If an unexpected expense hits before your next paycheck, a payday loan can get you emergency cash on short notice. When choosing a payday lender, verify the lender license. Also consider interest rates, repayment terms and returned check fees. ConsumerAffairs researched the best payday loans in San Diego to help you decide if this option is right for you.
Payday loans offer the advantage of a faster application process and payout than traditional loans. There is less paperwork to complete, and in some cases cash is available the same day. Payday loans do not require collateral. You can use the cash for whatever you need, whereas some other types of loans must be used for a specific purpose.
Payday loans are legal up to $300 in California. The Department of Business Oversight provides information on the laws. Lenders can charge a maximum fee of 15 percent of the total. Lenders cannot charge more than $15 for a returned check, and a payday loan cannot exceed 31 days.
You can get a payday loan in San Diego with bad credit as long as you prove that you can pay back the loan in the time allotted, for example, by showing proof of employment. Some lenders do not perform credit checks.
California law prohibits prosecution, so you will not go to jail for not paying back a payday loan. However, lenders can take action by sending your unpaid loan to a collections agency.
Typical requirements for payday loans in San Diego include:
At least 18 years of age
Proof of income/employment
Active bank account
Social security number
Active email address and/or phone number
Payday lender rates are generally in line with the maximum amount allowed. On a $300 loan amount, the maximum fee a lender can charge is $45 (that means cash in hand will be $255). Low-interest rate payday loans charge slightly less than the maximum amount. Online payday loans allow applicants to send documents electronically and can be a convenient option for busy San Diegans.
Alternatives to payday loans in San Diego
Before taking out a loan on your paycheck, consider some payday loan alternatives. Family or friends might be able to loan you money. If you can put aside even a small portion of your paycheck each month in a dedicated savings account, this can add up to an emergency fund.
If you are a member of a credit union, ask about payday alternative loans (PALs) in amounts of $200 to $1,000. A credit card cash advance might be another option that will cost less than a payday loan if you can pay it off before interest accrues.
Speedy Cash offers online and in-store payday loans at a branch near San Diego State University. Reviewers note the convenience of submitting documents digitally and the friendly service, though the location gets busy and wait times can be long.
CashNetUSA offers online payday loans in California. They also offer free online financial education for their customers. One San Diego repeat customer reported a negative experience with payment due date while others found the customer service representatives to be very helpful.
USA Checks Cashed
First-time customers will certainly appreciate that their first payday loan with USA Checks Cashed is interest-free. With nine branches in the San Diego area, borrowers who prefer in-person service will most likely find a convenient location. Some reviewers got five-star customer service at the downtown office and appreciated the fast service at the Mira Mesa location, but noted that payments cannot be online.
Fast Auto & Payday Loans
Fast Auto & Payday Loans makes in-person payday loans at more than a dozen San Diego County branches. San Diego reviewers consistently had great customer service from friendly associates. With “fast” in the name, this company claims it can get you cash in just 30 minutes.