List Of Online Payday Lenders – Loan Providers (2024)

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There are hundreds of online payday lenders out there to choose from. How do you separate the good from the bad?

This article covers the top online payday lenders, plus everything you need to know before you apply.

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A word of caution

Take note: a payday loan is not a long-term solution to financial problems. They are to be used for emergencies only.

These are short-term loans and must be repaid quickly, as the interest rates can be extremely high.

Make sure you understand the terms of any loan you are offered. Read your agreement carefully before agreeing, including the interest rate (APR), the term length and any other fees that may come with the loan.

More on this after our list of the best online payday lenders, below.

1. BadCreditLoans.com

bad credit loans starter screen

BadCreditLoans.com is a loan matching service for people, as the name suggests, with less-than-perfect credit.

Though not a provider themselves, they search their network of hundreds of potential providers to find you a match, regardless of your credit score. The APR on the loans may be very high, but that goes for all payday lenders on this list.

It’s quick and easy to apply, which (when in a pinch) is essential.

2. Lend You

lend you logo

Lend You claim you can get super quick next-business-day cash, if approved. If speed is the key, as it often is with these emergency payday loan providers, Lend You is worth a look.

Lend You comes with its own iOS and Google Play app – somewhat rare among these types of companies. It’s surprisingly ok, too.

3. PersonalLoans.com

personal loans home screen for applying

PersonalLoans.com is a sister site of BadCreditLoans, with little difference except primarily targeted at those with better credit scores.

In reality, you can apply regardless of credit score. Though it is primarily offering personal loans, payday loans are an option too. It scored well in our review, making it a strong option to consider.

4. Modo Loan

modo loan logo on a light blue background

Modo Loan offer a sleek user interface and require limited personal info to breeze through an application for a loan. They search their network of lenders for a suitable match.

There are few real-world reviews and they could do more to increase trust, but our experience gave us the confidence to recommend them as a decent option for a variety of loans.

5. Zoca Loans

zoca loans homepage

Zoca Loans is let down by a poor website experience and negative reviews, particularly on the BBB.

You may get fast approval & fast funds, and they don’t seem to nickel and dime with early repayment fees for example, but the negative experiences we’ve seen lowered our overall rating considerably.

6. Explore Credit

Explore Credit brand image with a spaceman holding a dollar sign flag

Explore Credit has an interesting proposition with discounts as a ‘reward’ for on time payments, though its unlikely to compensate for the extremely high interest rates that come with payday loans.

Furthermore, the company is backed by a tribal lender (a Native American organization) which, as we discuss further below, puts them in a legal gray area. Tread with caution here.

7. Days Loan

DaysLoans.com homepage

Days Loan is a lender that claims you can get an approved loan in just 3 minutes, which is ideal if you’re in a pinch.

However, a lack of information about the company online combined with a messy website (with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors) prevents us from giving this one our blessing.

What are payday loans?

Payday loans are small (usually under $1,000) short-term loans designed to help people pay for an emergency until their next paycheck arrives. They are usually for 30 days or less.

These are no-collateral loans and are backed by your future income.

Payday loans are a controversial and potentially dangerous type of loan, particularly if the loan is not paid back quickly. You can find yourself in huge, mounting debt if they are misused.

You need to be absolutely certain you can repay the loan quickly, as the interest rate (APR) on the loan can be astronomically high.

Example of interest on a payday loan

The below table shows just how quickly interest payments can spiral. A few months of payments can result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in interest.

You can very easily end up paying more interest than the original amount you borrowed.

Here, the APR on a loan of $300 is 795%, which is typically not allowed to be offered except by certain tribal lenders that sit outside federal laws.

See how despite only borrowing $300, the borrower would pay back $1,188 in total over 12 months.

Payment NumberPrinciple AmountInterest AmountPayment AmountWhen Payment is Due
1$3.60$94.25$99.0010/16/2024
2$4.75$94.25$99.0010/30/2024
3$6.26$92.74$99.0011/13/2024
4$8.25$90.75$99.0011/27/2024
5$10.87$88.13$99.0012/11/2024
6$14.33$84.67$99.0012/28/2024
7$18.89$80.12$99.0001/08/2025
8$24.89$74.11$99.001/22/2025
9$32.81$66.18$99.0002/05/2025
10$43.24$55.75$99.002/19/2025
11$56.99$42.00$99.0003/04/2025
12$75.12$23.88$99.003/18/2025
TOTAL$300.00$888.00$1,188.003/18/2025

Requirements

In order to qualify for a payday loan, you generally must meet the following criteria (though it can vary):

  1. You must be at least 18 years old.
  2. You usually need to have a steady source of income, such as employment or regular government benefits. You may be required to supply paystubs as proof of income. The lender can then provide you with a portion of the money that you will be paid on your next pay date (usually 30 days or less).
  3. You typically need to have an active checking account in good standing. This is often where the loan funds will be deposited, and the lender may require automatic withdrawals for repayment.
  4. Most lenders require you to be a U.S. citizen, an ID to verify your status and often your social security number too.
  5. While payday loans are often marketed as no-credit-check loans, some lenders may still perform a soft credit check. They may even perform a hard pull if you accept the terms of the loan. However, the credit requirements are generally less stringent than those for traditional loans.

How to choose a lender

Not all lenders are made equal. Here are the top things to look out for, in order of importance (most important listed first).

Legitimacy and reputation

Unfortunately, there are plenty of ‘cowboy’ lenders in the market. It’s important to look up your potential lender to see if they are legitimate.

Look for qualified reviews (like ours!), Google reviews, TrustAdvisor reviews and BBB (Better Business Bureau).

You can check internet forums for personal experiences, such as on Reddit. Though beware, some posters on Reddit may simply be recommending a product in order to earn a commission.

What you will find is that you have direct lenders and indirect lenders. Some companies are directly funding and providing you the loan, whereas others are sourcing a loan from somewhere on your behalf.

These indirect lenders will be sharing your details with their network lenders in order to find you the best deal (or indeed, any deal they can).

  • This can be good, as one application can search through hundreds of potential providers for a match, akin to a loan-matching service.
  • This can be bad, in the sense that you are having your personal details shared with many different lenders. You have no idea what the reputation is of these said lenders.

I would generally advise going direct, where possible.

You will want to be wary of tribal lenders who can sit outside of consumer protection laws as they are backed by a Native American organizations. These lenders can offer loans with huge interest rates, making it profitable enough provide loans to those with poor credit.

They sit in a legal gray area and that comes with additional risk. You have less legal recourse if things go awry, for example.

This is why it is crucial to read and understand the terms of the loan.

Terms of the loan

Once you are sure a lender is reputable, make sure you read the agreement carefully before you agree to take the loan.

The key metric is the APR.

  • Generally, anything over 10% is considered high.
  • 36% is considered the legal maximum.
  • However, the tribal lenders may offer loans with hundreds of percentage points in interest.

Other than the APR, you will want to look out for a variety of other terms including:

  • The length of the loan agreement
  • The number of payments
  • The amount of each payment
  • Any early repayment charges (it should be free to repay early, ideally)
  • Any late fee charges or insufficient funds charges
  • Any origination or processing fees (fees for taking out the loan)

Speed

Let’s be honest here, if you are looking for a payday loan it’s likely you need the money fast.

Luckily, most lenders appreciate this and will deliver funds within 2 business days.

Most lenders are also very upfront about how fast they can deliver funds on the homepage or in the FAQ section of their website, so this is an easy one to validate.

States where payday loans are illegal

It should be noted that if you live in any of the following states, you will be unable to get a payday loan except perhaps from the tribal lenders that sit in the aforementioned legal gray area.

The states are:

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia—and the District of Columbia

Alternatives to payday loans

Payday loans should generally be a last resort.

You will generally get better loan terms from a personal loan provider. We recommend Upgrade.com, which is a good option for those with average credit scores.

If credit score is an issue, you can try boosting your score quickly with a service called Ava, which can help in as little as 7 days. Read our full review to learn more about Ava.

You can also check out our full guide for boosting your credit score here.

Some employers offer paycheck advance programs to their employees. Employees can get a portion of their upcoming paycheck in advance, cutting out the lender middleman.

Better yet, you might want to address the root cause of the problem.

Emergencies happen; they happen to everyone and often at the worst time. We need to prepare for them in advance.

A good way to prevent the need for a payday loan is to have an emergency fund. In order to create an emergency fund, you must learn to budget effectively and save a portion of your paycheck each month.

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