When you’re in need of money, especially in an emergency, borrowing can be stressful. Personal loans and lines of credit offer various options, and one of those options is a cash advance loan.

What is a cash advance loan?

A cash advance loan is a short-term, high-interest personal loan that’s typically intended to be repaid on your next payday, usually within a two to four-week term. The specific terms and structure of these loans can vary depending on the state, the lender, and the individual loan. It’s important to note that cash advance loans are unsecured, which means they don’t require any collateral from you.

How do you get a cash advance loan?

To apply for a cash advance loan, you typically need to provide pay stubs or link a bank account to show proof of income. These short-term loans are usually for relatively small sums and come with fixed fees based on the loan amount. For example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) states that a typical fee for a cash advance loan is about $15 for every $100 borrowed.

Cash advance loans offer a fixed interest rate rather than a variable one since repayment is expected in the form of a lump sum. Cash advance lenders are obligated by the federal Truth in Lending Act to disclose any finance charges associated with the loan.

With some cash advance loans, there can be various fees and costs in addition to the interest. These may include rollover fees for extending the loan duration, late fees for missed payments, overdraft fees, non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees if there are insufficient funds in the borrower’s bank account, and additional fees if the funds are loaded onto a prepaid debit card.

When it comes to credit impact, a typical cash advance loan doesn’t require a credit check or proof of repayment ability. This can be appealing for borrowers with no credit history or those looking to rebuild their credit. However, these loans may not help build credit if they’re not reported to the credit bureaus when payments are made on time—so it’s a good idea to find out if the loan you’re considering does report on-time payments to the credit bureaus.

Types of cash advances

Traditional cash advance loan

Also known as a payday loan, traditional cash advance loans have been around for decades. You can generally visit physical locations or you can apply online. In addition to your name and address, you’ll need to provide an email address, phone number, social security number, proof of recurring income, and a bank account that’s been open for at least one month.

The amount you can borrow and the requirements—as well as fees and interest rates—vary by state. Repayment is generally expected on your next payday.

Credit card cash advance loan

A card cash advance loan is a way to get money by borrowing against your available credit. It can be a convenient way to get cash quickly, and useful in an emergency, but it can carry extremely high interest rates, as well as stiff penalties if you don’t repay it within a certain amount of time.

To get a credit card cash advance, you’ll need to have a credit card that offers cash advances, and your account must qualify for cash advances. There are various factors that can impact your ability to get a cash advance from your card issuer, including your outstanding balances and credit scores.

To get your money from a credit card cash advance loan (it’s usually available within a few days), you can typically use an ATM, go to your bank, or use a check provided by your credit card company.

You can learn more about credit card cash advance loans here.

Cash advance app 

Brigit is different from most cash advance loan providers. It’s app-based and not a loan, but offers Instant Cash advances ranging from $50 to $250*. There are no hidden fees or tips per transaction—just a flat monthly subscription.  

  • There’s no fee for a standard transfer (you’ll receive the money in 2-3 days) but you can also opt to pay for an Express Transfer.
  • While the amounts offered by Brigit are a bit lower than some of the other types of cash advances, it’s a far lower-risk option than borrowing a larger amount from a traditional cash advance loan provider (where ultra-high interest rates can result in a massive total cost of the loan).
  • Brigit also offers a comprehensive approach to supporting your financial wellness. In addition to Instant Cash access, Brigit also includes (with subscription) access to budgeting tools, Credit Builder, side gigs and discounts, and overdraft protection. Brigit also throws in $1M in identity theft insurance to protect your credit against fraud.

To learn about some other loan types that might be worth considering, check out our article A Guide to 7 Common Loan Types.

*Subject to Brigit’s approval and policies. Not all members are approved for advances and the amount varies per customer. Advances range from $50 – $250. Log into the Brigit app to learn more. No credit checks or interest, ever. Additional fees may apply for instant delivery of funds.