to Advance America since 2023. His experiences as a parent, full-time traveler, and skilled tradesman give him fresh insight into every personal finance topic he explores.

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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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