Best Payday Loans: Reviews and Comparisons

Looking for payday loans? Need money for an emergency? This article will help you understand payday loans and suggest much better alternatives.


If you still feel like a payday loan is right for you, we have reviews and comparisons of payday lenders.

But, before we get into reviews and comparisons…

There are a few facts you should be aware of. Before jumping into anything, be sure to read this entire article.

What Are Payday Loans?

Payday loans allow you to borrow a small amount of money and pay it back on the date of your next paycheck. Most lenders let you borrow anywhere from $100 up to $500.

Tip: If a lender offers an amount higher than $500, it’s an immediate red flag. It’s a sign of irresponsible lending practices and you could be dealing with a loan shark.

How Payday Loans Work

Payday lenders are now few and far between. Federal authorities and government regulations have cracked down on lenders.


Simple. Many lenders were causing good people to drown in debt.


  • Charging triple digit, high interest rates.
  • Some lenders charged APR in the 4 digits
  • Tricking consumers into signing loan documents without reviewing rates and terms first
  • Charging excessive fees, in addition to high interest rates
  • Rolling the loan over every 30 days
  • Preying on consumers with bad credit

That said, here’s how payday loans work.

  1. Find a lender that operates legally in your state. See our payday lending laws below to see if it’s legal in your state.
  2. Once you find a lender, complete the online application
  3. To complete the application, you’ll need the following. Requested loan amount, driver’s license, and checking account information
  4. Review the loan terms and interest rates
  5. Make sure you can repay the loan back by your next paycheck
  6. If all is good, sign your loan documents
  7. Lenders deposit funds into your checking account within 24 business hours

Types of Payday Loans

Payday Loans Online

Lenders that have permission in certain states also have an online application. Even though they offer an online application, it doesn’t mean you’re eligible. You still need to live in the state which the lender operates.

If that’s the case, you can complete the online application. And if approved, get the funds deposited into your checking account.

Review state laws below to see if you’re eligible.

Same Day Payday Loans

Most lenders do not offer same day payday loans. There are exceptions. If you apply before a certain time of day (i.e, before noon), it’s possible you’ll get your loan the same day.

If not, you’ll need to wait the full 24 business hours.

1 Hour Payday Loans

You might find it difficult to find a lender that offers a 1-hour pay day loan. Here’s why: as mentioned, federal and state legislation has cracked down on lenders. Offering loans this fast, within 1 hour, is a sign of irresponsible lending.

3 Month Payday Loans

There is no such thing as a 3-month payday loan.


Some lenders let you pay the loan back in installments, with the max being 90-days.

More lenders today are adopting this strategy. And its easy to figure out why. Instead of “payday loans”, they can call this an installment loan. And by doing this, the laws and regulation are more lenient.

Bad Credit, No Credit Check Payday Loans

Any lender that claims to not check your credit…run far away. This is a very clear sign of irresponsible lending and may be against the law in your state.

Most lenders will run a soft credit check to see where you stand on your finances.

Tip: A soft credit check will not hurt your score.

Fast Payday Loans

Lenders can fund payday loans fast. You can expect to have the funds in your checking account within 24 business hours.

Again, if you are looking for a same day or 1-hour loan…

Disappointed, you will be.

Payday Loan Direct Lenders

Some websites are direct lenders, while others have a network of lenders. Which way is better?

Direct Lenders – If you apply on a direct lender’s website, you will get rates and terms from that lender only. You may not get the best deal. Unless, you go to many lenders and repeat the process.

Network of Lenders – Often times, your best bet is to submit your information to a network of lenders. With one application, you’ll get many loan offers. Our website, GoLoans, does just that. With over 100+ bad credit lenders available, we can get you the best rates and terms.

Payday Loan Laws

As mentioned, the laws have cracked down. This type of loan isn’t available in every state–even if you try to apply online.

Responsible lenders will deny your application if you live in a state that has laws against it.

See what the state laws say about payday lending in your state below.

Payday Loan Rates and Terms by State

StateLegal StatusCitationMax Loan AmountLoan TermMax FeesFinance Charge per $100APR for 14-day $100 Loan
AlabamaLegalAla. Code §§ 5-18A-1 et seq.$50010-31 days17.5%$17.5456.25%
AlaskaLegalAlaska Stat. §§ 06.50.010 et seq$500Min: 14 days$5 + the lesser of $15 per $100 or 15%$20520%
ArizonaProhibitedConsumer Lenders Act applies. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 6-601 et seqNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
ArkansasProhibitedArk. Code Ann. 23-52-101 et. Seq., repealed 2011Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
CaliforniaLegalCal. Fin. Code §§ 23000 to 23106$255Max: 31 days15% of check$17.65459%
ColoradoLegalColo. Rev. Stat. 5-3.1-101 et seq.$500Min: 6 Months20%: $0-$300 + 7.5%: $301-$500 plus 45% per annum interest plus monthly maintenance fee $7.50 per $100 borrowed, up to $30, after first month.Not applicableNot applicable
ConnecticutProhibitedConn. Gen. Stat. §§ 36a-563 et seqNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
DelawareLegalDel. Code Ann. Tit. 5 2227 et seq.$1,000Less than 60 daysNot SpecifiedNo limitNo Limit
FloridaLegalFl. Stat. Ann. §§ 560.402 et seq.$5007-31 days10% of check + verification fee not to exceed $5$16.11419.%
GeorgiaProhibitedGa. Code Ann. §§ 16-17-1 et seq.Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
HawaiiLegalHawaii Rev. Stat. Ann. 480F-1 et seq.$600 face amount of check32 days15% of check$17.65459%
IdahoLegalIdaho Code §§ 28-46-401 et seq.$1,000. Loan cannot exceed 25% of gross monthly income of borrower.Not SpecifiedNot SpecifiedNot specifiedNo Limit
IllinoisLegal815 ILCS 122 et seq.Lesser of $1000 or 25% gross monthly income. Payday installment loan lesser of 22.5% gross monthly income or $1,000.13 to 120 days. Payday installment loans 112 to 180 day terms.$15.50 per $100, plus a $1 verification fee$15.5403%
IndianaLegalInd. Code §§ 24-4-4.5-7-101 et seq.$550 (not to exceed 20% of borrower's monthly gross income)Min: 14 days15%: $0-$250; 13%: $251-$400; 10%: $401-$500$15390%
IowaLegalIowa Code Ann. 533D.1 et seq.$50031 days$15: $0-$100 on face amount of check; $10 per $100 thereafter$16.67433%
KansasLegalKan. Stat. Ann. § 16a-2-404, 405$5007-30 days15% of loan$15390%
KentuckyLegalKentucky Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 286.9.010 et seq.$50014-60 days$15 per $100 on face value of check + $1 database fee$17.65459%
LouisianaLegalLa. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§ 9:3578.1 et seq.$35060 days or less16.75% of face-value of check, + $10 documentation fee (After default: months 1-12: 36% per year; months 13 and beyond: 18% per year)$30780%
MaineLegalMe. Rev. Stat. tit. 9-A § 1-201Not specifiedNot SpecifiedNot SpecifiedNot SpecifiedNot Specified
MarylandProhibitedMd. Code Com. Law § 12-101 et seq.Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
MassachusettsProhibitedMass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 140 §§ 96 et seqNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
MichiganLegalMich. Comp. Laws §§ 487.2121 et seq$60031 days15% of first $100, 14% of second $100, 13% of third $100, 12% of fourth $100, 11% of fifth $100, 11% of sixth $100 + any database verification fee$15390%
MinnesotaLegalMinn. Stat. 47.60 et seq.$350Max: 30 days$5.50: $0-$50; 10%+$5: $51-$100; 7% (min. $10) + $5: $101-$250; 6% (min. $17.50) + $5: $251-$350 (After default: 2.75% per month)$15390%
MississippiLegalMiss. Code Ann. §§ 75-67-501 et seq.$500 face value of checkUnder $250: maximum of 30 days; $250-$500: 28-30 daysUnder $250: $20 per $100 advanced; $250-500: $21.95 per $100 advanced$20520%
MissouriLegalMo. Rev. Stat. §§ 408.500.1 et seq.$50014-31 daysNot Specified$751950%
MontanaProhibitedMont. Code Ann. 31-1-701Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
NebraskaLegalNeb. Stat. Ann. §§ 45-901$500Max: 34 days$15 per $100 or pro rata for any part thereof on amount of check$17.65459%
NevadaLegalNev. Rev. Stat. 604A.010 et seq.25% of expected gross monthly income35 daysNot SpecifiedNo LimitNo Limit
New HampshireProhibitedN.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. 399-A:1 et seq.Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
New JerseyProhibitedN.J. Stat. Ann. tit. 17:1 et seqNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
New MexicoLegalN.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 58-15-32 to 38$2,50035 days$15.50 per $100; $.50 verification fee per $100$16416%
New YorkProhibitedN.Y. Penal Code 190.40Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
North CarolinaProhibitedN.C. Gen. Stat. 53-281Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
North DakotaLegalN.D. Cent. Code 13-08-01 et seq.$500Max: 60 days20% + databasing fee$20520%
OhioLegalOhio Rev. Code Ann. 1321.35 et seq$500Minimum: 31 days28% annual interest$1.0828%
OklahomaLegalOkla. Stat. Tit. 59 §§ 3101 et seq.$50012-45 days$15 per $100: $0-$300; an additional fee of $10 per $100: $301-$500$15390%
OregonLegal54 Or. Rev. Stat. § 725A.010 et seq.$50,000 (Loan limit up to 25%of borrower’s net monthly income if earns $60,000 per year or less.)31 to 60 days36% APR interest, one-time $10 per $100 of loan origination fee, up to $30$13 for 31 day loan154% APR for 31 day loan
PennsylvaniaProhibited63 Penn Stat. Ann. § 2325Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
Rhode IslandLegalR.I. Stat. Ann. 19-14.4-1 et seq.$500Min: 13 days10% of funds advanced$10260%
South CarolinaLegalS.C. Code §§ 34-39-110 et seq.$700 or 30% of gross monthly income, whichever is lessMax: 31 days15% of principal$15390%
South DakotaProhibitedS.D. Codified Laws 54-4-36 et seq.Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
TennesseeLegalTenn. Code Ann. 45-17-101 et seq.$425 ($500 check)Max: 31 days15% of the face value of the check$17.65459%
TexasLegal5 Tex. Fin. Code §§ 393 et seqNot specifiedUp to 180 days for CAB agreementNo cap on Credit Access Business fees. Lender interest capped at 10%No LimitNo Limit
UtahLegalUtah Code Ann. 7-23-101 et seqNo limitMay not exceed 10 weeksNo usury limitNo LimitNo Limit
VermontProhibitedVt. Stat. Ann. tit. 9 § 41a.Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
VirginiaLegalVa. Code Ann. §§ 6.2-1800 et seq.$500Min: 2 pay periods36% annual interest + $5 verification fee + 20% of loan$26.38687%
WashingtonLegalWash. Rev. Code Ann. 31.45.010 et seq.$700 or 30% of gross monthly income, whichever is lessMax: 45 days15%: first $500; 10%: remaining portion of the loan in excess of $500 up to the $700 maximum$15390%
West VirginiaProhibitedW. Va. Code § 46A-4-101 et seq.Not applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable
WisconsinLegalWis. Stat. 138.14Lesser of $1,500 including fees or 35% gross monthly income90 days or lessNo LimitNo LimitNo Limit
WyomingLegalWy. Stat. 40-14-362 et seq.Not specified1 calendar monththe greater of 20% per month or $30$30780%

Payday Loan Alternatives

Installment Loans

Installment loans are a much better alternative. Instead of paying the loan back on your next payday, you pay it in installments. The installment period can be anywhere from 3 months, up to 12 months. Installment loans have similar interest rates as a payday loan.

It’s best to repay this as soon as you can.

Credit Union Loans

Did you know that credit unions fight for your business? It’s true. The majority of people use banks. And credit unions offer special incentives and financing to get people in the door.

Even if you have bad credit, they may still work with you.

Family and Friends

No one likes to borrow money from family or friends. But sometimes, emergencies happen. And your closest family and friends understand that.

Don’t feel like you can’t ask them for help. If it’s a good enough reason, they should follow through.

Make sure you pay them back as soon as you can. This way, they will be more inclined to loan money to you next time.

And, you won’t have to pay interest.

Sell Unwanted Items on Amazon or eBay

If this sounds like too much work, don’t let that stop you. If you think you don’t have anything worth buying, don’t let that stop you either.

People buy the strangest things on Amazon, but especially eBay.

Look in your attic or garage for things to sell. Then, go on either site and see what people are willing to pay for those items.

You might be surprised at what you find.


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