What are payday loans?
Payday loans are a form of short-term credit. Also called a cash advance, there isn’t a set definition of a payday loan, but they are usually $500 or less and repaid with a single payment on your next payday. They are often used to get additional cash when an urgent situation arises, like covering an unexpected bill or paying rent. These loans are available from lenders in brick-and-mortar stores and from online businesses. Different lenders offer different rates and options, and some companies, like Possible, are significantly different from traditional payday loans due to repayment flexibility, the ability to build credit, and other options. This brief guide will cover applying for a payday loan, repayment, and different types of loan options that are available.
Applying for a payday loan
Applying for a payday loan requires verifying your income and a bank account with a lender. The lender reviews your pay stubs to determine if they think you will be able to repay the loan. They usually don’t consider other income sources, such as cash-only jobs. A benefit of applying for payday loans is that they sometimes do not require a credit check to receive the loan, so people with low credit scores can still apply. After your income and paydays are confirmed, the lender will issue the loan in cash, with a check, or in a direct deposit to your bank account.
Regulations for payday loans
There are a couple exceptions to the application process. Due to federal regulations, active duty military personnel are not eligible to receive payday loans because interest rates for these loans are higher than the allowed amount. Additionally, some states, such as Florida and Washington state, have databases that keep track of how many payday loans an individual receives and prevent lenders from issuing loans to people that do not meet the requirements. Regulations governing these loans often change. For example, in 2019 Ohio changed its payday regulations to cap the amount of fees that a lender can charge for each loan and extend the time a customer has to repay the loan.
Repaying a payday loan
Payday loans are usually repaid two to four weeks from the date the loan is taken out. Lenders usually require a post-dated check or ACH transaction for repayment. Payments are dated for your next payday, so they can be cashed when your deposit arrives to repay the loan. ACH withdrawals are scheduled for the next pay day as well. With Possible, loans are repaid over eight weeks in installments and payments can be rescheduled if needed within a mobile app.
Typical payday loan fees
A typical loan will include the amount of the loan principal, interest or fees on the loan. Fees are usually between $15 and $30 for every $100 borrowed depending on the state regulations. For example, if Zach takes out a loan in Utah state for $300, he will be charged $60 in fees ($20 per every $100) for a total of $360. Many lenders also charge late fees, so Zach could end up paying more if he’s late on his payments, depending on his state.
Why use a payday loan?
People use payday loans for a variety of reasons. Emergency expenses can come out of nowhere, or it might be nice to borrow a little extra cash for a vacation. In addition, payday loans usually don’t require a credit check, so are available to people with bad credit when they need it. The disadvantage of this type of loan is that when they are paid off, it doesn’t help improve your credit, though companies like Possible report successful payments to the credit bureaus and can build credit scores over time.
Why get a Possible loan instead of a traditional payday loan?
Possible is a new way to borrow money and build credit using your phone. Apply for a new kind of loan with Possible to avoid overdraft fees, payday advance apps, and payday loans.
- Get money in minutes**
- Apply even with bad credit
- Repay in installments over multiple months and reschedule as needed
- Build credit – we report to major credit bureaus
What are publications saying?
- “Cheaper than payday loans, flexible repayments, fast funding” – Nerdwallet
- “A better alternative to payday loans” – Pennyhoarder
- “Yet Possible has another thing going for it: the apparent blessing of the Pew Charitable Trust…” – TechCrunch
Possible provides installment loans that build credit. You can borrow money, get approved, and receive cash in just a few minutes**! Join tens of thousands of satisfied customers who are using Possible to avoid harmful, expensive overdraft fees, borrow money fast, and make it to payday and beyond with loans that build credit.
Benefits of getting a Possible Loan
More cash than payday advance apps
A $100 payday advance isn’t always enough to cover emergency expenses or fill an income gap. Avoid overdraft fees, payday loans, and predatory lenders, and borrow money up to $500* in minutes** even with bad or no credit.
Good credit not required
We look at more than your credit score. Our app links directly with your existing bank account to determine your approval.
Receive money in minutes
Applying for a loan can take as little as 60 seconds and approval can be in minutes. Money can be sent via ACH or to a Visa debit card so that you have immediate access.
Build credit history
Taking a loan with Possible is an affordable way to build credit. We’ll report to credit bureaus, making our loans a great way to improve your credit score! You’ll never improve your credit score using payday advances or payday loans.
Repayment is split into multiple installments so that your loan payments are spread out over many paychecks. And if you need to reschedule a payment, just do it in the app, no fees, no questions asked!
What are customers saying?
“For someone who is rebuilding credit this is the best! I got my first loan the beginning of January. My first report on my current status showed up today. (This is the first month they have been able to repost. Only had for one month) my score went up 91 points!” -Jessica
“I had unpaid hospital bills, unpaid loans, and credit checks that gave me a very low credit score. When I got my loan with possible, my credit was 508…Just got a notification from my credit karma app that said possible was added and when I looked my score was 572. I am literally crying with joy right now because I am almost out of the red.” -Marie
“Possible will be my go to when I need a small loan, especially to help fix my credit!” -Lee
“They listened to me and helped me during a very difficult time and I will never forget their kindness. I recommend them to anyone who needs extra help, they are way better than the payday loan places. And they are run by people who just want to help other people!” -Ervan
“It’s like a payday loan without the insane interest. Helped me out of a bind. It took less than 5 minutes. I’ve NEVER reviewed any app before. Such a relief to get this help. Thank you” -TrentPhillippe
“They Instantly approved me and they offer excellent monthly payments” -jacky255
“I have never found a loan servicer who would trust me and help me this much and this fast. I work full time and go to college and this makes my life paycheck to paycheck. My impending move to a new apartment is going to go smoothly now. I’m about to cry because I’m so happy and the pay back system is so much easier than one lump sum. I will tell everyone about this app” -hhkbgy
“You guys are a Godsend. My credit score has gone up nearly 40 points since getting a loan with you.” -Mack
“Was approved in less than 5 min! It’s a credit builder, not a payday loan in my opinion. Can’t go wrong.” -Benjamin
“Just what I needed!! Not a huge fee like with payday loans.” -Hala
Where to get the Possible App
The Possible app has over 13k reviews for a 4.8 out of 5 star rating in the iTunes App Store and over 3k reviews and a 4.3 out of 5 star rating in the Google Play Store. Download now and get up to $500* in minutes while building credit!
Types of payday loans and alternatives
- Installment loans allow a customer to borrow a specific sum of money that is determined at the time the loan is initiated. Payments are then made over a fixed schedule that was agreed upon at the time of the loan agreement. A benefit for some consumers is that many installment loans can be utilized without a hard credit check and can be approved after an assessment of the customer’s personal financial situation
- Car title loans are a type of secured loan where the borrower’s vehicle title is used as collateral for the loan. Car title loans are typically short term and carry a high rate of interest. Credit scores are generally not considered by the lender. If the borrower defaults on the loan, the lender can repossess the vehicle.
- Possible offers installment loans up to $500* to customers with little to no credit history. Loans are repaid in multiple installments over a couple of months, allowing borrowers to “catch their breath.” Possible also reports payments to Experian and TransUnion, allowing borrowers to build credit history.
- Personal loans are a form of installment loan that customers can borrow from their current bank or credit union. They usually require a minimum credit score. Lending rates for personal loans are usually cheaper than those on a credit card. Personal loans also allow customers to consolidate several credit card debts into one payment plan at a lower rate.
- Payday alternative loans (PALs) are small loans, typically less than $1,000, that customers can borrow from participating credit unions that they already bank at. They have lower interest rates than standard payday loans and can be paid back over one to six months. Moreover, credit unions that participate in PAL programs will report repayments to the credit bureaus, allowing their customers to build credit.
- 401(k) loans are debts that can be taken out by a customer using their investment savings as collateral. Unlike other installment loans, 401(k) loans are garnished from your paycheck and are typically done so on a monthly or quarterly basis. While 401(k) loans are good for handling short-term financial emergencies they carry a high degree of risk for consumers who find themselves out of work as foregoing payment can cause the loan to be categorized as an early distribution of the 401(k) itself – which results in additional taxes upon the amount owed.
- Secured credit cards are a common offering at banks and credit unions, and allow customers with bad credit to secure access to a small credit limit by putting down a deposit on the card. These cards are fairly easy to obtain, and usually require $200 – $500 for the deposit. By taking on small amounts of debt on the secured credit line and paying it off before the next month, customers are able to build credit history to access higher credit score products.
What are average costs of a payday loan?
Payday lenders typically charge a percentage or dollar amount per $100 borrowed. The amount of the fee can vary from $10 to $30 for every $100 borrowed, depending on state laws and the maximum amount a state permits. The most common fee is $15 per $100. For a two week loan, the $15 per $100 borrowed converts to about a 400% annual interest (APR). Depending on the loan term and the fee, some payday loans can be as high as 700% or 800% annual interest (APR). According to research from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the median online payday loan costs $23.53 per $100 borrowed which is a 613% APR. These rates are all significantly higher than loans from Possible which are between 150% and 200% APR.
Maximum rates and rollovers
Certain states cap the maximum rates on payday loans. For example, New Mexico has a maximum APR of 175%, and Maine only allows fees up to 261%. Because payday loans are subject to state regulation, each state has the ability to cap fees and authorize specific rules around payday loans.
If you are unable to pay when your payday loan is due and your resident state permits rollovers, the payday lender may charge you only the fees and roll over the principal on your payday loan while extending the due date. This comes at an additional fee and the entire balance is still due at the extended date. The Pew Charitable Trust says the average borrower actually pays $520 in fees to repeatedly borrow $375, and consumers are trapped in a debt cycle. In contrast, Possible allows the borrower to repay in four installments over two months and charges no fees for rescheduling a payment.
Indirect costs of a payday loan
There can also be indirect costs associated with payday loans such as “NSF” (non-sufficient funds) fees, returned check fees, and debit card fees. If you have a lack of funds in your bank account at the time your payday loan is due, your bank or credit union may impose a “NSF” charge. If your payday loan funds are loaded onto a prepaid debit card, there can be fees related to adding money to the card, calling customer service, or checking the balance of your prepaid debit card. Be sure to read your payday loan agreement to check for any unexpected fees or costs.
Payday loan differences between states in the US
To prevent usury (unreasonable and excessive rates of interest), some states limit the annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, charge. Other states outlaw payday lending entirely while still other states have loan amount, frequency, and/or other restrictions on payday lending.
States that allow payday lending
Out of the 50 states, 37 states have specific statutes that allow for payday lending or some form of short term lending. The remaining 13 states and the District of Columbia have banned payday loans.
Some form of payday loans or short term lending is allowed in the following states:
- New Hampshire
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
States that have restrictions or limits on payday lending
Some states limit the number of loans a borrower can take at a single time and require lenders to check against statewide real-time databases. Payday loan lenders conduct a real time verification of the customer’s eligibility to receive a loan before lending to the customer.
Below is a list of states that limit the number of loans a borrower can take out:
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
There are some states such as Virginia and Washington that more specifically restrict the number of loans per borrower per year, and there are states that require after a fixed number of rollovers, the lender must offer a lower annual percentage rate (APR) with a longer loan term to help customers get out of the debt cycle they are stuck in. For more information, the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) publishes a full list of state statutes that regulate payday lending and details the regulations in each state.
Possible abides by all state regulations in which the company conducts business. In most states, loans from Possible has a much lower APR than the individual state APR caps require and are significantly friendlier and more flexible to the customer than originally conceived by state legislatures within the state statutes. You can find our state licenses and fee schedules on our site.
Does a loan from Possible cost less?
Loans from Possible have an annual percentage rate (APR) of 150-200%. For example, if you are a Washington resident and borrow $200 from Possible Finance, you will have 4 total repayments over 8 weeks. Each repayment is $57.50 so the total repayment is $230. This equates to a 151% APR. How does this compare to payday lenders and payday loan alternatives?
- Bank overdraft fees equate to a 17,000% APR!
- Suggested tips on payday advance apps can amount to a 730% APR!
- Typical payday loan APRs are 390%
Depending on your qualification and your credit score, you may qualify for the following which will have a lower APR than a loan with Possible Finance:
- Personal loans usually have APRs up to 36% but require credit checks and minimum credit scores
- Credit cards also have lower APRs but will require credit checks and may have additional fees
- Credit union or Payday Alternative Loan (PAL) has specific qualifications and you must be a member of a credit union
- Auto title loans are secured loans usually with 100%+ APRs and short repayment periods that use your car as collateral
Depending on your financial situation, a loan with Possible Finance may not be the best option for you. At Possible, we strive to be the best borrowing option for everyday Americans who need access to cheap short-term financing while building credit for long-term financial health.
How is Possible different from a traditional payday loan?
There’s a lot to consider when you’re comparing loan options. Short term, small-dollar loans are often lumped together in the same category and thought of as cash advance or payday loans. But friendlier alternatives to payday loans, like Possible, are emerging with technology. How is Possible different from a payday loan?
Like payday loan applications, the Possible loan application is quick, easy, and doesn’t require good credit. Payday loans are offered through both storefront lenders and online. It generally takes a few minutes to complete the application and under 15 minutes to receive cash and 1-2 business days to receive money in the bank account. Possible loans are offered through our secure mobile app and can be applied for in under a minute from your phone! Once approved for the loan the money is available to the customer within a few minutes on a debit card or 1-2 business days in the bank account.
Both traditional payday lenders and Possible require that applicants have an active checking account, regular income, valid identification, and are at least 18 years of age. Here’s where Possible differs – in addition to these requirements, Possible also requires that applicants’ linked checking accounts have about 3 months of history, income deposits around $750 per month, and a positive bank account balance. Possible uses this additional information to determine the amount applicants can safely borrow without causing them more harm than good. According to the CFPB, “An applicant’s ability to repay a payday loan while meeting their other financial obligations is generally not considered by a payday lender.” Furthermore, many payday lenders heavily incorporate credit checks to assist in their lending decision whereas Possible relies on an internal model through the bank account link.
Lending to customers without requiring a credit check is considered risky by some. For this reason, interest rates on payday loans are often exorbitantly high. According to the (CFPB), “A typical two-week payday loan with a $15 per $100 fee equates to an annual percentage rate (APR) of almost 400 percent.” On the higher end of the spectrum, some payday loan companies charge interest rates of over 700%. That means for a $500 loan, you could end up paying back almost $4000. Possible’s borrowing fee aims to be consumer-friendly at an APR of about 150% on most loans*. Possible realizes that a customer who hasn’t established credit or has bad credit due to financial issues in their past can still be a responsible borrower.
Differences in repayment terms between traditional payday lenders and Possible has a big impact on consumers. Payday lenders require customers to repay their loans in one lump-sum payment on their next payday (typically 2 weeks after taking out the loan). This can be really hard on borrowers, in fact, the CFPB has found that more than 80 percent of payday loans are rolled over or renewed within two weeks contributing to a dangerous debt cycle. Possible offers an installment loan, made up of 4 equally divided payments to be paid over 8 weeks. Possible also allows its customers a 30-day grace period, the ability to update payment dates in the app if needed, and alternative payment methods, like sending in money orders, for customers who are going through difficult times and cannot afford to have their accounts go into overdraft. Possible does not charge fees for late payments.
Payday lenders do not report to credit agencies unless a loan goes into collections – therefore, a payday loan can only have a negative effect on a customer’s credit score Possible reports to 2 of the 3 major credit bureaus with the intent of helping customers establish credit, showing their repayment over time. Possible’s mission is to get customers out of the debt cycle and on to better options once they’ve built their credit and improved their financial health.
How to get started on a Possible loan
- Download the Possible app on the iOS app store or the Google Play Store
- Sign in through the app and apply for a loan. You’ll need to connect your bank account and verify your identity
- We’ll notify you within 24 hours whether you are approved for a loan
- Sign the loan agreement and choose how you want to receive your funds
- Repay over time and start building credit!
What states does Possible currently operate in?
Possible currently offers its alternative to payday loans to residents of:
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
You can find our licenses to act as a lender here in our states as follows: Florida(for loans generated prior to 6/15/22), Idaho, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Washington, Louisiana, and California. This means that we directly help 63.4 million Americans get cash in tight situations — about 20% of the country by population, or 16% of the country by area! Through our partnership with Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC, we also provide new loans to customers in Florida, Michigan, Iowa, and Alabama.
We loan money to those in these qualifying states via our app accessible from the Google Play Store and the App Store. If you live in one of our covered states, you can borrow money and start building your credit today! Note that rates vary by state, but don’t worry, we keep them lower other financial solutions.
Possible will soon be launching in additional states and we aspire to cover the entire country. If you live in a state outside of our coverage area, you can download the app, sign up, and choose your state of residence. We will contact you once we are live in your state.
Frequently asked questions about Possible
What do I need to apply?
A mobile device that can install the Possible app
- Valid driver’s license or state-issued ID – We are only able to support US citizens with valid state-issued IDs at this time. Must be a resident of a currently serviced state: Alabama, California, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Ohio, Texas, and Washington
- Your social security number (SSN)
- Compatible checking account that is supported by the app, about 3 months history, income deposits of $750 per month or more, and a positive bank account balance.
Do you run a credit check?
Yes, we may run a credit check to protect us against fraud and improve our lending decisions. This allows us to continue to grow and expand to lend out more money to customers like you. This does not affect your credit score.
We trust you and we want you to trust us! Our goal is to help improve your financial health. Once approved, we will report to credit bureaus with the goal of helping increase your credit score.
How do I repay my loan?
- Typically, our deposits and payments are processed automatically through direct deposit via your checking account. There’s nothing extra you need to do here!
- You can also now repay your loan with a Visa debit card! Previously, instant debit card transactions were only available to receive your money. Now you can instantly pay it back as well!
How do I build credit history?
Once approved and accepted, we report the status of your loan to the credit bureaus which helps build credit history. Your credit score is determined by a variety of factors including payment history and length of credit history. One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to make on-time payments over time.
If you have additional questions, please visit our help center.
*specific APR amount varies by state of residence, loan principal amount and length of time