Without a bank account, you may find it difficult to get a cash advance, including short-term payday loans.
If you’re willing to pay high-interest rates, however, there are several online and in-person lenders that offer cash advances to borrowers without a checking or savings account.
Can you get a payday loan without a bank account?
If you’re one of the roughly 14 million Americans who don’t have a bank account, you may wonder if you have options when it comes to getting a short-term loan. While many payday lenders require a bank account, others don’t, and you might be able to get a payday loan without a bank account as long as you satisfy other requirements, such as earning a certain minimum income each month.
However, many payday loans come with sky-high interest rates, which can make them a bad deal if you’re already in a tough economic position. This is why it’s important to thoroughly research all your options before taking out any type of short-term loan.
Most payday lenders want borrowers to have a bank account because it allows them to pull funds from the account if the borrower defaults on the loan. The comparatively small number of payday lenders that don’t require a bank account will typically charge higher interest rates, and they’ll probably have more stringent requirements when it comes to verifying your income.
Getting a cash advance with a prepaid debit card
In addition, some payday lenders allow borrowers without a bank account to have their loan funds loaded onto a prepaid debit card. This works about the same as a payday loan, with the main difference being that you receive your money on a prepaid debit card rather than having it deposited into your bank account.
As with most types of short-term loans, however, you can expect to pay very high-interest rates, with many lenders charging interest in the triple digits.
How direct deposit payday loans work
When you get a direct deposit payday loan, the lender transfers the funds directly into your bank account, eliminating the need for you to pick up a check in person or wait for one to come in the mail. This is possible due to the Automated Clearing House (ACH), which is an electronic banking system that serves over 10,000 financial institutions in the United States and handles about 25 billion transactions every year.
Lenders that use the ACH system can usually directly deposit loan money into your account in as little as one day. This system makes it possible for borrowers to work with online lenders that serve customers all over the country rather than limiting their services to smaller regions or communities.
When you apply for a direct deposit payday loan with one of these lenders, you typically fill out an online application. Most direct deposit lenders will ask for information such as your name and address, your banking details, and your income.
If you qualify for the loan, the lender will deposit your funds directly into your bank account. When your payment is due — typically when you receive your next paycheck — the lender will withdraw the payment directly from your bank account.
This is why it’s important to make sure you understand exactly how much a direct deposit payday loan will cost. If you don’t have enough money in your account to cover the payment, you could get hit with non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees that can trap you in a cycle of debt.
Application requirements for a cash advance
Whether a payday loan is called a cash advance, check advance, or direct deposit payday loan, the application requirements are usually the same.
To qualify for a cash advance, you typically need to meet the following criteria:
- At least 18 years old
- Earn a certain income each month
- Be able to verify your income
- Have a bank account
Assuming you meet these requirements, you can often get an instant approval from an online cash advance lender, and many lenders will deposit your money on the same day.
4 best payday loans with no bank account required
If you don’t have a bank account, you may still be able to borrow money from an online or in-person payday lender that doesn’t require borrowers to maintain an active checking or savings account. Here are four lenders to consider.
Moneytree is a lender that offers online payday loans to customers in California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington. The company also offers prepaid debit cards and other types of loans, including installment loans and title loans.
Borrowers can get up to $5,000 per payday loan depending on where they live, and you don’t need a bank account to qualify. If you don’t have a bank account, you can get your money in cash by visiting a branch in person or have it deposited on a prepaid debit card.
However, Moneytree payday loans come with high interest rates. The rate you’ll pay varies by state, but you can expect to pay well into the triple digits.
2. Dollar Loan Center
Dollar Loan Center offers short-term loans in Utah and Nevada. While you can apply for a loan online, you’ll have to visit one of the company’s 52 locations in person if you don’t have a bank account.
Loan amounts can go as high as $5,000 depending on the applicant’s credit score. Unlike a lot of short-term lenders, Dollar Loan Center reports payment activity to all three credit bureaus, so you can use the loan to help build credit.
3. Regional Finance
Regional Finance lets you prequalify for a loan online, but you’ll need to complete the loan process in person at one of its physical locations. You must also live in one of the 11 states it services.
However, you don’t need a bank account to get a loan, and you can borrow anywhere between $600 and $10,000 if you qualify. According to the company website, Regional Finance has more than 350 locations.
4. 1st Choice Money Center
1st Choice Money Center offers short-term loans without a bank account, but you must live in Utah to qualify. You must also be able to show you earn at least $1,000 a month and have been employed for at least three months.
Alternatives to payday loans
As a general rule, payday loans are best avoided. In most cases, the interest rates are too high to make them a sound financial choice.
If you’re in a financial pinch and need fast access to cash, here are some alternatives to payday loans to consider.
- Credit card cash advance – With a credit card cash advance, you borrow against your existing credit card and then pay it back over time. You’ll start accruing interest right away, however, so it’s important to pay off the balance as soon as possible.
- Title loan – As with payday loans, it’s best to steer clear of title loans, as the interest rates are usually extremely high. In addition, you must put up your car as collateral, which puts you at risk of losing your vehicle if you can’t pay back the loan.
- Pawn shop loans – If you have an attic full of collectibles or antiques accumulating dust, you might consider a pawn shop loan. With a pawn shop loan, you use your item as collateral to secure the loan, so be sure you’re okay with losing the item to the shop if you default. Pawn shops are regulated by federal and state law, so interest rates vary depending on where you live. However, the interest rates for these types of loans tend to be high.
- Bad credit personal loan – At the end of the day, you’re probably better off going with a bad credit personal loan than any kind of cash advance or payday loan. While the majority of bad credit lenders will require a bank account, opening an account is probably easier than you think.
There are a number of banks that offer checking accounts to people with bad credit, and many of them let you apply for your account and do all your banking online. For example, check out this list of 15 banks that don’t use ChexSystems, making it easy to get an account even if you have a negative banking history or bad credit.
Once you have a bank account, you can search for online lenders that offer bad credit personal loans. While you’ll pay more in interest if you have bad credit, the rates are usually much lower than what you’ll find with a payday lender.
Without a bank account, your options are limited when it comes to cash advances and payday loans. While there are a few lenders that offer these types of loans, high interest rates mean it’s usually better to seek out alternatives.