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Advance America Loan Review

Dena Standley | October 02, 2023

Edited by Hannah Locklear

Summary: Advance America offers payday loans, installment loans, and title loans to consumers with “less-than-perfect” credit. But their loans come with high-interest rates and fees that can sometimes reach triple digits depending on the loan type and state. As such, consider Advance America loans only as a last resort.

Loans can come in handy for various reasons, from paying off unexpected medical bills to funding a long-overdue home renovation. Advance America offers payday and other loans to consumers who need money quickly but have less than stellar credit.

As a payday loan company with over 25 years of experience, Advance America has done well enough to stay in business. However, despite years of experience, Advance America charges very high-interest rates and fees, so it’s best to only borrow from them as a last resort. Plus, Advance America’s rates and fees are not transparent, and its collections practices are questionable as well.

Keep reading to learn more about Advance America, including a brief overview of its services and customer ratings and complaints. Let’s jump right in.

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What is Advance America?

Founded in 1997, Advance America is one of the largest lenders in the United States. The company offers online lending and in-person loans under several brand names, including:

  • National Cash Advance
  • Check Advance
  • First American Cash Advance
  • First American Cash Loans
  • First American Loans
  • Purpose Financial
  • Purpose Money

Advance America locations vary, with more than 900 stores open in many states. Below is the Advance America phone number and other general contact information:

Phone: 844-562-6480
Address: 135 N Church St, Spartanburg, SC 29306-5138

How does Advance America work?

You can apply online for a loan at Advance America, and depending on your state, loan amount, and repayment terms, it will give you an idea of your rates and upfront fees. Each of Advance America's financial products and services has its unique features. Examples of key products include:

  • Payday Loans: Borrowers typically repay payday loans on their next payday: short-term, unsecured loans.
  • Installment Loans: A type of long-term loan repaid in equal monthly installments.
  • Title Loans: In a title loan, the borrower's vehicle serves as collateral for the loan.
  • Prepaid debit cards, check cashing, and money transfers are also available.

What you need to know about Advance America loans

Before you take out a loan with Advance America, be aware that there are no maximum or minimum amounts set. In most states where Advance America operates, the loan amounts start at $100. Here are some other things you should know about Advance America loans before signing.

  • High interest rates: Depending on the loan type and state, rates often reach triple digits. For example, California payday loans have a 460% annual percentage rate or APR. APRs on installment loans are usually lower, but some are as high as 200%.
  • Short loan terms: Advance America offers longer-term installment loans, varying by location and the amount borrowed. But payday loans from Advance America are generally due on your next payday, within two to four weeks. A longer repayment period can be expensive.
  • Excellent credit is not necessary: You may be eligible for an Advance America loan even with bad credit. To apply for the company's payday loans, also known as cash advances, you'll need a government ID, a Social Security number, proof of income, and an active checking account. In some cases, installment loans require credit checks.

Advance America reviews & complaints

Some customers describe satisfactory experiences with Advance America, while others tell horror stories. In the last three years, the Better Business Bureau has closed hundreds of complaints against Advance America. Some customers reported Advance America garnishing wages the day before their paycheck, setting them up for overdraft fees.

Here is an example of a real complaint against Advance America from its BBB profile:

“I am being charged for a loan that was paid before the due date. Numerous calls have been made to try and resolve this technical issue. Customer care cannot resolve this, and even after submitting an IT ticket to try and clear it from the system, I was told that I still need to pay the additional charge, even though receipts and payment confirmations show that the payment was made before the due date.”

Several others reported that the company failed to help them when they reached financial difficulty after borrowing money. Instead of working with them, Advance America sent their accounts to collections and repossessed their vehicles.

Online scammers pretending to be Advance America are also common complaints among consumers. As such, watch out for Advance America scams to protect your private information.

Beware of Advance America scams

Scammers use Advance America’s name to offer consumers loans on the company’s behalf on the internet, email, and over telephone calls. While lenders are constantly working with authorities to stop such scams, be careful to watch for the suspicious activity. More specifically, Advance America scammers might:

  • Tell you that you’ve been preapproved for a loan and ask you to purchase a prepaid debit card or write money as a “processing fee” or “good faith deposit.”
  • Ask you to send money up front via a wire transfer or money card such as Green Dot cards.
  • Call you first and ask you to provide personal information.
  • Refuse to provide loan agreement information or payment history when you ask for it.

Never share your personal information or Advance America login information or send money to anyone who requests it. Otherwise, you may fall victim to a harmful scam.

Settle your debt with Advance America

If you really do owe money, real Advance America collectors might reach out, and if enough time passes without you taking any action, they might sue. If such a situation arises, you should respond to the debt lawsuit with an Answer. This will help you avoid an automatic judgment and give you time to work out a debt settlement.

Advance America debt collectors may be willing to negotiate if you promise to pay a lump sum and clear the remaining balance within the shortest time possible. Based on typical debt settlements, it’s best to offer a payment of around 60% of the debt value, but if you can’t afford that, you might also consider setting up a new payment plan. Communicate your financial circumstance and most debt collectors will work with you.

Watch the following video to learn more about how to settle a debt:

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SoloSuit's Answer service is a step-by-step web-app that asks you all the necessary questions to complete your Answer. Upon completion, we'll have an attorney review your document and we'll file it for you.

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