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You get a flat tire. Your pet gets sick. Or you need a root canal right away. If an unexpected emergency pops up, you might need to borrow money quickly to cover the cost — such as with an online cash advance loan.
However, while a cash advance could be a fast option, there are significant drawbacks to it that could cost you.
Here’s what you should know about online cash advances:
- What is a cash advance?
- How is a cash advance different from other loans?
- Can you get a cash advance loan with bad credit?
- Credit cards can offer a cash advance — but check for fees
- A personal loan could get you funds the next day with more favorable terms
What is a cash advance?
A cash advance loan — also known as a payday loan — is a type of short-term loan. You’ll pay fees to borrow the money, even if your repayment term is just a week or two. Then on your next payday, you’ll have to repay the loan as well as the fees in full.
Here are a few lenders that offer online cash advances. Note that these are not Credible partners.
|Amscot||Up to $500||
|CashNet USA||Up to $500||
|Speedy Cash||Up to $500||
Check Out: Where to Get a Personal Loan
How is a cash advance different from other loans?
|Online cash advance loans||Personal loans|
|Fixed rates||Can be 400% or higher||4.99%+ APR*|
|Loan amount||Up to $500|
|$600 to $100,000*|
|Loan terms||Typically until your next pay period |
(depending on the lender
|Time to fund||As soon as the next day||1-7 days|
|Credit check required?||Typically no||Yes|
|* With Credible partner lenders|
Cash advances differ from personal loans in several key ways:
- Rates: Interest rates on personal loans tend to be much lower than the rates on cash advance loans. For example, if you take out a personal loan with one of our partner lenders, you might get a rate as low as 4.99%+ APR, while the rate on a cash advance loan could be 400% or higher.
- Amounts: The average payday loan ranges from $350 up to $500. You can borrow much more with a personal loan. For example, you could get a $5,000 personal loan or even a $100,000 personal loan, depending on the lender.
- Repayment term: With a cash advance loan, you typically have only until your next pay day (14 to 30 days) to repay your loan. You’ll have much longer to repay a personal loan — usually one to seven years, depending on the lender.
- Time to fund: Cash advances are usually quick to fund — you could get your money as soon as the next day with an online cash advance or even on the same day if you apply in person. The time to fund for personal loans depends on the lender but generally takes about one to seven days.
- Credit checks: Cash advance lenders typically don’t run credit checks. Instead, approval is based on your employment and pay stubs. Personal loan lenders, on the other hand, generally do check your credit to determine your eligibility. To qualify for a personal loan with a low interest rate, you’ll likely need good to excellent credit.
Generally, a personal loan is a much less expensive option than a cash advance loan. If you get a cash advance loan, you could end up paying far more than you originally borrowed.
If you decide to take out a personal loan, be sure to consider as many lenders as possible to find a loan with the best rate and terms for your needs.
It’s also a good idea to consider how much the loan will cost you over time. Before you borrow, estimate how much you’ll pay for a loan using our personal loan calculator below.
Enter your loan information to calculate how much you could pay
With a $ loan, you will pay $ monthly and a total of $ in interest over the life of your loan. You will pay a total of $ over the life of the loan.
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Learn More: Types of Personal Loans
Can you get a cash advance loan with bad credit?
Cash advance lenders typically don’t require credit checks. Instead, your loan eligibility is based on your employment and pay stubs. This means you could likely still qualify for a cash advance loan even if you have bad credit.
However, taking out a cash advance loan is rarely a good idea — especially since you could end up further in debt with the sky-high fees typically charged by cash advance lenders.
Check Out: Secured Personal Loans
Credit cards can offer a cash advance — but check for fees
If you have a credit card, taking out a cash advance on the card could be another option when you need money quickly. Cash advances are usually capped at a percentage of your credit card’s credit line.
For example, if you have a $10,000 credit line with a 30% cash advance limit, you could take out $3,000 in cash.
Keep in mind that credit card cash advances typically have a higher APR compared to the interest rate for regular purchases. You might also have to pay a cash advance fee.
Learn More: What You Can Use a Personal Loan For
A personal loan could get you funds the next day with more favorable terms
In almost every case, a personal loan is a much better choice than a cash advance — whether online or through a credit card. On top of lower interest rates, personal loans generally give you a few years instead of a few weeks to pay off the loan — making the payments more manageable.
Plus, depending on the lender, you could get your funds from a personal loan as soon as the next day.
If you decide to take out a personal loan, remember to shop around and consider as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. This is easy with Credible — you can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes. Some of our partners also offer funding as soon as the next business day after approval.
|Lender||Fixed rates||Loan amounts||Min. credit score||Time to fund|
|9.95% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $35,000**||580||As soon as the next business day (if approved by 4:30 p.m. CT on a weekday)|
*If approved, the actual loan terms that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination, state law, and other factors. Minimum loan amounts vary by state.
**Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33.
|6.49% - 29.99% APR||$5,000 to $35,000||740||Next business day|
|5.99% - 29.99% APR||$5,000 to $35,000||600||As soon as 1 - 3 business days after successful verification|
|6.99% - 24.99% APR||$2,500 to $35,000||660||Funds can be sent as soon as the next business day after acceptance|
|15.49% - 35.99% APR||$2,000 to $25,000||580||As soon as the next business day|
|3.99% - 19.99% APR||$5,000 to $100,000||660||As soon as the same business day|
|18.00% - 35.99% APR||$1,500 to $20,000||None||As soon as the same day, but usually requires a visit to a branch office|
|10.97% - 35.93% APR7||$1,000 to $20,000||580||Within one day, once approved9|
7Personal loans made through Universal Credit feature APRs of 10.97%-35.93%. All personal loans have a 4.25% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Information on Universal Credit’s lending partners can be found at https://www.universal-.credit.com/landing/lendingpartners
9Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds sent directly to you should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to two (2) weeks to clear, depending on the creditor.
|6.94% - 35.97% APR||$1,000 to $50,000||580||Within a day of clearing necessary verifications|
|8.27% - 35.99% APR4||$1,000 to $50,0005||580||As soon as 1 - 3 business days6|
4The full range of available rates varies by state. The average 3-year loan offered across all lenders using the Upstart platform will have an APR of 25.79% and 36 monthly payments of $37 per $1,000 borrowed. There is no down payment and no prepayment penalty. Average APR is calculated based on 3-year rates offered in the last 1 month. Your APR will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will be approved.
5This offer is conditioned on final approval based on our consideration and verification of financial and non-financial information. Rate and loan amount are subject to change based upon information received in your full application. This offer may be accepted only by the person identified in this offer, who is old enough to legally enter into contract for the extension of credit, a US citizen or permanent resident, and a current resident of the US. Duplicate offers received are void. Closing your loan is contingent on your meeting our eligibility requirements, our verification of your information, and your agreement to the terms and conditions on the www.upstart.com website.
Your loan amount will be determined based on your credit, income, and certain other information provided in your loan application. Not all applicants will qualify for the full amount. Loans are not available in West Virginia or Iowa. The minimum loan amount in MA is $7,000. The minimum loan amount in Ohio is $6,000. The minimum loan amount in NM is $5100. The minimum loan amount in GA is $3,100.
6If you accept your loan by 5pm EST (not including weekends or holidays), you will receive your funds the next business day. Loans used to fund education related expenses are subject to a 3 business day wait period between loan acceptance and funding in accordance with federal law.