AmeriCash loans review: Storefront and online loans for emergencies

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In a Nutshell

AmeriCash offers small short-term loans with quick funding and considers people with less-than-perfect credit for a loan. But the convenience may not be worth the risk of triple-digit interest rates.

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Pros Cons
Perfect credit not required Only available in 12 states
Get cash for referrals Maximum loan amount varies by state
No prepayment penalty Interest rates not available upfront, but max. rates allowed are high

What you need to know about an AmeriCash personal loan

AmeriCash got its start in 1997 as a cash advance loan company. Ten years later, the lender changed course and now offers installment loans ranging from $50 to $4,000, depending on the state. Borrowers in 12 states can apply for a loan online or in person and can typically get funding within one day if approved. But take note that loan amounts and terms vary by state, so be sure to check the loan information for your state before you apply.

While AmeriCash is no longer a cash advance or payday lender, the short-term installment loans it offers can still be risky. That’s because the lender can charge interest rates in the triple-digits — much more than more-traditional loans from a bank or credit union.

AmeriCash doesn’t disclose its interest rates and fees upfront — though it does list maximum rates allowed by the some of the states it offers loans in.  And it’s good to know that some borrowers report being shocked when they discovered the actual cost of repayment.

When it comes to finding the right loan for you, knowing the cost of borrowing upfront, and whether you can afford to repay the loan, is very important. Consider this when deciding if AmeriCash is the right lender for you.

Here are some other things to know about AmeriCash loans.

Interest rates may be high

AmeriCash doesn’t advertise its interest rates online, which makes comparing it with other lenders tough.

Current and past borrowers have reported loans that come with fees that can equate to APRs in the triple digits, which isn’t uncommon for payday loans. In fact, the average APR on traditional payday loans is 391%, according to the Responsible Lending Organization.

What is APR and why is it important?

Preapproval available

Even though it doesn’t show its rates upfront, AmeriCash does offer loan preapproval, which lets you see an estimate of your loan terms and interest rate before you decide to formally apply for a loan.

Just keep in mind that preapproval doesn’t mean you’ve been actually approved for a loan. And any loan rates and terms you’re preapproved for may not match any loan you ultimately qualify for. But preapproval can help you estimate your loan cost and shop around for the best deal for your situation.

Funding within one business day

AmeriCash offers loans as small as $50, depending on your state, and if you’re approved, you can typically get the money within one day. And if you apply online, you can choose to have your approved loan deposited directly into your bank account or pick up a check at a physical location.

If you apply at a physical location and are approved, the lender says you can get your loan funds immediately.

Great credit not required

AmeriCash caters to people with bad credit and those who’ve been previously denied by other lenders, though the lender isn’t clear about its credit score requirements.

A closer look at AmeriCash personal loans  

Here are some other important points to consider before applying for an AmeriCash loan.

  • Even if you’re applying online, AmeriCash loans are available only for residents of the following states: Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin.
  • The maximum loan amount varies by state. For example, in Oklahoma the largest loan available is $1,470, but you can borrow up to $4,000 if you live in Illinois, Indiana or Michigan.
  • The lender’s Refer-a-Friend program awards you up to $100 for every person you refer who’s approved for a loan. The applicant you refer will also be awarded a credit of up to $50 toward their new loan.

Who an AmeriCash personal loan is good for

Short-term installment loans from AmeriCash are designed for people in a financial pinch. If your credit isn’t in great condition and you need a small-dollar loan quickly, AmeriCash may be able to help.

But like most lenders who offer emergency loans, AmeriCash is still likely to hit you with exorbitant rates and fees.

In order to avoid a never-ending cycle of debt, make sure to apply for preapproval and review your estimated terms. And you should examine all legal disclosures before formally applying for a loan.

If you decide that an AmeriCash loan isn’t right for your situation, asking a friend or family member for the money — or taking some time to save up the cash — could be a much cheaper and more stress-free option in the long run.

How to apply with AmeriCash

First, check the AmeriCash website to verify that it offers loans in your state. If there’s a physical location near you, you can apply in person. You can also apply online.

Here’s what AmeriCash says you may need in order to complete your application.

  • Bank account and voided check
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID
  • Current proof of income
  • Two documents to prove residency

If you’re applying online but you live near a location, you can choose the “check” option in your application if you’d rather pick up a check instead of receiving your loan via direct deposit.

Not sure if AmeriCash is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

Do you have less-than-stellar credit but need a small loan in a hurry? Consider these lenders before choosing a loan.

  • Avant: Avant offers loans ranging from $2,000 to $35,000 and considers borrowers with fair-to-poor credit.
  • Fig Loans: Its credit-builder loans are an alternative to payday loans for borrowers with bad credit.
  • Oportun: No credit is needed to be considered for an Oportun loan, and you can apply online for a loan ranging from $300 to $8,000.