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

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How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

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Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

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Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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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.

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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 2.99% – 6.99%.

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 Advance America 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, check out 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.

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How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

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

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

How Student Loan Hero Gets Paid

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

Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero Advertiser Disclosure

Student Loan Hero is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

RATES (APR)loan amount
5.99% – 19.16%1 $5,000 to $100,000
7.86% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
5.94% – 35.97%* $1,000 to $50,000
99.00% – 199.00%2 $500 to $4,000
5.99% – 24.99%3 $5,000 to $40,000
7.99% – 29.99%4 $7,500 to $40,000
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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Fixed rates from 5.99% APR to 18.82% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of March 19, 2020 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 creditworthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. 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. To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.
    See Consumer Licenses.
  3. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  4. If you lose your job through no fault of your own, you may apply for Unemployment Protection. SoFi will suspend your monthly SoFi loan payments and provide job placement assistance during your forbearance period. Interest will continue to accrue and will be added to your principal balance at the end of each forbearance period, to the extent permitted by applicable law. Benefits are offered in three month increments, and capped at 12 months, in aggregate, over the life of the loan. To be eligible for this assistance you must provide proof that you have applied for and are eligible for unemployment compensation, and you must actively work with our Career Advisory Group to look for new employment. If the loan is co-signed the unemployment protection applies where both the borrower and cosigner lose their job and meet conditions.
  5. 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 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Opploans.

Opploans Disclosures

Direct Deposit required for payroll.

Opploans currently operates in these states: . *Approval may take longer if additional verification documents are requested. Not all loan requests are approved. Approval and loan terms vary based on credit determination and state law. Applications processed and approved before 7:30 p.m. ET Monday-Friday are typically funded the next business day.

  1. To qualify, a borrower must (i) be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; (ii) reside in a state where OppLoans operates; (iii) have direct deposit; (iv) meet income requirements; (v) be 18 years of age (19 in Alabama); and, (vi) meet verification standards.
  2. NV Residents: The use of high-interest loans services should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction.

  3. OppLoans performs no credit checks through the three major credit bureaus Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion. Applicants’ credit scores are provided by Clarity Services, Inc., a credit reporting agency.

  4. Based on customer service ratings on Google and Facebook. Testimonials reflect the individual’s opinion and may not be illustrative of all individual experiences with OppLoans. Check loan reviews.

  5.  

    Rates and terms vary by state.

3 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.
4 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. The loan terms presented are not guaranteed and APRs presented are estimates only. To obtain a loan you must submit additional information and documentation and all loans are subject to credit review and our approval process. The range of APRs is 7.99% to 29.99% and your actual APR will depend upon factors including your credit score, usage and history, the requested loan amount, the stated loan purpose, and the term of the requested loan. To qualify for a 7.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan for an amount less than $12,000.00, and with a term equal to 24 months. Adding a co-borrower with sufficient income; using at least eighty-five percent (85%) of the loan proceeds to directly pay off qualifying existing debt; or showing proof of sufficient retirement savings, could help you also qualify for the lowest rate available. All loans are made by Cross River Bank and MetaBank®, N.A., Members FDIC.
* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature APRs of 5.94%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 2.9% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.98% APR (which includes a 14.32% yearly interest rate and a 5% one-time origination fee), you would receive $9,500 in your account and would have a required monthly payment of $343.33. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,359.97. The APR on your loan may be higher or lower and your loan offers may not have multiple term lengths available. Actual rate depends on credit score, credit usage history, loan term, and other factors. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. There is no fee or penalty for repaying a loan early. Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank or designated account within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes the transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days. Funds sent directly to pay off your creditors may take up to 2 weeks to clear, depending on the creditor. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s lending partners. Information on Upgrade’s lending partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/lending-partners/.