Personal Loans
How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advance America Review: Are the High Interest Rates Worth It?

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Advance America specializes in lending money to people with poor or no credit. Like most payday lenders, Advance America charges very high interest rates for its products — as high as 664% APR in some cases. In fact, we wouldn’t recommend Advance America unless there are no good alternatives you qualify for, and you have a clear plan to repay the loan and your bills on time.

To give you an idea of whether it’s a good option for you, this Advance America review will look at the following topics:

Pros and cons of Advance America loans

Pros Cons
  More than 1,200 locations that can offer service   APR rates that can get as high as 664%
  Offers quick funding — as soon as the same day or next   Your vehicle may be seized if you use it as collateral for a loan
  Offers lending to those with bad or little credit   Lack of flexible repayment plans

Advance America loans: The basics

You can get fast cash at over 1,200 Advance America locations or online, and choose from the following:

Payday loans

Payday loans from Advance America are meant to be short-term bridge loans to tide you over to your next paycheck. The downside is that they charge such high fees that when your next paycheck does arrive, you’ll have to pay a hefty chunk of it back to Advance America — thereby making it even tougher to get ahead financially with your next paycheck.

Advance America’s payday loans are structured similarly to payday loans from similar lenders:

  • If approved for a loan, you’ll typically get a small amount of cash (up to a few hundred dollars or so, depending on your paycheck).
  • The next time you get paid in two to four weeks, you’ll repay the loan.
  • If you can’t repay the loan, Advance America may offer you the ability to roll your payday loan over into a new loan — but be careful, as this is how people become trapped into a cycle of debt.

How to apply

You can apply for an Advance America payday loan either online or by visiting a local store. You’ll need to provide a few items:

  • Your Social Security number (if applying in-store)
  • Government-issued ID
  • Checking account
  • Proof of income (such as a pay stub)
  • Personal check (may be required depending on state)
  • Email address (if applying online)

Advance America locations within each state also have their own requirements, so you may need to provide other documents as well.

Installment loans

If you need to make a larger purchase than what you can repay with your next paycheck, an installment loan may be a better option. For example, if you need to pay for a large car repair, medical bill or home repair, an installment loan that you can pay back with predictable, regular payments over time may fit into your long-term budget better than a payday loan.

An Advance America installment loan functions as a personal loan you might get from another lender, except it charges much higher interest rates and offers fewer choices for how much you can take out and how long you have to pay it back.

That said, unlike many other personal loan lenders, it may be easier to qualify for a loan with Advance America, since they specialize in working with people who have less-than-perfect credit.

How to apply

If Advance America installment loans are offered in your state, you can apply for an installment loan either online or in store. You’ll need to provide your Social Security number (if you apply in person), a government-issued ID, a checking account and proof of income.

Car title loans

An Advance America car title loan works a bit differently than its other loans. It’s a secured loan, meaning your car’s title will serve as collateral in order for you to receive lower rates on your loan (compared with Advance America’s other loan products).

This type of loan isn’t available in every state — though if it is in yours, you’ll need to complete the application process in person, as the Advance America staff will need to inspect your car. In addition, you’ll need to own your car’s title outright, so if you’re still making payments on your car this won’t be an option for you.

Going with a car title loan can give you slightly cheaper rates than a payday loan, although it’ll likely still be more expensive than choosing another loan product with another lender. Plus, you’ll need to be totally committed to making your payments on time, since if you fail to make payments on a car title loan, your lender can repossess your car.

How to apply

First, you’ll need to check on Advance America’s site whether car title loans are available in your location. If they are, you’ll need to drive your car to the nearest Advance America location and have it inspected by staff.

You’ll need to have on hand your vehicle’s title and proof of residence; proof of income, insurance and registration may also be required in some states. You’ll also need to provide a government-issued ID (and while not specified by Advance America, you’ll like need your Social Security number in addition).

Lines of credit

If approved for an Advance America line of credit, you’ll gain access to a set amount of money you can withdraw from as you need. If you don’t need any money, you don’t have to take out anything, so it’s handy to have as a backup in case of emergencies. That said, this product functions more like a credit card than a personal loan.

Unlike a credit card, however, you won’t be able to simply charge expenses to it. If you need cash, you’ll either pick it up from a local store or have it deposited straight into your bank account as soon as the same banking day.

How to apply

Advance America doesn’t specifically state that you need some sort of proof of income to qualify for a line of credit. (Still, it wouldn’t be wise to apply for a line of credit without a plan to pay it off.) As far as requirements go, all you’ll need to qualify is:

  • Social Security Number (for in-store applications)
  • Government-issued ID
  • Source of income
  • Checking account

You can apply for an Advance America line of credit either online or in person at a location, assuming that the company does offer lines of credit in your location. You only need to apply for a line of credit once in order for it to remain open; in other words, you don’t need to reapply every time you withdraw money from it.

Where Advance America loans are available

Advance America loans aren’t available nationwide. In addition, the types of loans, amounts you can borrow and costs will vary based on the state where you’re applying for your loan.

Where Advance America loans are offered

AlabamaCaliforniaColoradoDelaware
FloridaIdahoIndianaIowa
KansasKentuckyLouisianaMichigan
MississippiMissouriNevadaOhio
OklahomaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaTennessee
TexasUtahWisconsinWyoming

Who Advance America loans are good for

In general, Advance America loans may not be good for most people. Because Advance America charges such high fees and APR rates, it’ll be tough for most people to get back on track financially after taking out one of these loans. If you’re already in a place where you’re having trouble making ends meet between paychecks or getting a loan with bad credit, opting for an Advance America loan might ease things in the short term, but make it more difficult in the longer term.

Most people that choose to go with Advance America do so because getting cash is quick, and you won’t need a perfect credit score to qualify. But you’ll pay for that convenience in the form of ultrahigh interest rates, so it’s generally best to consider other choices first.

The only time we would suggest applying for an Advance America loan is if you’ve exhausted all other options, and have a clear plan in place for repaying the loan while keeping up with your future obligations. This means:

  • Being able to repay the loan in full on by its due date (if not before)
  • Having enough money left over to pay your bills and other financial obligations after repaying the loan with your next paycheck.

Still, there are many other better options than Advance America, even if you have bad credit or need money fast. For example, you consider finding a loan that allows cosigners.

How to apply for an Advance America loan

To apply for an Advance America loan, you can either apply in person and use their website. Each type of loan has its own stipulations for what you’ll need to have on hand when you apply, but you’ll generally need the following:

  • Your Social Security number
  • Proof of income
  • Government-issued ID
  • Checking account

Here’s what you’ll need to do to apply online with Advance America:

  1. Visit Advance America’s website and click on the “Apply now” button. This will take you to the application page.
  2. Fill out the application using your personal and financial information. Once you’re finished, you’ll need to electronically sign your application.
  3. If you’re approved for a loan, you’ll typically receive the funds that day or the next.

How to contact Advance America

To contact Advance America’s customer service, you can:

  • Call 844-562-6480
  • Fill out Advance America’s contact form
  • Use the lender’s chat function
  • Direct message via Facebook
  • Locate an Advance America store near you by clicking on the website’s “Store Locations” page and entering your zip code

5 alternatives to an Advance America loan

  1. Shop personal loans: It’s possible to find personal loans with lenders that charge interest rates that aren’t as high as Advance America’s — even if you have bad credit. Granted, they may still be triple-digit interest rates, which means they’ll still be an expensive form of credit.
  2. Temporarily reduce other costs: Consider cutting something out of your budget temporarily, whether that’s decreasing your auto insurance deductible for a few months, cutting cable or visiting a local food pantry to get your groceries.
  3. Borrow from a family member or friend: We only recommend this one if you’re committed to paying back your loan according to a written, signed and agreed-upon schedule. You don’t want to jeopardize your relationships over money, but if done right, this can be a no-cost option.
  4. Join a credit union and apply for a Payday Alternative Loan (PAL): Some credit unions offer a cheaper version of a payday loan. PAL requirements vary, but you’ll typically need to have been a member of the credit union for at least one month before applying.
  5. Sell your old stuff or pick up a side hustle: If you have things of value, such as extra electronic equipment or jewelry, you can try selling them for cash through Craigslist, OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace and other similar sites. And if not — try a side hustle by offering services, such as cleaning services, driving for Lyft or transcribing audio files.

FAQ: Advance America

Is Advance America legit?

Yes, it is a legitimate payday loan lender.

What happens if I don’t repay my loan?

This depends on the type of loan you have. For example, if you have a car title loan, Advance America is allowed to repossess your car. Advance America can also hire debt collectors to pursue you, or take you to court for auto title loans or any of its other loans.

Why are Advance America loan options so different depending on where you live?

Each state sets its own payday loan laws, such as how much you’re allowed to take out and at what interest rates, which Advance America must comply with. In addition, Advance America requires you to come into a local office for auto title loans, and if there isn’t one near you, then this won’t be an option in your location.

How soon can I get money from Advance America?

If you apply for a loan within the store and are approved, you could get cash in as little as 15 minutes during the same visit. Otherwise, if you apply online, the money could be deposited into your account that same or next business day.

Does Advance America report my payments to credit bureaus?

Advance America claims it doesn’t share your payment information with any of the credit bureaus; this is typical of payday lenders.

 

Get personal loan offers from up to 5 lenders in minutes

Recommended Reading