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

 April 12, 2018
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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 3.99% – 8.24%.

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 appear 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 appear 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
7.99% – 23.43%1 $5,000 to $100,000
4.37% – 35.99% $1,000 to $50,000
7.46% – 35.97%* $1,000 to $50,000
99.00% – 199.00%2 $500 to $4,000
7.99% – 29.99%3 $5,000 to $40,000
7.99% – 35.99%4 $2,000 to $36,500
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1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Sofi.

Sofi Disclosures

Fixed rates from 7.99% APR to 23.43% APR APR reflect the 0.25% autopay discount and a 0.25% direct deposit discount. SoFi rate ranges are current as of 8/22/22 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. Lowest rates reserved for the most creditworthy borrowers. 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, 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.

* Important Disclosures for Upgrade.

Upgrade Disclosures

Personal loans made through Upgrade feature Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) of 7.46%-35.97%. All personal loans have a 1.85% to 8% origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Lowest rates require Autopay and paying off a portion of existing debt directly. Loans feature repayment terms of 24 to 84 months. For example, if you receive a $10,000 loan with a 36-month term and a 17.59% APR (which includes a 13.94% 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 $341.48. Over the life of the loan, your payments would total $12,293.46. 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. Personal loans issued by Upgrade’s bank partners. Information on Upgrade’s bank partners can be found at https://www.upgrade.com/bank-partners/ .

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 Happy Money.

Happy Money 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 Lendingpoint.

Lendingpoint Disclosures

Applications submitted on this website may be funded by one of several lenders, including: FinWise Bank, a Utah-chartered bank, Member FDIC; Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC; Midland States Bank, Member FDIC; and LendingPoint, a licensed lender in certain states. Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 7% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. Loans are offered from $2,000 to $36,500, at rates ranging from 7.99% to 35.99% APR, with terms from 24 to 72 months. Minimum loan amounts apply in Georgia, $3,500; Colorado, $3,001; and Hawaii, $1,500. For a well-qualified customer, a $10,000 loan for a period of 48 months with an APR of 24.34% and origination fee of 7% will have a payment of $327.89 per month. (Actual terms and rate depend on credit history, income, and other factors.) The $15,575.04 total amount due under the loan terms provided as an example in this disclaimer includes the origination fee financed in addition to the loan amount. Customers may have the option to deduct the origination fee from the disbursed loan amount if desired. If the origination fee is added to the financed amount, interest is charged on the full principal amount. The total amount due is the total amount of the loan you will have paid after you have made all payments as scheduled.