The best 4 payday loans online in the US - installment and bad credit too

  (photo credit: PR)
(photo credit: PR)

Payday loans can offer a fast and effective way to borrow money quickly for an emergency. Whether it is $300 or $500, the idea is that you can get a cash advance on your upcoming pay cheque and use this money to pay for any pressing bills and then repay the loan in full on your next payday from work, or spread repayment over multiple installments. 

Payday loans are legalised in 37 US states and currently there are over 20,000 stores where you can physically apply and receive funds on the same day, mostly in states such as Nevada, Texas and California. 

For many borrowers, the option to apply for payday loans online is far more convenient, with an application taking less than 5 minutes and a series of automated checks that can give you an instant decision and the funds are transferred in just a number of hours, or sometimes just 15 minutes. 

We provide more information on payday loans below, whilst highlighting 4 lenders that it recommends for anyone looking to make an online application and get a decision today.

Top 4 Payday Loans Online

  1. Pheabs >>
  2. Dime Alley >>
  3. Finger Finance >>
  4. DollarHand >>

Why Have We Selected These 4 as The Best Payday Loans Companies?

The following payday lenders on the following basis:

Clear eligibility requirements - Our proposed lenders have a very clear criteria which includes being over 18 years of age, having a social security number and a stable income and employment to be able to make your repayments on time.

Transparency in fees - The lenders clearly state the cost of the loan before applying. This is a representative example and the rate you are charged may be higher or lower depending on factors such as your credit score, income, residential status and other debts that you may have.

No fees for applying - The companies provided do not charge any fees for applying and completing an application will not have any impact to your credit score or affect your ability to access finance elsewhere in the future.

Same day or 24 hour funding - Subject to further checks, if your loan application is approved, you can receive funds transferred to your bank account on the same day of applying or within 24 hours.

Protects your data - Your data is protected when you apply via a secure server and your information will not be sent to any other lenders or third parties without your permission.

Follows regulatory guidelines - The payday loans industry in the US is heavily regulated and the companies listed uphold the highest standards in following and adhering to these regulations in terms of the products presented, fees, transparency and how your data is protected.

What is a Payday Loan?

A payday loan is a type of short term finance which involves borrowing a few hundred dollars, often used to tide someone over until the end of the month when they receive their pay cheque from work. These products are offered by private companies, lenders, startups, apps and not typically from banks - and regularly help those looking for loans with bad credit.

The average amount of a payday loan is around $300, which is transferred electronically from a lender to the customer’s bank account in one lump sum. This money is used for things like household bills, repairs, car fixes, paying rent or credit card bills. 

The average duration of a payday loan is around 14 to 30 days with the entire loan and interest often repaid in full on the borrower’s next pay date, which is usually the last working day or last Friday of the month.

Payday loans are often criticised in the media and press for carrying interest rates that are too high, with rates ranging from 300% to 600% APR depending on your credit score and history. 

Whilst not a cheap form of finance, to make the price an APR and easy to compare to other products, the interest rate is multiplied as though it was an annual product, which makes it seem a lot higher even though it just lasts for just a few weeks.

What is the Eligibility Criteria for a Payday Loan Online?

  • Must be over 18 years of age
  • Must have a social security number
  • Must be employed, part-time or full-time with a minimum income of $500 to $1,000 per month (depending on the lender)
  • Must own a bank account, email address and cell phone
  • Must be able to afford repayments
  • Bad credit options are available

How Much Does a Payday Loan Cost?

Based on an example of borrowing $500, this will cost you $46.23 in interest for 2 weeks, or $92.27 in interest over 4 weeks, or $273.95 in interest on top for 12 weeks. 

This is based on a rate of 500% representative APR (source: and the longer you keep your loan open for, the more interest that accrues.

The rate of interest and APR that you are charged will depend on multiple factors including your age, credit score, income, residential status and other outstanding debts. Whilst the 300% to 500% APR rate is offered to around 51% of payday loan customers, this may be higher or lower depending on your circumstances.

How Do Repayments Work?

A payday loan is usually repaid in full on the customer’s next pay date from work, which is usually the last working day of the month. This repayment is collected from the lender via a process known as ACH authorisation which automatically collects the payment from the customer’s bank account (and not directly from the employer). 

Some payday loans are repaid in monthly instalments, with customers given the option to repay over 3,6,9 or 12 months, or longer depending on the lender and the loan amount.

You always have the option to repay your loan early and this does not usually incur a fee. The amount is calculated on a daily interest rate, so if you have the loan open for 14 days, you will pay 14 days worth of interest.

What Are Payday Loans Used For?

  • Emergencies
  • Car repairs 
  • Credit card bills
  • Medical bills 
  • Household repairs
  • Rent
  • Funeral expenses
  • Child expenses 

Can I Get a Payday Loan for Bad Credit?

Yes, it is possible to apply for a payday loan with bad credit scores and histories, with the majority of lenders in the industry who are open to all kinds of backgrounds. Typically if a customer had a perfect credit score, they might consider a personal loan or a credit card, so each payday lender realises that their customers are more likely to have fair or poor credit histories.

To be eligible, you will need to have stable and regular income and be committed to repaying your loan on time. Whilst you may have missed payments in the past, you may be improving your financial situation and starting to pay things on time - and the lender will acknowledge this and help you to get the funds you need.

Are Payday Loans Guaranteed for Approval?

No, if you are looking for guaranteed payday loans, this is not something that any lender or the 4 companies that we have suggested can arrange. There will always be a series of credit checks and affordability checks to ensure that a customer is appropriate and can afford to repay their loan without falling into financial difficulty.

However, if your loan is not approved, you may be recommended an alternative product to suit your requirements, whether it is something like a title loan secured against your car, a home loan or even working with a credit union.

Is it Possible To Get Payday Loans With No Credit Checks?

If you are looking for payday loans without credit checks, this is also very unlikely since running a credit check is one of the first things that lenders do to determine the customer’s eligibility, history  of other loan repayments.

The only way to get a loan with no credit checks is if you are using some kind of alternative product where credit scoring does not get taken into consideration. There are some products such as title loans, pawn shops or secured loans against your home which take the value of your asset or collateral over traditional credit checks. 

But even for these products it is still common for the lender to check your credit score and if there is a long history of missed repayments or bankruptcy, this could make it difficult to get access to money and you may need to speak to a professional to help get your finances back on track.

Which States Are Payday Loans Most Popular?

Payday loans in California, Texas and Nevada are the most popular states, followed by the likes of Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee and Alabama. 

What Happens if I Cannot Repay My Payday Loan?

Failing to repay your loan on time can result in a late fee, added interest on top and it can negatively impact your credit score.

The fees will start to be added if you do not speak to the lender and explain your situation. You should therefore speak to the loans company as soon as you have any repayment issues, since they may be able to freeze interest, delay repayment or set up an arrangement to spread repayment over a longer period of time.

Some payday lenders in the US will offer extensions or rollovers to people who are struggling to repay and this can be helpful, but it can also cause the interest to really start to add up and for many, this becomes a loan which mounts up and mounts up and they just simply cannot pay it off. 

It is very unlikely that you will be taken to court over an unpaid payday loan unless you have racked up a huge debt and this has been overdue for some time. Equally, you will not go to prison over an unpaid loan.

Is a Payday Loan Right For Me?

If you have a one-off emergency and your payday is a little too far away, getting a payday loan can be a very fast way to borrow money - often much quicker than your traditional bank or credit union.

When using a payday loan, you just want to have a clear repayment strategy in mind and know that you can afford to repay it and you are not simply using the loan to pay off other debts - since this could lead to a debt spiral. 

Whilst effective, this type of finance is more expensive than most other options such as credit cards or borrowing from family and friends. If you get into payment difficulty, this can start a cycle that some Americans struggle to get out of. 

But if you have considered your repayment and have a stable and regular income, there is no reason why you cannot use a payday loan to pay off a bill or make an important purchase and find yourself more financially in control once it is all repaid and done!

This article was written in cooperation with TLC