Cash Central loan review: Sky-high APRs for emergency expenses

Young man sitting on floor at home, researching cash central loans on his laptopImage: Young man sitting on floor at home, researching cash central loans on his laptop

In a Nutshell

Cash Central offers personal loans with multiple repayment options and potentially fast funding. But they aren’t available in many states, and they come with fees and very high APRs.
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Pros Cons
Multiple repayment periods to choose from Very high APRs
Potentially fast funding time Origination and late-payment fees
  Available in only a few states

What you need to know about a Cash Central loan

Cash Central is an online lender that offers installment loans ranging from $300 to $5,000, though loan amounts vary depending on where you live. You don’t have to have perfect credit to get approved, and Cash Central advertises its loans as “quick help for life’s emergencies.”

Cash Central also offers payday loans and lines of credit, and you may be limited on the type of loan depending on where you live. The lender is part of Community Choice Financial, a national financial services company that’s been around since 2011.

Multiple repayment terms

Cash Central offers repayment periods of different lengths, ranging between six months and 24 months. You can set a monthly, semimonthly or biweekly repayment schedule.

You’ll repay the loan when Cash Central automatically withdraws the money you owe on your due date. If you want an alternative method to paying your loan back, you’ll need to contact Cash Central.

An important note: If you make prepayments (meaning early payments) to your loan, your payments will go toward any outstanding fees and interest first — and then toward your loan principal.

Origination and late-payment fees

The state you live in will determine if you’ll face an origination fee. But no matter where you live, you’ll pay a fee if you’re late on a payment. If Cash Central is automatically withdrawing the repayment funds from your account, this might include an insufficient funds fee.

If you live in Idaho, for example, Cash Central will charge you an origination fee of $25 to $75 depending on your loan amount, and you’ll have to pay additional fees and charges for late payments. 

High APRs

If you take out a Cash Central loan, you can expect sky-high APRs reaching well into the triple digits. This can make the overall cost of your loan very expensive and potentially trap you in a cycle of debt if you’re unable to repay your loan.

A closer look at Cash Central loans

Here are a few other things you should know about Cash Central loans.

  • Potentially fast funding — Loan funds may be deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day, depending on when the loan is approved.
  • More than one operating name Cash Central’s operations have different names in some states. For example, in Alabama, personal loans are originated by Easymoney.
  • One loan You can only take out one loan at a time.
  • Not available in all states Cash Central installment loans are only available in these states: Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin.

Should I get a Cash Central loan?

A Cash Central loan shouldn’t be entered into lightly. If you need some fast cash for an emergency expense like a car repair, you may want to consider applying — but be sure to weigh other options, including applying for payday alternative loans and asking family or friends for financial help.

Since Cash Central loans come with very high APRs and fees, you should use one only as a last resort if you’ve exhausted other options.

These loans don’t make sense at all if you can get approved for a loan with a lower interest rate or would like to pay for a nonemergency expense like a kitchen remodel or family vacation.

How to apply with Cash Central

The Cash Central loan application is a straightforward, three-step online process. First, you’ll enter your personal information. Then, you’ll submit your employment details. Lastly, you’ll confirm those details and finish your application.

To apply for a Cash Central loan, you’ll need to be older than 18 and have the following:

  • A verifiable source of income
  • A checking account
  • Two current phone numbers
  • Social Security number

You also must live in one of these states: Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Missouri, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah or Wisconsin.

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

  • NetCredit: If you’d like to borrow more money, NetCredit may be a better option since it offers loans up to $10,000 — but NetCredit’s rates are also pretty high and rates vary by state.
  • OneMain Financial: OneMain Financial is another lender that doesn’t require squeaky-clean credit scores — but its rates are also high.

About the author: Anna Baluch is a freelance personal finance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. You can find her work on sites like The Balance, Freedom Debt Relief, LendingTree and RateGenius. Anna has an MBA in marketing from Roosevelt Un… Read more.