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2021 Payday Loan Rankings

Updated February 20, 2021
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Payday Loans

Payday loans can be a quick and easy ways to get cash. They do not require good credit or collateral. Cash can typically be deposited into your bank account overnight. The drawback is that these loans are very expensive. Banks, credit cards, friends, or family are most likely a cheaper option. The best choice, if possible, is to put off the expense until your next paycheck as borrowing short-term, quick money can be very expensive.

Payday loans are best used for emergency, short-term cash situations and when full repayment can be done with the next paycheck. We review payday loan lenders based on their reputation, cost, and features. Reputation considers state licensing and Better Business Bureau scores. Cost is based on terms, fees, and rates. Features include things like credit reporting or fee transparency.

Filter rankings by state:
Check Into Cash
$100 - $25,000
Loan amounts
195% - 521%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Check Into Cash for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
Ace Cash Express
$100 - $2,000
Loan amounts
175% - 1,029%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Ace Cash Express for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
$100 - $2,000
Loan amounts
299% - 456%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit CashNetUSA for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
$100 - $500
Loan amounts
155% - 164%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit LendUp for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
$100 - $5,000
Loan amounts
180% - 740%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash Central for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
$100 - $500
Loan amounts
158% - 639%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Check City for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
Advance America
$50 - $25,000
Loan amounts
36% - 664%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Advance America for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
$100 - $500
Loan amounts
146% - 548%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Quik Check for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
$100 - $2,000
Loan amounts
178% - 680%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Speedy Cash for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
$250 - $5,000
Loan amounts
314% - 662%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Check 'n Go for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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State Licensed Lender
Lender status
Cash Advance Now
$300 - $1,500
Loan amounts
725%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash Advance Now for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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Tribe Based Lender
Lender status
Big Valley Financial
$300 - $500
Loan amounts
780%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Big Valley Financial for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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Tribe Based Lender
Lender status
Tremont Lending
$100 - $750
Loan amounts
495%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Tremont Lending for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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Tribe Based Lender
Lender status
$100 to $500
Loan amounts
782%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit MyPaydayLoan for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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Unlicensed Lender -- Costa Rica
Lender status
Cash in a Wink
$100, - $1,000
Loan amounts
456% - 2,281%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit Cash in a Wink for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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Unlicensed Lender
Lender status
East Side Lenders
$300 - $1,000
Loan amounts
550% - 780%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit East Side Lenders for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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Unlicensed Lender
Lender status
NationalPayday
$200 - $1,500
Loan amounts
782%
APRs
All

Credit type ⓘ

Visit NationalPayday for product eligibility.

Our eligible credit type estimate is a general guide based on FICO® Scores:

Credit Type FICO® Score
All All Scores
Fair 620+
Good 680+
Great 720+
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Unlicensed Lender -- Costa Rica
Lender status
  • Rates and fees vary by state. Not all lenders operate in all states. Check each lender's website for up-to-date information.

What Are Payday Loans

They are paycheck based loans. In others, they rely less, if at all, on credit and more on your paycheck and access to your bank account. If approved for a loan, the typical process is for the lender to deposit funds directly into your checking account. This can happen as fast as over night. On your next pay date, the lender will automatically deduct the principal and fees from your checking account. These fees can range from around $9 to $45 per $100 borrowed. For example, if $300 is borrowed and deposited into your checking account, on your next payday $327 to $435 will be automatically deducted from your account depending on the fee for your particular loan. If the full deduction can be made then the loan is paid in full and you are done. If you are unable to make this full payment some payday lenders allow you to renew the loan. The extension usually is at the same rate and you will pay fees on the unpaid fees from the previous loan. This means at your next payday (now the second payday since you took the loan) $356 to $631 will be automatically deducted from your account. As you can see, the fees add up fast and one can end up owing significantly more than the original loan. Please be careful with these loans. If you think you will be unable to pay the loan off in one or two pay periods, an installment loan may be a better option.

Why Are Payday Loans So Expensive

Payday loans are unsecured loans and not based on credit history. Traditional lenders evaluate a person's credit history or take collateral, e.g. a home mortgage loan. Evaluating credit history and taking collateral helps lenders predict the likelihood of being repaid and, in the event of not being repaid, helps lenders recoup losses by seizing the collateral. Payday loans have neither credit history checks nor security. This makes them risky loans for lenders so they charge more to cover the losses from people that do not pay back their loans. In addition, there is adverse selection. This means individuals who do have good credit history and collateral are more likely to be taking payday loans. So one of the reasons these loans are expensive is the structure of the loan and another is the average profile of the borrower.

Another reason they are expensive is the lack of consistent regulation, enforcement, and transparency. This is why pricing varies so much. The market is very inefficient. See Payday Loans Too Taboo To Touch for more information on improving the payday lending space. Finally, these types of loans can be very expensive because some lenders take advantage of the emergency nature of these loans and charge very high rates.

Avoid a Vicious Debt Cycle

Payday loans are a very expensive form of borrowing. Costs can quickly spiral out of control. This is what is often referred to as a debt cycle. One starts off in a bind with a small amount of debt but within weeks the debt quickly escalates into an unimaginable amount. For this reason Doshound believes these loans should only be used for emergency situations. This means one should almost never use one of these loans. See Don't Use A Payday Loan for Summer Vacation Cash or Borrow Money Options to determine if there are other options.

How Payday Loans Work

If you do decide you need emergency cash, the application process typically takes 5-15 minutes and approval is often instant. To qualify one generally must be employed, have direct deposit, and be over 18 years old. These loans are not available to members of the military. If approved, the money is typically deposited into your checking account by the next business day and is due on your next pay period plus fees. The loan can sometimes be renewed, but additional fees are incurred. Renewing is generally not a good choice, so if you believe you are unable to pay your loan in full at your next pay period, consider an installment loan.

Installment Loans Versus Payday Loans

Installment loan payments are spread out over multiple pay periods. This reduces the amount of individual payments and tje APR for an installment loan versus a payday loan but the absolute total fees paid may be higher. See Payday Loans or Installment Loans for more information. Many consumers prefer installment loans because paying the entire loan at your next pay period is often too difficult or impossible and renewing becomes extremely expensive. If you have better credit and want to borrow a larger amount there are also personal loans. Personal loans typically have a 2-5 year term, offer larger loan amounts, but typically require a better credit profile than installment loans.

Payday Loan Lenders

Companies offering these loans vary greatly. There are numerous stories in the press of individuals being taken advantage of by unscrupulous lenders. Doshound prefers using established state licensed lenders. See Payday Lenders to learn more about lenders.

Related terms are online payday loans and direct lender payday loans.

Payday Loans by State

Payday loans are state regulated. Select your state below to find available lenders in your state.

The original Doshound payday loan ranking was published on