What You Need to Know About Payday Loans in Columbus, Ohio

Chang Fu
Mar 10, 2020

Trying to get a payday loan near you in Columbus, Ohio? Emergency expenses and unexpected expenses come up or just need to pay your bills but out of money?

You have more available options than you realize and you can control what lender or service you want to use for fast cash, including:

  1. Brick and mortar payday loan stores in or near Columbus, Ohio
  2. Online payday loans licensed in Ohio
  3. Payday loan alternatives operating in the state of Ohio

What are payday loans?

Payday loans are a form of short-term loan or borrowing and are also frequently referred to as a cash advance or payday advance. There’s not one single definition for a payday loan but it usually refers to a short-term loan, small-dollar loan, usually $500 or less in amount and often repaid in one payment on the borrower’s next payday. Often used for emergency situations like covering a surprise bill or paying rent, these loans are available at physical brick and mortar locations as well as online. Lenders offer various rates, fees and options, and some lenders are more flexible than others. Possible Finance is the best alternative to traditional payday lenders due to its lower annual percentage rate of interest (APR), repayments in installments over two months, the rescheduling flexibility, and the ability to build credit.

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

Before You Visit a Brick and Mortar Payday Loan Store

What to expect. There are quite a few payday loan stores in the Columbus, Ohio area so take your pick! 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 7 or 8 PM in the Columbus area to service customers who need services at night. Store hours will often be shorter on Sunday or 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. The minimum requirements can include a bank account or credit union account, verifiable income like a paystub, and government-issued ID. Most lenders will also require an address and social security number. Traditional payday lenders will require a post-dated check that you leave with the lender so that the lender can 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 short-term cash. You are able to ask questions, however esoteric, 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 on the spot. If problems arise around being able to repay or linking with a bank checking account, you have a physical location to try to fix the issues. At some physical payday lending stores, you can receive cash on the spot if you are approved rather than have to wait 1 business day or two for ACH funds to go to your bank account. Lastly, although physical stores have issues around scams, predatory lending, and identify theft, they can be more legitimate than a new online payday lender with no history or reviews from customers.

Risks of a physical payday loan store. As with online payday loans, payday loans and cash advance loans at physical stores have average APRs around 400%, much higher than credit cards, personal loans, and many other types of credit and financial solutions available. In addition, borrowers often cannot repay the original loan back and have to roll over their payday loan, resulting in even more fees and a vicious debt cycle. Furthermore, visiting a payday loan store in person will often make you vulnerable to sales tactics by tellers, misleading information, and lack of competition and choice. Just like how you would compare prices for shopping products online, you should compare the annual percentage rate of interest (APRs), fees, and other loan terms before choosing the lender you borrow money from. You can also double check the validity of 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 - that is, unless the online website is down.

Because of these risks and the negatives to a payday loan and traditional short-term small-dollar loans, we created Possible Finance to have a fairer and better loan for our customers. Our interest is lower, customers pay over as much as 3 months in multiple installments, and customers can build credit history and improve their long-term financial health from our loan.

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

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Popular payday loans and payday alternatives in Columbus, Ohio

  1. Possible Finance - Possible doesn’t have an office in Columbus, Ohio but we operate there with our Ohio lending license. In fact, Possible supported the Pew Charitable Trust to push new legislation and laws around payday lending in Ohio last April. The new law made short-term loans friendlier and better for consumers and leveled the playing field for lenders. With Possible, 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 personal installment loan repaid over multiple pay periods. You can reschedule payments as you need, repay the loan in installments, and each on-time payment builds positive credit history. Apply, get approved, and receive cash funds in just a few minutes even with bad credit or no credit. Possible reports to two major credit bureaus - Experian and TransUnion.
  2. ACE Cash Express - ACE Cash Express provides payday loans, short-term loans, check cashing, and other financial services in 3 locations in the Columbus area - Whitehall, Westerville, and Delaware communities. The company is headquartered in Irving, TX and operates in 24 states and DC. ACE Cash Express was founded in 1968 and its first store was in Denver, Colorado. In 2014, the company agreed to a $10 million cash settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) over its abusive debt collection practices. ACE did not admit to any wrong-doing.
  3. Advance America - Advance America is a direct payday lender operating in most US states with 1,900 locations around the country. They offer easy payday loans, cash advances, installment loans, title loans, and other credit products. Advance America has five stores in the Columbus area (2 in Columbus, 1 in Whitehall, 1 in Reynoldsburg, 1 in Westerville). Most of their stores operate from 10 am to 6 pm but hours can vary by day. In 2018, Advance America paid $160,000 to the state of California to settle a probe into its rates on installment loans.
  4. Always Payday! - Always Payday is a check cashing and payday lending service that seems to just operate in the Columbus area. It has 5 stores with four of them in Columbus and one in Groveport. They are not BBB accredited and the Google reviews vary by location. Many of the reviews comment on their customer support, some giving negative ratings while others leave positive ratings.
  5. Check ‘N Go - Check ‘N Go is a cash checking, payday loan, and installment loan company operating in multiple states with headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio. It was founded in 1994 by Allen Davis. They have 3 locations in the Columbus area with two in Columbus and 1 in Hilliard.
  6. LendUp - LendUp is an online loan company and a direct lender that operates in various states in the US. They offer payday loans online, 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, Huntington National, Civista Bank 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 or a quick money loan that is directly comparable with that of payday lenders.

In the Colombus, Ohio area, there are many other payday lenders. Lenders such as CheckSmart, National Check Cashers, Cash Ahead, First American Loans, Ameribucks, and more all operate in the area, offering a quick loan to consumers. Be sure to compare and do your research before going with a payday or short-term lender or using a payday loan alternative. Know the loan fees such as an interest fee, finance charge, or rollover fee.

Payday lending regulations in Columbus, Ohio

Payday lending is legal in the state of Ohio. USStatesLoans.org has a full review of Ohio’s payday lending laws and the Cincinnati news website reviews the new laws. Ohio’s laws changed drastically in April of 2019, restricting APRs, placing restrictions on outstanding amounts, and a whole host of other requirements that aimed to make payday lender friendlier and better for consumers.

Summary regulations:

Payday, cash advance, and other short term lenders must have a Short-Term Loan License to operate in Ohio. Be sure to check your lender’s Ohio license to make sure it looks similar to Possible’s license in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Commerce 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.

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 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 has 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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