ZocaLoans review: Small online loans for emergencies

Young woman at home on computer researching Zoca loansImage: Young woman at home on computer researching Zoca loans

In a Nutshell

ZocaLoans is an online lender that offers small, emergency personal loans for people without good credit. If approved, you may receive the money fast — but with triple-digit interest rates and fees, ZocaLoans should be a last resort.
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  • May qualify with bad credit
  • No prepayment penalty
  • Funding typically available the next business day


  • High interest rates
  • Late and insufficient funds fees
  • History of complaints with the Better Business Bureau

What you need to know about ZocaLoans

ZocaLoans is part of Rosebud Lending, a tribal-lending agency that operates in Mission, South Dakota, through the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. ZocaLoans offers potentially quick personal loans ranging from $200 to $1,500 for people with less-than-perfect credit.

Here are some things to know about ZocaLoans if you’re considering applying with the company.

You may qualify without good credit

According to ZocaLoans’ website, you don’t need great credit to qualify for a personal loan.

High interest rates

There’s a steep price for the convenience of a ZocaLoan — interest rates that can be in the triple-digits.

This could make your loan a lot harder to pay off. For instance, if you’re approved for a $300 loan with an interest rate that equates to about 795% and make 12 biweekly repayments, you’ll end up paying $888 in interest — nearly triple the original amount you borrowed.

Late and insufficient-funds fees

On top of all that interest, if you don’t make your payments on time or you can’t cover a payment, you’ll have to pay extra fees — $25 for a returned payment and $25 if you’re late by more than two days. ZocaLoans mentions these fees on its website, but it’s always a good idea to comb through the details of your loan agreement to make sure you understand all the ins and outs of your loan, including fees.

Pay off the loan early at no extra cost

The earlier you can pay off a ZocaLoan, the better — ZocaLoans doesn’t charge a prepayment penalty, so the faster you can wipe out your balance, the more you can save on interest. You can go online to pay off your loan early or call the company’s customer support team.

Fast application and funding time

You’ll probably be able to fill out ZocaLoans’ online application quickly, and the lender says you’ll receive an immediate answer if you qualify. If you apply Monday through Friday before 8 p.m. Eastern and are approved, the funds will typically come through the next business day. If you need money the same day, you can request a same-day wire transfer for an additional $30.

A closer look at ZocaLoans personal loans

  • There’s a pattern of complaints against ZocaLoans’ parent company. The Better Business Bureau has documented more than 100 closed complaints over the past four years against Rosebud Lending. You can read a detailed summary of these alleged complaints.
  • You’ll need an active checking account with direct deposit. To qualify for a loan with ZocaLoans, your checking account must allow unlimited ACH debits and credits, and you have to be enrolled in direct deposit.
  • ZocaLoans offers a one-time payment extension. You can contact ZocaLoans at least two days before your scheduled payment for a one-time payment extension.
  • There’s a three-day “cooling off” period. You can’t apply for a new loan immediately after you repay the first one. You’ll have to wait three days to reapply.
  • ZocaLoans isn’t available in every state. You can’t get a ZocaLoan if you live in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, South Dakota, Massachusetts, Virginia, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

Who a ZocaLoan loan is good for

If you’re dealing with a financial emergency, a loan with ZocaLoan may be tempting. But the sky-high interest makes it a last-resort option — something to consider only when you’ve exhausted all other possibilities.

Regardless of which lender you apply with, it’s critical to understand the full cost of your loan. Before signing on the dotted line, always review your loan agreement’s full payment schedule, APR and any late fees or other fees that may apply. If you don’t like what you see, look for a lender elsewhere.

How to apply with ZocaLoans

You can apply with ZocaLoans online. There are four steps to the application, with the majority on the first page. To apply, you’ll need to provide the following information:

  • Full name
  • Email address
  • Social Security number
  • Birthdate
  • Driver’s license or state ID number
  • Cell phone/work phone number
  • Desired loan amount
  • Home address and whether you own or rent
  • Bank account details
  • Monthly income, income type, payroll type and pay frequency

ZocaLoans says you should get an instant decision, including how much the company is willing to lend you. If approved, you can review and sign the loan documents electronically. You’ll receive the funds via direct deposit, usually by the next business day.

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

Before applying with ZocaLoans, you should compare options. Here are a couple of other lenders to consider.

  • Advance America: If you prefer a lender with physical locations, Advance America offers payday loans, installment loans and title loans.
  • Earnin: The Earnin app may be a good choice if you want to borrow against your paycheck without the kind of interest or fees that lenders typically charge.

About the author: Kate Dore is a Nashville-based personal finance writer and Candidate for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certification. She teaches financial literacy with Junior Achievement and writes for Business Insider, Investopedia… Read more.