Everything You Should Know About Seattle Payday Loans

Chang Fu
Feb 17, 2020

Are you trying to get a payday loan today near you in Seattle, Washington? Running out of time and cash to pay your bills or for your emergency expenses? You have more options than you realize and you are in control of what lender or service you want to use for fast cash, including:

  1. Physical payday loan stores near Seattle, Washington
  2. Online payday loans licensed in Washington
  3. Payday loan alternatives operating in Washington


First off, what is a payday loan?

Payday loans are a form of short-term borrowing and can commonly be referred to as a cash advance or payday advance. There isn’t a single definition for a payday loan but it usually refers to a short-term loan and small-dollar loan, usually $500 or less often repaid in a single payment on your next payday. Often used for urgent situations like covering a surprising bill or paying rent, these loans are available at physical locations as well as online. Lenders offer different rates, fees and options, some more flexible than others. Possible Finance is a great alternative to traditional payday lenders due to the lower annual percentage rate of interest (APRs), installment payments over two months, flexibility to reschedule, and the ability to build credit.

Most payday loan lenders will require verification of income and a bank account. Some lenders will review pay stubs while others may do some form of credit check, even if it’s not a hard check. Once you are approved, the payday loan lender will issue your loan in cash, directly on your debit card, or via ACH to your bank account.


Before Visiting a Physical Payday Loan Store

What to expect. There are many more physical payday loan stores in the city of Seattle than the surrounding cities and towns. Some are walking distance from public transportation while others you will need to drive to. These brick and mortar payday loan companies will usually have tellers operating various windows helping customers get money. During busy hours like late morning or late afternoon when people get off of work, there may be a small wait of 5-10 minutes before you’ll be helped. If you’re a new customer, expect to take at least 15 minutes to fill out an application, receive approval (if you are approved) and get your loan. If you’re a returning customer, it may take less than 15 minutes. Lastly, know your credit score. Even if the payday loan lender doesn’t run credit checks, it’s useful to be aware of your credit situation to know what options you have out there.

Payday loan store hours. Most physical pay day loan stores open at 9 or 10 AM and closes at 6 PM - normal business hours. A few pay day loan stores will open as late as 9 PM in downtown Seattle to service customers who need services at night. Store hours will often be shorter on the weekend or the store may not open at all.

What you need to apply. What you need to apply for a payday loan or cash advance tends to be similar whether it’s at a physical location or online. At the minimum, you will likely need a bank account or credit union account, verifiable income like a paystub, and government-issued ID. Traditional payday lenders will require a post-dated check that you leave with the lender. The lender will cash the post-dated check when the loan is due.

Benefits of a physical payday loan store. Working with a payday lender teller face to face can have benefits when trying to get some short-term cash. You are able to ask questions about the application in person and talk with someone. If you need specific help or there are issues with the loan application, you can have it resolved with live help. If problems arise around being able to repay or linking with a bank checking account, you have a physical location to go to as well. At some physical payday lending stores, you can receive cash on the spot if you are approved rather than have to wait for ACH to your bank account. Lastly, although physical stores have issues around scams, predatory lending, and identify theft, they can be more legitimate than new online payday lenders who have no history or reviews from customers.

Risks of a physical payday loan store. As with online payday loans, payday loans at physical stores have average APRs around 400%, significantly higher than credit cards, personal loans, and many other types of credit. In addition, borrowers often cannot repay the loan back and have to roll over their debt, resulting in more fees and a vicious debt cycle. In addition to these risks, visiting a payday loan store in person will often lead you to be susceptible to sales tactics by tellers, misleading information from one source, and lack of competitive prices. Just like how you would compare prices for products online, you should compare the annual percentage rate of interest (APRs), fees, and other terms of your loan before choosing the lender you borrow money from. You can double check your lender at the NMLS Consumer Access website. Lastly, a physical payday lender is open during specific hours whereas an online lender is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week unless the online application is down.

Because of these risks and negatives to a payday loan and traditional short-term small-dollar loans, we created Possible Finance, to create a fairer and better loan for our customers. Our interest is lower, customers pay over 2 months in multiple installments, and customers build credit history and improve their long-term financial health from the loan.


Why visit a payday store when you can borrow up to $500 in your bed on a Sunday night? 

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Popular payday loans and payday alternatives in Seattle, Washington

  1. Possible Finance - Possible is based in Seattle with an office at 2231 1st Avenue, Suite B, Seattle, WA 98121. Get up to $500 in minutes and build credit history all on a mobile app, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. A Possible loan is an installment loan repaid over multiple pay periods. You can reschedule payments as you need and each on-time payment builds positive credit history. Apply, get approved, and receive cash in just a few minutes even with bad credit or no credit. Possible reports to two major credit reporting bureaus - Experian and TransUnion.
  2. Moneytree - Moneytree is a payday lender based in Seattle, Washington with offices in Washington, California, and a few select states. They offer installment loans and payday loans. Many of their stores in and around Seattle open until 9 PM which is good if you need to go to a physical location at night. There’s three Moneytree locations in Seattle (2 in downtown, 1 in north side of Seattle), and another Moneytree in Renton. Payment for a Moneytree payday loan can be online, via phone, or in person at their physical storefront.
  3. Advance America - Advance America is a direct payday lender operating in most US states with 1,900 locations around the country. They offer payday loans, cash advances, installment loans, title loans, and other credit products. Advance America has a store in both Renton and Lynnwood and their stores tend to have restrictive hours, usually 10 AM to 6 PM only. In 2018, Advance America paid $160,000 to the state of California to settle a probe into its rates on installment loans.
  4. Money Mart - Money Mart, formerly Dollar Financial Group, is a payday lender and check cashing company with over 700 locations in the US and Canada. They have 2 locations left near Seattle, one near Everett and the other in the Northgage (north Seattle) area. Many of their other locations have closed in the Seattle area. The company is now owned by a private equity firm and offer many of its services online as well. In 2009, Money Mart settled a $120 million class action lawsuit in Ontario relating to the interest rate the company was charging.
  5. Speedy Cash and Rapid Cash - Speedy Cash was founded in 1997 in Kansas - soon after, Rapid Cash was also formed. The closest Speedy Cash is in Centralia, WA which is a long drive from the Seattle area. The company offers a variety of financial services such as payday loans, installment loans, and lines of credit.
  6. LendUp - LendUp is an online loan company and a direct lender that operates in various states in the US. They offer payday loans, quick cash advances, and installment loans through its website. The application process and requirements are similar to physical payday loan stores. In 2016, The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) made LendUp pay $3.6 million in fines and refunds for failing to deliver on promises made to customers. The CFPB found that the company did not give customers the ability to build credit history and provide access to cheaper loans as it claimed consumers would be able to do.
  7. Other Banks or Financial Institutions - The large national banks such as Chase, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual and others offer many types of loans and credit-related products including personal loans, lines of credit, credit building loans, mortgages, auto loans, credit cards, and more. Depending on your credit score and financial situation, you may not qualify. A bank such as Chase or Wells Fargo will not tend to have short-term loan products that are directly comparable with that of payday lenders.

Ace Cash Express, another large payday loan lender does not operate in the state of Washington. Their nearest location is in Portland, Oregon.


Payday lending regulations in Seattle, Washington

Payday lending is legal in the state of Washington. USStatesLoans.org has a full review of Washington’s payday lending laws.

Summary regulations:

  • Average annual percentage rate (APR): around 391% for a $300 payday loan
  • No minimum loan amount
  • Maximum loan amount of $700 or 30% of gross monthly income
  • No minimum loan term
  • Maximum loan term of 45 days
  • Finance charges should not exceed 15% for loans under $500, 10% for loans over $500
  • No rollovers permitted

Payday, cash advance, and other short term lenders must have a license to operate in Washington. Be sure to check your lender’s Washington license to make sure it looks similar to Possible’s license in Washington. The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions is responsible for giving licenses in the state and regulating lenders in the state and making sure they comply with all regulations. Both payday loan stores and online payday lenders must comply with these regulations.

One unique thing about Washington is the limitation that payday loan borrowers may only take 8 loans total during a 12 month period.


Final Verdict

When you need money and cash fast and you’re in a short-term financial bind, a payday loan can be a good option when there are no other options such as a credit card or a personal loan. In fact, if you have bad or no credit history and need money today, your only options might be a payday loan, title loan, pawnshop, or other short-term loan.

But not only are traditional payday loans expensive, traveling to a physical payday loan store have indirect costs such as transportation expenses, the loss of valuable time, and in-person friction. Instead, you can apply for a loan from Possible Finance on your mobile app in minutes and build credit history. Where else are you going to get $500 at 10 PM on a Sunday night, all while sitting in bed relaxing?

Chang Fu

Chang is an avid writer, among other things, at Possible. He grew up loving reading and writing, creating his own poems and even a book he's now hidden in an old closet, unpublished. His financial experience at a large bank along with his passion for technology to help underserved communities inspires him to write for Possible.

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