Alternatives to Payday Loans

While a better alternative is a local credit union especially a low-income credit union, the web is sprouting other alternatives to payday loans. Although the web lenders rates are higher than credit unions, they have still lower rates than payday loans.  

According to, NetCredit offers personal loans of $1,000 to $10,000 to people of all credit levels, even those with bad credit. But their relaxed approval requirements are supported by high APRs: 36% to 65%.

NetCredit’s rates are cheaper than those of so-called “payday lenders,” which can charge 400% or more interest. They’re also longer-lasting, as rather than paying out of your next paycheck, you’ll have to pay your loan off within 6 to 60 months. But despite being a lot better than payday lenders, NetCredit is worse than most other personal loan providers. In addition, NetCredit only offers loans in 14 states, so most people in the U.S. can’t even apply.

People with fair credit or better should definitely not apply for NetCredit personal loans. And people with bad credit can likely find better deals elsewhere, such as at their local credit unions. Below, you can see how NetCredit ranks in three key categories: Terms, Requirements & Application, and Reviews & Transparency.

PROS: Accepts people with bad credit, Approval/funding in 1 - 3 business days & No prepayment fees.

CONS: Very high APRs: 36% - 65%, $10 - $15 late fee, only available in 14 states & SSN required.

Another option reviewed on is OppLoans. Their Review Summary is that: OppLoans offers unsecured installment loans targeted toward people who have bad credit. OppLoans does not do a hard credit inquiry as part of their application review process, making it easy to get approved. Funding is fast, too, taking just 1 to 2 business days. Still, OppLoans is far too expensive to consider. Their minimum APR is 99%, and their maximum is 199%. OppLoans is not technically a “payday lender” because their loans can last up to 36 months, rather than having to be paid from your next paycheck, and their rates are lower than those of many payday lenders. But compared to the average personal loan provider, OppLoans has incredibly high costs.

OppLoans operates in 37 states and the District of Columbia. While OppLoans does not charge any origination fees, that does little to offset the high cost of its APR. Even if you have bad credit, you should search for less expensive options before applying with OppLoans.

PROS: No credit check, Accepts people with bad credit, No prepayment fees & High BBB rating.

CONS: Extremely high APRs: 99% - 199%, Small loan amounts: $1,000 - $4,000, Not available to people without SSN, No joint applications & Only available in 37 states & D.C.

When it comes to more attractive terms at low-income credit unions explains at that you just won’t see them advertise. “One way to find one in your area is to search the NCUA’s credit union locator for your area.

When the list of credit union options appears, select one and click “research.” Information about that credit union will appear, including “Low Income Designation.”

Alternatively, you can look for the CDFI certification (aka Community Development Credit Unions), which both banks and credit unions can apply for to indicate that their primary mission is to serve low-income individuals and communities.”

Offering alternatives to payday loans is one way to help in an already tough situation.