Pros / It provides loans in 32 states – more than any other lender.
Cons / The service’s fees don’t stand out as especially low.
Verdict / Check Into Cash is one of the better options for payday loans. It has numerous locations and offers additional financial services.
After comparing payday lenders based on a variety of factors, including availability and pricing, we’ve determined that Check Into Cash is the best lender overall. However, we must caution that this doesn’t make it any safer than any other lender. These loans are still expensive and carry the risk of trapping you in a debt cycle where you take out new payday loan to pay off your existing ones.
Check Into Cash has locations in 32 states, which is more than lenders like Check City. Check Into Cash only offers online loans in some states, and it may offer different loans in its stores, depending on which state you live in. If you’re thinking of applying, look at Check Into Cash’s state center to see what options are available where you live.
You can apply for loans at the service’s stores or online. Each application requires your Social Security number, a photo ID, an active checking account and proof of income. Whether you apply online or at a physical store, the loans have the same fees and application requirements. The only significant difference is the speed with which you get your money. When you apply in person, you get your money immediately. With an online loan, you have to wait one to two business days.
Payday loans don’t charge interest rates. Instead, a finance charge is applied to the amount you borrow – usually a set amount for every $100 you borrow. The finance charge varies depending on the state you live in. California and other states have regulations in place that limit how much a lender can charge. In those states, Check Into Cash charges the maximum it legally can.
Because each state has different regulations, we looked at how much Check Into Cash charges in states like Wisconsin and Texas, where the laws are less strict. In those states, we saw the highest fees, with finance charges of $25 per $100 borrowed. While expensive, there were still more costly lenders. The lowest fee we saw from Check Into Cash was $13 per $100 borrowed.
In some cases, you may need larger amounts of money than a payday loan can provide. In those situations, you can apply for an installment loan, which provides more funding with a longer repayment period. Installment loans are even more expensive than payday loans – over the life of the loan, you’ll pay more than double the amount you borrowed.
Lines of credit represent as close to a safe option as you can find through a lender like Check Into Cash. Lines of credit operate like credit cards – you pay back only what you use, and you can make minimum payments. The minimum payment is usually a $10 membership fee, around 5% of the principal and any applicable interest, but the interest rate is high. Sometimes APRs approach 300%, so these are still risky and expensive loans.
Physical Check Into Cash branches offer additional financial services. For example, you can cash checks and pay bills through them. Check Into Cash cashes some types of checks that other services don’t, including financial loan checks and tax refunds.