Payday Loan Apps: The Good, The Bad and The Predatory

Tara Seboldt
Dec 21, 2021

Payday loans give you access to extra money quickly. In fact, payday loan apps make getting a payday loan easier than ever before.

In the past, you would’ve had to apply for a payday loan in person. at a brick and mortar location.

Now, many modern lenders let you apply for short-term loans through mobile apps. This makes it easier to get cash when you need it, but also opens the door to identity thieves, scammers, and predatory lenders.

Let’s take a closer look at the payday loan apps available, how to spot scams and what apps let you borrow money instantly.

Tired of predatory fees? Try a Possible Loan.

What Are Payday Loan Apps?

A payday loan app is an application you can download on your mobile phone or device to access payday loans or cash advances. Most apps let you apply for loans and get the money almost instantly via debit card transfer or direct deposit.

Although payday loan mobile apps differ between payday lenders, the features are similar. You can apply for a new loan on the app, manage a loan you already have, and pay back your loan.

Expect to provide banking and identification information, however.

If approved, you can manage your account in the loan app, like paying it back on your next payday. As an alternative option to payday loans, the Possible app lets you reschedule your payment date as well as pay your loan back over a longer period of time than a traditional payday loan.

Are Payday Loan Apps Safe?

Like any mobile banking or personal finance service, it’s important to understand the risks involved.

Some of the safety concerns to look for in a payday loan app include:

  • Identity Theft: You’ll be uploading a lot of personal financial information into the app. You want to make sure hackers and identity thieves can’t access it.
  • Predatory Lenders: Predatory payday lenders focus on getting people into a circle of debt that’s hard to repay. These lenders may make big promises or hide vital information about fees and interest rates.
  • Lending Scams: Unlike predatory lenders, a payday loan scam usually doesn’t offer a loan at all. Legitimate lenders have to be registered in the states where they do business.

Be sure to look at reviews of both the app and the payday loan lender to evaluate a lender. You can look at sites like the Better Business Bureau to see how a company is rated as a lender.

Modern payday loan companies and lenders help protect you by using multi-step authentication and security checks within their apps.

For example, Possible Finance never asks for your checking account number. Instead, we have you log in to your bank directly through a secure connection.

This keeps your account information safe from data thieves while still allowing us to lend you money.

How to Spot a Predatory Instant Payday Loan App

Use these quick tips to help you avoid giving your personal information to a scam or fake payday loan app:

  • Research the lender before downloading their app.
  • Never download an app from an unsecured website. You can tell if a website is secure by the padlock icon in the URL bar as well as the “https://” header in the web address.
  • Look for security features on the app, such as requiring a secure password or two-factor authentication.
  • Pay attention to the app store reviews. A surge of recent 1 star reviews could indicate the app was hacked or contains malware.

Predatory payday loan lenders are not technically scams, but can still cause financial harm.

When comparing payday and cash advance apps, watch out for:

  • Unusually high interest rates (Or undisclosed interest rates)
  • No information on late fees or financing fees
  • No contact information

What Apps Let You Borrow Money Instantly?

We found five of the best options for instant payday loan apps. Take a look at our analysis to help you find the best option for your financial situation.

1. Possible Finance

Possible Finance offers payday loan alternatives with lower fees and longer repayment schedules. You can apply for up to $500 and won’t have to pay the full amount using your next paycheck.

Installment loans are reported to credit bureaus, making it a good credit builder option without needing a credit card.

Key Features:

  • Up to $500
  • No credit check
  • Reschedule payments up to 29 days
  • No hidden fees

Best Use:

  • Fast cash to cover expenses with longer repayment terms
  • Building credit history

Requirements:

  • Reside in a participating state
  • Have a qualifying bank account with three months of activity
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID

2. Brigit

Brigit is an app that gives you access to up to $250 early access to your next paycheck with a paycheck advance, including automatic advances to avoid overdraft fees.

You are required to repay the full amount upon your next pay period.

There’s no credit check, but you’ll pay a $9.99 monthly fee.

Key features:

  • Up to $250
  • No credit check
  • Interest-free and fee-free borrowing

Best Use:

  • Bad credit borrowers

Requirements:

  • Checking account with sufficient activity
  • Balance greater than $0 that meets payday average minimum
  • Recurring deposits from one employer

See our full review of the Brigit app.

3. CashNetUSA

This payday loan app offers payday loans with fast funding. While a credit check is required, CashNetUSA uses more than your credit score to make its funding decision.

Be sure to check that your location is supported by the app before applying.

Key Features:

  • Generally, $500 or less, depending on the state
  • Same-day funding available
  • Instant funding decision

Best Use:

  • Borrowers with good credit

Requirements:

  • Verified, steady income
  • Active checking account
  • US citizen or permanent resident

4. PayDaySay

PayDaySay works differently than other instant payday loan apps. It connects borrowers with lenders who offer payday loans.

This can be a good option if you want to compare lenders in one place. However, some loan issuers may not send funds until the next business day.

Key Features:

  • Connects you with payday lenders
  • Fast and easy application

Best Use:

  • Average credit users hoping for a better rate

Requirements:

  • Requirements vary by lender
  • Valid bank account
  • Most lenders require a credit check and verified income

5. Net Pay Advance

Net Pay Advance is a payday loan app for residents of California, Kansas and Texas, only.

Although limited to residents of these three states, the requirements are generally lower than other apps.

Depending on your location, you may be able to get up to $1,000.

Key Features:

  • No credit check
  • Up to $1,000, depending on the state

Best Use:

  • KS, CA or TX residents looking for a payday loan with no credit check

Requirements:

  • CA, KS or TX resident
  • Valid bank account open for more than 30 days

Get Instant Cash from an App

When you need to get cash fast, modern technology can help. There are legitimate payday loan and payday advance apps that offer cash fast, but be sure to do your research. 

You can also apply for an alternative to a traditional payday loan, like a personal loan from Possible Finance.

Tara Seboldt

Tara is a financial writer with over five years of professional writing experience. She previously worked at a financial planning firm. Tara uses this professional experience to help readers better understand their finances and make smart financial moves. When she’s not writing about money, Tara enjoys spending time in the Idaho mountains hiking, camping, and skiing.

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