7 Best Online Cash Advance Loans for Bad Credit
An online cash advance loan can help you bridge the gap between payday or cover an emergency expense in a hurry. The good news is these loans are generally easy to get, even if you have bad credit.
On the downside, they also tend to come with high interest rates and a range of fees. This is why it's important to shop around for the best deal from a reputable lender.
The 7 Best Online Payday Loans For Bad Credit
MoneyMutual is a loan marketplace that connects borrowers with a network of more than 50 lenders that offer short-term online payday loans between $100 and $2,500. If you qualify, you can have the money in your account within 24 hours.
Each lender has its own requirements, but borrowers should be at least 18 years old, make a minimum income of $800 a month, and maintain a checking account. If you decide to accept a loan offer from one of the lenders in the network, you may be required to verify your income and other information.
MoneyMutual is free to use, but each lender has its own requirements, and you may be required to pay loan origination or other fees if you decide to pursue a loan.
CashUSA.com is another online loan marketplace that matches borrowers with a wide range of lenders. If you qualify, you can borrow anywhere from $500 to $10,000.
The lenders in the CashUSA.com network work with borrowers with bad credit, but you must be at least 18 years old, have an active checking account, and make at least $1,000 a month. Interest rates range from 5.99% to 35.99%, and repayment periods start at 90 days and go up to 72 months.
It's free to apply for loans through CashUSA.com, but every lender has its own unique requirements. Be prepared to submit additional documentation or pay fees if you move forward with a loan offer.
3. Surge Mastercard
The Surge Mastercard is a credit card rather than an online payday loan, but it gives you the option to get quick access to funds with a cash advance. Depending on your creditworthiness, you may be able to get up to $750.
One of the advantages of using a credit card for a cash advance is that some cards, including the Surge Mastercard, report your payment activity to all three credit bureaus, which allows you to build good credit as you use your card.
The variable annual percentage rate (APR) for a cash advance with the Surge Mastercard ranges between 25.90% and 29.99% depending on your creditworthiness. There is also a cash advance fee of $5 or 5% of the amount advanced, whichever is greater.
4. Indigo Platinum Mastercard Credit Card
The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is another credit card that lets you get fast access to cash with a cash advance. Cardholders can get up to $300 with a variable interest rate of 24.90%.
However, the card also charges an annual fee, which can eat into your available credit. New cardholders pay $75 the first year, then $59 or $99 thereafter.
5. Total Visa Card
The Total Visa credit card is another option for getting a cash advance, but be wary of the $89 "program fee" to open an account. There is also an annual fee that is $75 the first year and then $48 after the first year.
The card also comes with a monthly maintenance fee that is waived the first year and then $6.25 each month thereafter. The interest rate for cash advances is 34.99%, and borrowers can get up to $300.
Keep in mind, however, that the card's fees can chip away at your available credit, leaving you with a reduced cash advance amount. If you need a bigger sum of money, you might be better off with an alternative.
BadCreditLoans.com is a loan marketplace that lets borrowers submit a single application to get connected with a network of lenders that offer bad credit loans. Terms vary by lender, with interest rates ranging between 5.99% and 35.99% and repayment periods running anywhere between 90 days and 72 months.
It's free to apply for loans through the BadCreditLoans.com portal, but you may be required to pay fees if you choose to pursue a loan offer with a lender in the network. You can borrow up to $10,000 depending on your creditworthiness.
PersonalLoans.com gives borrowers an opportunity to connect with a network of online lenders that work with people with bad credit. Loan amounts range from $500 to $35,000.
Like a lot of other online loan marketplaces, PersonalLoans.com requires borrowers to be at least 18 years old, have a regular income, and maintain an active checking account.
Interest rates for loans range from 5.99% to 35.99%, and repayment periods vary from 90 days to 72 months.
What is an online cash advance loan?
Cash advances are designed to be short-term loans you pay back relatively quickly, although some repayment periods may be longer depending on how much money you need to borrow and which type of lender you work with. Working with an online lender can improve your chances of getting approved for a loan, as you're not limited to lenders with physical locations in your immediate area.
There are several variations of cash advance loans. Payday loans are probably the most commonly recognized type of cash advance, but you can also use a credit card or take out an installment loan.
In recent years, a number of online cash advance apps have sprung up. Most of these apps let you borrow from your future paycheck up to a certain amount, but you're required to give the app access to your bank account.
How do online payday loans work?
Getting a cash advance from an online lender is usually a straightforward process. Here is what to expect.
- Submit an application - One of the advantages of working with an online lender is it's easy to apply. When you fill out your application, you should expect to provide information about your income and employment, and you may need to upload documentation that verifies you receive a regular paycheck.
- Get a fast decision - Another benefit of applying for a payday loan online is you typically get a quick turnaround on your application. In some cases, you may even receive an instant decision.
- Receive your funds - If you're approved for an online cash advance, you should receive your funds quickly, and most lenders will deposit the money directly into your account. The majority of online lenders won't work with you unless you have an active checking account, so this is something to keep in mind before you apply.
- Repay your loan - Make sure you pay your loan back on time. Your payment history is the top factor in determining your credit score, so it's important to stay on top of your payments.
Uses for online payday loans
It's best to approach online payday loans as a last resort or emergency funding. Because some payday loans and cash advances can come with higher interest rates, you should only borrow if you're absolutely certain you can afford to repay the loan on time.
These types of loans are best for true emergencies between pay periods, such as an unexpected medical bill or blown tire. Under no circumstances should you make payday loans a habit, as this can lead to a cycle of debt that quickly spirals out of control.
Best online payday loans for bad credit: pros vs. cons
There are advantages and drawbacks to using an online payday loan for bad credit. Here are the pros and cons to consider before you apply.
Online payday loans offer a number of advantages that make them a viable choice when you need rapid access to emergency funds. Here is a quick look at some of the benefits these loans can offer.
- Fast access to cash - Applying online for a short-term loan means you can usually receive your funds in as little as 24 hours, whereas it might take days to get money from a traditional brick and mortar lender.
- Easy to get - Online payday lenders that work with borrowers with bad credit often have less stringent requirements than traditional banks. Rather than running a credit check, most require you to prove only that you have a steady income and a bank account.
- No credit check - Most online payday lenders aren't going to check your credit. They typically rely on other information, such as your monthly income, to assess your creditworthiness.
- Unsecured loan - Online payday loans are unsecured, which means you aren't required to offer collateral to reduce the lender's risk. This is a contrast to title loans, which require you to put up your vehicle as collateral in exchange for receiving loan money.
Online payday loans have several drawbacks. Here are some potential downsides to keep in mind before you shop around for loans.
- High fees - Payday and short-term lenders tend to work with borrowers with bad credit. In exchange for taking on extra risk, they usually charge high fees, making payday loans much more expensive than other types of lending.
- Sometimes predatory interest - In addition to high fees, payday loans also tend to come with exceptionally high interest rates. While some states cap interest for payday loans, others allow payday lenders to charge well into the triple digits.
- Be wary of getting trapped in debt - Some payday borrowers end up taking out another loan, and then another, as they struggle to pay off their loan by their next paycheck. As they accumulate more interest, their debt increases faster than they can pay it off.
- You need a checking account - Most online payday lenders will deposit your funds directly into your bank account, which means you need a checking account before you can apply. If a payday lender sues you for a delinquent account and obtains a judgment, they might be able to garnish your wages through your checking account.
How to use cash advances responsibly
Online cash advances can be easy to get, even if you have bad credit. Unfortunately, this can make it tempting to rely on them too often, which can lead to financial mismanagement, debt, and an even lower credit score.
If you need to use a cash advance loan, it's important to go into it with a plan to get out unscathed. Here are some considerations to keep in mind.
- Have a plan to pay it back - Before you take out a cash advance, know how you're going to pay it back, and make sure you'll have the funds to do so. The longer you wait to repay the money, the more expensive the loan will become.
- Understand all the terms and conditions - When you're in a rush for quick cash, it's tempting to sign paperwork in a hurry. However, it's critical to read all the fine print to make sure you're not getting locked into an agreement that leads to unfair charges or fees.
- Consider other options - There are other ways to cover an emergency expense. Before you opt for a cash advance payday loan, explore alternatives.
Alternatives to online cash advance loans
Online cash advance loans may be convenient, but they aren't the only option for getting a quick infusion of much-needed cash. If you need a short-term loan, it's worth considering these alternatives.
- Credit cards: If you have a credit card, check if it allows cash advances. You may be able to tap your credit limit for a lump sum of money at a more favorable interest rate than an online payday loan.
- Cash advance apps - In some cases, a quick loan may be as easy as a few taps on your smartphone. Some cash advance apps like Earnin are totally free to use, letting you leave an optional tip in exchange for using the service.
- Pawn shops - If you have jewelry, antiques, or other valuable items around the house, you may be able to use them as collateral to secure a pawn shop loan. If you fail to repay the loan, however, the pawn shop keeps your item, so it's important to make sure you can afford the terms.
- Personal loan from a friend or relative - It never hurts to ask a friend or relative if they can give you a short-term loan. If you go this route, however, it's a good idea to put everything in writing to avoid any misunderstandings.
Online cash advance loans can be a lifesaver when you need quick access to funds to cover an emergency or unexpected expense. Because these loans tend to come with high interest rates, however, you should shop around for the best deal before agreeing to a loan.
About the Author
Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in CNBC, Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.