Cash Advance

Is Advance America Legit?

Looking for online payday loans? Here’s a few things you should know 🚩

Illustration of Advance America logo on phone

What Is Advance America?

Advance America has been around since 1997, the very same year Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered.

Love that show.

Advance America is a large in-person and online lender who are mostly known for payday loans but they also offer the below:

💰 Installment loans: installment loans are longer-term personal loans between 2-24 months
💰 Title loans: a title loan allows you to borrow money based on the value of your car
💰 Line of credit: the maximum amount of money that can be withdrawn varies by state
💰 Online loans: online payday loans, online installment loans or line of credit

How Does Advance America Work?

For the duration of this blog, we’re gonna talk about payday loans. Cause they’re the ones that suck the most.

A payday loan is usually a two to four-week short-term high interest loan which is typically paid back on your next payday.

Applying for one is pretty easy, and the funds are usually sent quickly but we’re not gonna give you a run down of how to apply because we don’t want you to end up in debt 🙃

Advance America says the typical fee for a payday loan is $15 per $100 borrowed, however, the fees vary by state based on state regulations.

Plus, the amount you can borrow depends on the state you’re in. The amount usually ranges from $50-$1,000.

Payday loans in California are capped at $300 and come with fees that equate to an annual percentage rate (APR) of around 460%.

Whereas in Texas, the cap is non-existent and the average APR is more than 660% – one of the highest in America.

To put that into context, if you were to borrow $500, you’d have to repay around $627.


If you use Advance America’s payday loan calculator, you should be able to see how much it would cost you to take out a payday loan.

However, it’s not just the fees and interest you need to watch out for. It’s the effect that payday loans can have on your credit score.

Late Payments Can Hurt Your Score

The impact late payments can have on your credit score depends on different factors including:

  • How late they payments are
  • How long ago you made the payment
  • How high our credit score is

Advance America says if you make a payment 30 days late, it’ll probably have less of an effect on your credit score compared with a payment that’s 90 days late.

How long do late payments stay on your credit report?

Experian says late payments can stay on your report for seven years which can have a significant impact on your score.

Advance America Reviews

Advance America has a rating of 1.6/5 stars on Consumer Affairs.

Negative advance america review by Sandra

So, is Advance America Legit and Safe?

Globe Newswire says Advance America is a safe and legitimate lender who are owned by a Mexican financial company, Grupo Elektra.

However, with the high APR these products come with, it is easy to get in over your head. So use with caution and make sure you can pay it back quickly.

Is there an Alternative?

Absolutely. We’ve got a whole blog post dedicated to payday loan alternatives

You could also get a quick spot from Cleo which is a cash advance and not a payday loan.

The Cleo Plus feature can offer up to $250 with no interest or credit checks (eligibility requirements apply).

Why Cleo?

There isn’t a specific income requirement, and we don’t have to verify your employment status, making it the ultimate gig worker cash advance app.

It’s easy…

💙 Download the best money app in the world (iOS/Android)
💙 Connect Cleo with your main bank account
💙 Find out if you're eligible for the cash advance
💙 If eligible, confirm your details
💙Decide when you want the money‍

Some specifics:

💵 Maximum amount: $250
🏦 Fees: $5.99 monthly subscription and no late fees  
🚀 Speed: three to four working days or today if you pay an express fee of $3.99  
✅ Repayment: it’s up to you when you want to repay ‍
🔎 Credit check: no
📈 Interest: hell no

Thanks for listening. Hopefully you’re now well and truly put off payday loans.

Enjoy this post? Def give it a share or send it along to a friend. You never know, it could make a big difference.

Big love. Cleo 💙

*Cleo Plus is our subscription service, which offers eligible users cashback on your money, information on your credit score, and access to cash advances (“Cash Advance”). Advance amounts will vary based on eligibility. If you don’t want to subscribe, you can also apply for cash advance by contacting our customer service at team@meetcleo.com. To learn more about eligibility, repayment, and overall terms, please visit: meetcleo.com/terms

Still have questions? Find answers below.
What is Advance America?
How do their payday loans work?
Can late payments from Advance America affect my credit score?
Is there an alternative to Advance America's payday loans?
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