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Payday Loans Chicago – Applying For a Safe Payday Advance

By Anna Yen

If you’ve fallen upon hard times and struggle to make ends meet in Chicago, a payday loan may sound like a way out. Payday loans lend money that you can repay with the next paycheck. But as convenient as quick cash sounds, payday loans come with very expensive costs that add up fast.

Predatory payday loans take advantage of people experiencing financial hardship. They must be paid back in two to four weeks, but the amount shoots up quickly because lenders can legally charge over 400% interest in Chicago. Borrowers often find themselves owing far more money than they can afford, but thankfully there are payday loan alternatives. 

How To Get a Cash Advance in Chicago

If you need a quick cash advance to make ends meet, you have a few options. 

Instacash

Max Advance Amount: $250

APR: 0%

Credit Affects: None

When you need money fast, Instacash from MoneyLion is an easy way to get a cash advance. Instacash is free to use with your RoarMoney account or by linking the MoneyLion app to your external bank account.

Apply through the MoneyLion app, and you’ll know within minutes how much of an advance has been approved. You can see up to $250 deposited into your bank account instantly if you qualify. Pay no fees or interest with Instacash, which keeps cash advances affordable.

How to Qualify: 

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • Proof of steady income or deposits 
  • An active bank account that has been open for 60 days or more
  • Your bank account has a positive balance 

In-Person Lender

Max Payday Loan Amount: Lower of $1,000 or 25% of monthly income

APR: 404%

Credit Affects: Taking out a payday loan usually won’t impact your credit. If you fall behind in payments, a payday lender may report you to credit bureaus.   

To get a payday loan, you fill out an application and wait for approval, which often takes a business day. The application to consider your loan usually requires a current paycheck stub, a copy of your most recent bank statement, and government-issued identification.

Although payday lenders usually do not pull credit to loan you money, you may need to supply your social security or taxpayer-identification number when applying. 

Chicago follows guidelines from the Payday Loan Reform Act. Under these rules, lenders must base repayment terms on the borrower’s financial situation and are prohibited from rolling over loans.

Payday loans charge excessive fees and high interest. If you are considering a payday loan, protect yourself by making sure the lender follows these rules and is licensed to operate in the state of Illinois

How to Qualify: 

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Have an active checking account
  • Show proof of steady income
  • Government-issued identification

Instant Online Loan Options in Chicago

If you need more than a cash advance but have a weak or limited credit history, you should consider an instant online loan. 

Credit Builder Loan

Loan Amount: You could qualify for up to $1,000

Credit Affects: On-time payments can boost your credit score by an average of 60 points in 60 days. 

With a Credit Builder Loan from MoneyLion, you can get the cash you need, build your credit, and establish a savings reserve – all at the same time. No credit check is required. With competitive interest rates and convenient repayment options, it’s easy to make your payments on-time.  

How to Qualify:

  • You must be at least 18 years old 
  • U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Provide your social security number and other personal information such as your name and address
  • Have a bank account, debit card, or prepaid card to make payments
  • No credit checks or credit history are necessary to qualify

What’s Included?

  • Up to $1,000 lent over the course of 12 months
  • Weekly credit monitoring and updates
  • Your Credit Reserve Account that includes the loan amount acts as a built in savings account earning interest
  • Better credit – up to 60 points in 60 days!
  • Added Instacash benefits

Comparing Your Cash Advance Loan Options in Chicago

Wondering how cash advance options in Chicago stack up? Here is what you can expect;

InstacashCredit Builder LoanIn-Person Payday Lender
How Much Can You Borrow?$250$1,000$1,000
Fees & InterestNo Fees
0% APR
Competitive APR, $19.99/month feeUp to 404% APR
Impacts Your Credit?NoYes, it builds your credit score. Negative impact if you fall behind in payments
AvailabilityOnline & MobileOnline & MobileOnline & in-person
Wait TimeInstantly*InstantlyTypically a business day
Next StepsSign UpSign UpFind Local Lender

Find better options than payday loans in Chicago

Payday loans prey on those in financial need. The loans charge high fees and excessive interest rates. But if you have limited income or a weak credit score, you might think you have fewer cash advance options.

MoneyLion offers a safe alternative to these predatory practices. Download the MoneyLion app to access solutions to get your finances back on track. If you open a RoarMoney online bank account, you can get paid 2 days earlier, plus receive weekly spend reports that tell you where your money is going.

MoneyLion offers credit building loans, automatic investing, and cashback rewards, all of which can help you take control of your financial future. Learn how MoneyLion can make an impact on your financial health!

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Build your credit and save

Join Credit Builder Plus to get a loan up to $1,000, credit monitoring, exclusive rewards, access to 0% APR cash advances, and more. Over half of members raise their credit over 60 points within 60 days!

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