Advance America Loans Review: Get Cash Fast But Beware High Fees

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

advance america

When you read customer reviews of Advance America, the word “scam” might pop up.

However, this financial services company is not actually a scam. Instead, scammers pretending to be from Advance America have targeted unsuspecting customers in the past.

The real company is a legitimate one that specializes in payday loans, as well as title and installment loans, in certain states across the country.

That being said, Advance America doesn’t have a spotless reputation. In 2010, it paid $18.75 million to North Carolina consumers to settle a class-action lawsuit that alleged the lender charged illegal fees and interest.

Plus, the company charges sky-high fees and interest rates on its loan products. Unless you have no other options, Advance America probably isn’t the best choice for a loan. Read this full Advance America review to learn more.

Advance America loans overview

Advance America is a financial services company with over 2,000 stores across the U.S. It specializes in payday loans, which are short-term loans known to have high interest rates.

Besides payday loans, Advance America also offers two other loan types:

  • Title loans: These are secured by the value of your car.
  • Installment loans: Advance America’s form of personal loans. These are similar to payday loans, but you can borrow a greater amount and pay it off over a longer period of time.

Advance America’s installment loan product is the one that most closely resembles a personal loan. You can pay off a loan over three to 36 months.

One benefit of borrowing with Advance America is that you can get access to money quickly. If you live near one of its stores, you could walk in and out on the same day with the funds you need.

Advance America interest rates and fees

Interest rates and fees vary depending on what state you live in. When you apply for an Advance America installment loan, you’ll be asked to provide your zip code before you can view offerings.

For example, an installment loan of $650 with a six-month term in South Carolina comes with a 348.04% APR. That rate is current as of April 12, 2018, so be sure to check the latest available rates on the Advance America website.

Once you know the rates available in your area, compare them to the fixed interest rates on personal loans from other lenders, such as SoFi. It offers rates from 3.25% - 7.13%.

If you choose to move forward with a loan from Advance America, you can apply online. It’ll show you a preview of rates and fees based on your state, loan amount, and repayment terms. That $650 loan from South Carolina, for example, would cost you $1,341.12 to pay back.

Advance America loan cost

Image credit: Advance America

Before borrowing from Advance America, make sure to read over the terms and conditions. Without a solid plan for repayment, these high fees and interest charges could leave you more in debt than when you started.

Using the Advance America online platform

Advance America lets customers apply in person or online for a loan. It has stores in over 25 states.

If you’re not close to a store or prefer to apply online, you can use its online application. Simply get started by clicking on “Apply for a loan” on its homepage.

Depending on what your state offers, you can choose what type of loan to apply for. In South Carolina, for example, we see that you can choose a payday loan or an installment loan with the following loan limits.

Advance America loan options

Image credit: Advance America

Before clicking on “Apply Now” for a loan, you can preview what your repayment will look like by selecting “Learn more.”

Besides using Advance America’s repayment estimator, you can also crunch the numbers with our personal loan calculator. This will show you exactly how much you’ll pay in interest over the life of your loan.

If you decide to go forward with this lender, you can start filling out the application. It’ll ask for basic personal information, along with your Social Security number.

Advance America application

Image credit: Advance America

You’ll also fill out your employment information and income, as well as indicate how often you get paid.

Finally, you’ll provide your checking account information. When your payment is due, Advance America will automatically withdraw money from your account.

If that sounds risky, that’s because it is. If you can’t pay, the company could overdraw from your account. Plus, it can continue to do so until the entire loan is paid back, interest and all.

One positive note about the online application experience: A customer service representative pops up via chat to answer your questions as you go. They answer your questions right away, so it’s easy to clear up any confusion while you apply.

Once you finish the application, you’ll soon learn whether or not you’re approved. Some applicants even get funds in their bank account the same day they apply.

Advance America payday and installment loan eligibility requirements

Advance America doesn’t have strict eligibility requirements to qualify for a payday or installment loan.

In fact, an advantage for some customers is Advance America’s lax credit requirements for loans. Having a poor credit score or even a history of bankruptcy won’t necessarily disqualify you from borrowing.

Customers with subpar credit might not qualify for a loan from a lender such as Citizens Bank or Upstart. But they might not have trouble borrowing from Advance America.

To apply for a loan, borrowers are required to provide the following:

  • Social Security number
  • Email address
  • Active bank account information
  • Proof of income
  • Government-issued ID

Besides meeting these requirements, you must also be a resident of a participating state to apply for a loan. In certain states, you might be asked to provide a check, as well.

Advance America customer service

For more information, you can reach Advance America customer service by calling 844-562-6480 or by using its contact form. If you’re applying for a loan, you can use its chat feature, as well.

To find a nearby store, head to the website’s “Locations” page and type in your zip code.

You can also learn more by reading Advance America customer reviews, including those from ConsumerAffairs.

Advance America is a leading lender of payday loans, but all of its loan products come with seriously high fees. Think twice before borrowing a high-cost loan. You don’t want to find yourself in more debt with a payday loan than when you started.

Note: Student Loan Hero has independently collected the above information related to Advance America loan rates, terms, and fees. Advance America has neither provided nor reviewed the information shared in this article.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderRates (APR)Loan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 5.950% APR to 14.740% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 5.825% APR to 14.365% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of May 18, 2018, and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 5.825% APR assumes current 1-month LIBOR rate of 1.90% plus 4.175% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.
  2. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate Disclosure: Fixed interest rates range from 4.99% – 16.24% (4.99% – 16.24% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates shown are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank


Upgrade Bank Disclosures


  • Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.
  • Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% - 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.83% - 14.74%1$5,000 - $100,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
5.96% - 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% - 25.00%$5,000 - $35,000
Check rate nowon SLH's secure site
4.99% - 29.99%$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
4.99% - 16.24%2$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% - 34.49%$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
5.99% - 35.89%$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
5.49% - 18.24%$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% - 35.99%$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.