About Payday Loans / Cash Advances
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 to bridge a temporary gap between paychecks. A Cash Advance is a financial solution that provides an alternative to bouncing checks or paying late fees. Cash advances are used to cover short-term financial situations — they are not a long-term financial solution.
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 allows you to visit one of our stores and receive your money in person. The entire process typically takes about 10-15 minutes, and you could get the money you need on-the-spot. An online loan gives you the convenience of processing your loan completely online without the need to visit a store. You submit an online application, and if approved, the funds from the loan are deposited directly into your bank account, usually by the next business banking day.
*Applications must be submitted prior to 9 P.M. CST to receive funds on the next banking day.
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. In addition, as members of the Community Financial Services Association of America, we follow all industry Best Practices to provide the most beneficial, responsible Payday Loan service.
Why should I choose Advance America for a Cash Advance?
Since 1997, millions of customers have trusted Advance America to provide flexible and personalized financial solutions to meet their needs. In fact, 97% of our customers rate their experience with Advance America as good to excellent. View testimonials 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 2,400 stores across the country, and our friendly, knowledgeable employees are happy to talk through your options so you can be comfortable about your choice.
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 are 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 location here.
Is my credit score checked before receiving an in-store Payday Advance?
No, our approval process does not consider or impact a customer’s FICO score, but we may evaluate your credit eligibility by using a custom scoring model. To learn more, visit or contact one of our stores.
Is my transaction confidential?
What are your hours?
Our hours vary by store. Click here to view the hours of the store nearest you or call 1-800-WE'RE HERE (1-800-937-3437) to be connected to your nearest store.
What is the CFSA?
The Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) is the only national organization dedicated to promoting responsible regulation of the Payday Advance industry and consumer protections through CFSA's Best Practices. CFSA is committed to working with policymakers, consumer advocates and CFSA member companies to ensure that the Payday Advance is a safe and viable credit option for consumers.
Loan Information & Details
What is the process for getting a Cash Advance at a store?
The application process at Advance America is efficient and simple and should only take 10-15 minutes. Below is a summary of our quick process:
- Fill out quick application in-store or start application online
- Finalize loan documents
- Write personal check for loan amount plus fee
- Get money on-the-spot
- Return to repay loan on due date
How much does a Cash Advance cost?
The fees are specific to your state or store, and can be viewed here. A typical fee for a Payday Loan is $15 per $100 borrowed, which is an annual percentage rate of 391.07 for a two-week loan term. 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?
In many states 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. 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.
If I already have another Payday Loan outstanding, can I still qualify?
Advance America follows all applicable federal and state laws, and the ability to have multiple loans depends upon the state regulations. Please keep in mind that having more than one loan out at the same time could make it more difficult to repay your loans.
How and when will I know my loan has been approved?
Processing your completed application at an Advance America store will only take a few minutes. Once processing is complete and you are approved, we'll review the fees and terms for your Payday Loan, and you’ll receive the money you need during that visit.
When will my loan be due?
Typically your loan will be due on your next payday. Every state has its own set of rules and regulations that we follow. To find out more details for your state, please contact a store near you. Find a store.
What if I change my mind after taking out a Payday Loan?
Advance America abides by CFSA Best Practices and state laws 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 for state specific rescission policies.
How do I repay my loan?
When you apply for a loan in an Advance America store, you will return on your due date to repay the total amount due.
What if I cannot pay or will be late repaying my loan?
Advance America will work with you to establish payment arrangements. And we're committed to collecting past due accounts in a professional, fair and lawful manner. We do not report to credit agencies. In most states Advance America offers a Worry Free Advance, in which the fees of your advance are waived should you lose your job while you have a cash advance outstanding.
Can I renew or roll over my advance by just paying the fee again on my due date?
Advance America follows all federal and state laws, and the ability to renew an advance depends upon the state regulations. Please contact your nearest store for further information.
Can I pay off my loan early?
Yes. Please contact the store in which your loan originated to pay your loan off early. In some states, you may be entitled to a refund of part of your loan fee.
About Online Loans
What type of online loans are offered?
In select states, Advance America provides access to online cash advances or installment loans.
A cash advance (or payday loan) is a short-term, small-dollar loan, often used to cover unexpected expenses or bridge a temporary gap between paychecks. A cash advance is a financial solution that provides an alternative to bouncing checks or paying late fees. Cash advances are used to cover short-term financial situations; not a long-term financial solution.
An installment loan typically offers larger loan amounts, and the ability to repay the loan over a longer period of time.
To find out if online loans are available in your state, click here.
How does an online loan work?
An online loan is processed completely online without the need to visit a location. You submit an online application and if approved, the funds from the loan are deposited directly into your bank account, often by the next banking day.*
Your repayment of the loan is electronically deducted from your bank account on your due date(s).
How do I apply for an online loan and when will I receive the money?
If an online loan is available in your state, simply click the “Start Online Application” button and complete the application. Once you have submitted your application, you may be eligible for a loan of $100 or more deposited directly into your checking account the next banking day.*
What states offer online loans?
To find out if online loans are available in your state, click here.
What if I have less-than-perfect credit or a bankruptcy?
A poor credit history or previous bankruptcy filing may not necessarily prevent you from receiving an online loan. Our online representatives will work with you to see what options are available. If you need help with budgeting or debt management, you can call the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 1-800-388-2227 for financial counseling.
How are online loans regulated?
Online loans are regulated by each state. We abide by the applicable laws, rules and regulations of each state in which we operate, as well as the applicable federal laws. In addition, as members of CFSA we follow industry best practices where applicable to provide a more responsible online service. Please note that not all online loan providers always provide these same levels of safeguards. It‘s important to use a reputable company for access to online cash advances and installment loans.
Why should I choose an online loan through Advance America?
When you need money, online cash advances or installment loans through Advance America are simple, quick, and provide the convenience of applying from the privacy of your home. The easy-to-use online application can be completed in as little as 10 minutes, and you may be eligible to have funds directly deposited into your checking account the next banking day.*
In addition, the following attributes show that you‘ve chosen a reputable, trustworthy company:
- We‘re a state-licensed company which means we follow all applicable state laws
- Full Disclosure: As required by law, all rates, terms and fees are explicitly outlined in the agreement. There are no unexpected charges and no hidden costs when borrowing.
- We use simple, straight-forward language to ensure our fees and payment terms are clearly understood
- We‘re committed to providing a safe, secure and private transaction
How do I qualify for an online loan?
You must meet the following requirements to be eligible to receive a loan or Credit Services:
- Have an active checking account with your income direct deposited
- Have a steady source of income
- Have a Social Security Number and valid ID
- Must be at least 18 years of age
Due to state and verification requirements, not all customers may be eligible for instant approval. If you have defaulted on past transactions, you may be declined for a loan. Some customers may be required to submit additional documentation under state law and lender qualification criteria.
Is my credit rating checked before receiving an online loan?
As part of the online application process, we will receive information from third party data providers, including information about your credit history from various credit reporting agencies. If you have defaulted on past transactions, you may be declined for a loan.
Loan Information & Details
How much can I borrow for an online loan?
The amount of your loan is based on income qualification criteria, as well as state laws and regulations. If you successfully repay your first loan, we may be able to increase your loan amount on any future online loans. For information on loan amounts and fees, click here.
How much does an online loan cost?
The fees are specific for your state. If online loans are available in your state, you can view fee information by clicking here.
When will my loan be due?
Every state has its own laws and regulations. A payday loan will typically be due on your next payday. An installment loan typically allows a longer time to pay back over multiple installment payments. Please click here to view more information on the loans available for you.
How do I repay my online loan?
Generally, your payment(s) will be withdrawn from your checking account automatically on the due date of your loan via ACH (Automated Clearing House), which is a form of electronic debit. There may be other repayment options available, depending on your loan type. At your loan payment due date, an ACH request is sent to your bank for the specified amount of loan fees and/or principal that is outlined in your loan agreement. If the payment is returned for reason of insufficient funds, the ACH Authorization may be sent to your bank for another attempt.
How and when will I know my online loan has been approved?
You will receive an email notification after receipt of your application.
Do I need a fax machine or printer to apply for an Online Loan?
No, in most cases our online loan process is paperless, making it easy to get the money you need. In some states, you may be required to provide documentation, but you can always upload or email your documents to us.
Do bank holidays affect or delay my loan?
Yes. Because your online loan is deposited directly into your bank account, bank holidays could delay the timing of your loan deposit. The following bank holidays are observed by all Federal Banks:
- New Years Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- President‘s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
For holidays falling on a Saturday, Federal Reserve Banks will be open the preceding Friday. For holidays falling on Sunday, all Federal Reserve Banks will be closed the following Monday. Be sure to check with your bank‘s holiday schedule. Click here for details.
Managing Your Online Account
How do I update my bank information?
To update your bank information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-877-505-0701. Please make all changes at least two banking days before your loan is due.
How do I update my customer profile?
To update your customer profile, log in to your account and click on “View/Update Profile”
How do I reset my password?
To change your password, log in to your account and click on View/Update profile. Type in a new password and click the "submit" button to save your new password. You can now access the site with your new password.
What if I forgot my password?
To reset your password, click “forgot password” under the customer login section. A new password will be delivered to your email address. Once you login with the password sent to you, you will be required to update that password to a new one to continue.
*Advance America Applications processed before 8PM ET are typically funded the next banking day, but exceptions may apply. If we are unable to verify your application electronically, we may ask you to provide certain documents before final approval.
About Installment Loans
How can I get an In-Store or Online Installment Loan?
In-Store and Online Installment Loans are offered in select states. To see if Installment Loans are available in your state, view your options in your zip code here.
What is the difference between a payday loan and an installment loan?
A payday loan or cash advance is a short-term loan where you pay a one-time fee based on the amount borrowed. An installment loan can give you more money at one time, and you can repay the money over a longer period of time. The payment terms are based on your payday schedule. Not every state offers installment loans. To see if installment loans are available in your state, view your options in your zip code here.
What is the difference between an online payday loan and an online installment loan?
An online payday loan or cash advance is a short-term loan where you pay a one-time fee based on the amount borrowed. An online installment loan gives you more money at one time, and you can repay the money over a longer period of time. The payment terms are based on your payday schedule. Not every state offers installment loans. To see if an online installment loan is available in your state, view your options in your zip code here.
About Title Loans
What is a Title Loan?
If you own the title to your vehicle, a Title Loan allows you to borrow money based on its value. You can get the money you need, and keep driving your car while you pay back your loan.
Do you offer title loans in my state?
To see if a title loan is available in your state, click here.
How fast can I get my money?
The application process will take about 15 minutes, and you can leave with your money the same day.
When will I get my title back?
Timing can vary. Please contact your closest store for details.
Can I drive my car while I have the loan?
Yes, you get the money you need and keep driving your car.
How is the loan amount determined?
The loan amount offered to you primarily depends on the value of your vehicle. In some states, your gross monthly income will also determine the loan amount offered.
Is there any prepayment penalty?
No, there is no prepayment penalty. You may pay off your loan at any time before the due date if you wish.
How much does it cost?
Title Loan costs vary. To see if title loans are available in your area, click here.
What do I need to bring to get a title loan?
Please bring the following items:
- Free and clear vehicle title
- Proof of residence (utility bill)
- Two forms of ID
- Vehicle (for inspection only)
- In some states, proof of income and vehicle insurance required
If there are two owners of the vehicle, both parties must be present.
Will you inspect my car?
Yes, your vehicle will be inspected when qualifying for a loan.
Can I still get a loan if I’ve had a bankruptcy in the past?
Yes — as long as your bankruptcy has been discharged.
Does my car need to be paid off?
Yes, your car must be paid off and you should have possession of the title, with no other lien holders on the title.
Must the car be registered under my name?
Yes, the car must be registered under your name, and the registration must not be past due. If there are two owners, both parties must be present.
About Tax Services
Why should I go to Advance America for Tax Services?
Advance America and eTax Partners make filing taxes easy for you. We prepare and file your returns quickly and accurately. Our stores are open year-round to answer any questions – not just during tax season – and there are no long lines to wait in. Our partner, eTax, has been providing professionally prepared federal and state tax returns for over 26 years.
How much does it cost to file my taxes at Advance America?
Costs for our certified tax services start at $59 for federal returns and increase based on level of complexity – our average fees are typically lower than companies whose primary business is filing taxes.
How long does it take to get my refund?
You can visit a participating Advance America and have your taxes prepared and filed same day. Per the IRS, the majority of electronic filings are processed in 21 days or less.
What do I need to bring?
- Wage statements (Form W-2) for you and your spouse
- Interest or other income earned statements (Form 1099-DIV or 1099-INT)
- Social Security Number (you, your spouse, children and other dependents)
- Copies of your mortgage statement (Form 1098) if applicable
- Two forms of ID (valid government-issued photo ID and one additional ID)
- Other relevant documents (for example, those showing real estate taxes paid or student loan interest paid, tuition, summary of charitable donations)
Do I need to make an appointment?
Appointments are not required. You can contact any of our stores to make an appointment or walk into a store at any time.
How is Advance America connected with eTax Partners?
eTax Partners is a tax preparation service that has provided professionally prepared federal and state tax returns since 1988. With their experience and ours, you can feel confident filing your taxes with us.
Get the Facts About Cash Advances / Payday Loans
Do Cash Advances have unreasonably high interest rates?
Unlike other financial services, Cash Advances charge a flat fee and do 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. Our customers say they appreciate that a Cash Advance, with a one-time fee, can be less expensive than taking on the costs of 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). In order to comply with TILA, Advance America reports the implied APR of a cash advance — the amount you would pay in fees 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, Cash Advances are still the least costly option compared to bank overdraft, bounced check, late payment and utility reconnection fees.
Couldn’t Advance America still operate profitably if they charged a much smaller APR?
Some of our critics have proposed capping interest rates for Cash Advances, but to do 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 the kind of small-dollar, short-term loans that our customers need. The average amount of a Cash Advance 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 Cash Advances.
Do cash advances trap customers in a never-ending “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 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 them to find the best way to deal with their individual situation and to repay the 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.
Is it true that Cash Advance lenders prey on unsophisticated customers?
According to customer surveys, 92 percent of customers think Cash Advance lenders offer a valuable service and 90 percent are satisfied with their understanding of the terms and costs of Cash Advances. Advance America fully discloses the terms of the Cash Advance transaction, and prominently displays the fee for an advance on the walls of our stores.
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.
Is the Cash Advance 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. This prohibits the sharing of personal information about customers.
- John Warner National Defense Authorization Act limits the total charges on a small loan of 91 days or fewer 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 (CFSA), whose mission is to promote laws that provide substantive consumer protections and to encourage responsible Cash Advance industry practices. CFSA member companies must abide by a set of Industry Best Practices that offer a number of important consumer protections, including truthful advertising and fair collection practices.
Is my Payday Loan application secure?
Information about scams
Advance America, along with many other lenders, has been targeted by unknown scammer groups. These scammers are attempting to offer consumers loans on our company’s behalf by going through the internet, email, and making telephone calls. Scammers can be very convincing, especially when they use threats and intimidation and appear to have access to personal information. They use the reputation of a legitimate, respected business, along with dire threats, to get what they want from victims. We want to inform you that these actions are not being made by Advance America or anyone affiliated with the company. We value our customers and are working directly with authorities to stop these scammers.
Recognize Fraudulent Loan Offers
You should be suspicious that a loan offer is fraudulent if:
- The individual claims that you have been pre-approved for a loan and then requires you to purchase a prepaid debit card or wire money as a “processing fee” or “good faith deposit”. Legitimate lenders do not offer approvals prior to application and do not require good faith deposits.
- The individual requests that you send money up front via a wire transfer or money card such as Green Dot cards. With legitimate loan offers, you should not have to give money in order to get money.
- The individual requests to get your personal or financial information. You should always be cautious when volunteering any personal or financial information over the phone or internet. Never provide payment information that you did not initiate. If you are uncomfortable with a phone call that was not initiated by you, hang up or ask for the purpose of the call. Then contact the company using legitimate sources such as contact phone numbers found on the company’s website.
Recognize Fraudulent Collection
You should be suspicious that a collection is fraudulent if:
- The individual threatens violence, intimidation, or uses foul language. The Federal Debt Collection Practices Act specifically prohibits debt collectors from being abusive, unfair, or deceptive in trying to collect debt.
- The individual threatens to garnish your wages.
- The individual is unable or unwilling to provide loan agreement information or payment history when you ask for it. Loan providers are required to provide all loan agreement information or payment history when you ask for it.
Reporting Fraudulent Action
- If you suspect you’re being contacted by a financial scammer claiming to represent Advance America contact the Federal Trade Commission and file a complaint.
- Report it to local law enforcement.
- Contact Advance America at 1-888-310-4238.
How to avoid scams
When it comes to keeping your personal and financial information safe, it’s important to be proactive. Follow these tips to help protect yourself from fraud and identity theft.
- Never give personal information such as your Social Security Number or bank account information online or over the phone without verifying that you are working with a legitimate lender or bill collector. To verify, call the establishment back using a known number, such as the number listed on your statement or on the back of your credit/debit card.
- Always be suspicious of any email with urgent requests for personal financial information. If an email demands immediate action or makes upsetting or exciting false statements, it’s likely a scam.
- Verify company licenses when applying for a loan online. Legitimate lenders will display state licenses on their websites to verify that they are full-service, licensed lenders complying with state and federal laws.
- Never wire money or provide prepaid debit card information to a lender claiming you have been pre-approved for a loan and must make an initial payment as a “show of good faith”.
- Keep anti-virus, anti-malware, and spam email protection software up to date on all your computing devices.
- Maintain a record of all outstanding debt, and include lender contact information.
- Regularly check your bank, credit and debit card statements to ensure there are no unauthorized transactions.
- If someone approaches you claiming you owe them debt, demand they provide written proof of the debt as the law requires.
- If you suspect you are being scammed, report it to the local law enforcement and to the lender that the scammer claims to represent. Advance America customers can call 1-888-310-4238.
For more information, please visit The Federal Bureau of Investigation.