When money runs short or an emergency bill comes up, many Americans turn to personal loans. According to Experian, consumers took out over $305 billion in emergency loans in 2019 alone, reflecting an increase of 12 percent year-over-year.
One of the more common personal loan marketplaces is CashUSA. Working with a number of lending partners, the website claims they can finance up to $10,000 in as little as one business day.
If you need a personal loan, is CashUSA the best place to go? We looked behind the curtain to see if CashUSA is the best marketplace for your money.
An Online Market Only for Personal Loans
Unlike other platforms. CashUSA is focused only on personal loans. Getting started only requires three pieces of data: your ZIP Code, your birth year, and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
From there, you will be asked more details that will narrow down the potential lenders who could offer you the best deals. This includes, your personal information, current job, how long you have been there and income. You may also be asked if you own or rent your home, Driver’s License number, and what kind of bank accounts you own.
Once your information is collected and you ask for a loan amount, CashUSA will go through their network of lenders to find one that can offer you the loan you want, at varying terms. Loans can last from 90 days to six years, with an annual percentage rate between 5.99 percent, all the way up to 35.99 percent.
If you decide to accept one of the offers presented, you will be directed to the lender’s website to digitally sign paperwork, and process the loan. Depending on the lender, the loan money could be deposited into your account as soon as one business day.
Low Entry Requirements and No Obligation
One of the key benefits of CashUSA is their low entry requirements. According to their terms and conditions, the lenders don’t base your loan requirements on your credit score. As it states on their website: “CashUSA lenders do not require credit scores and do not ask applicants to provide credit score details. Your credit score will not affect the fees and terms of your loan in any way.” This opens the potential of getting a personal loan to thousands of Americans who many not have perfect credit, but need to take care of an emergency expense.
Instead of going through your credit file, CashUSA lenders have five requirements:
- Users must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
- Users must be at least 18 years old
- Users must earn at least $1,000 per month (after taxes)
- Users must hold a checking account
- Users must be able to provide home and work phone numbers
Additionally, CashUSA is not the lender, and does not have any input on the loan amounts you may qualify for, nor the terms of your loan. Rather, they simply use your information to match you with potentially pre-qualified lenders. There is no obligation to take any of the loans. If you don’t like the terms, you can simply walk away from all offers without paying any fees.
Loans May Come with High Interest Rates and Less-than-Reputable Lenders
While CashUSA is a very open marketplace, it may not be for everyone. To start, the website works with alternative lenders that may not be associated with major banks you have heard of. In the terms and conditions, the site warns that “Interest rates for personal loans offered by lenders may fluctuate and are typically higher than those provided by banks.” While CashUSA acknowledges that banks require a full credit check, have a longer review period and increased disbursement time, they also note that their lenders have reduced requirements, and can pay out loans faster than a traditional bank.
Because these loans come from lenders outside of banks, the interest rates and terms are often higher than the rates you would receive from traditional institutions. Under the federal Truth in Lending laws, your banks must spell out the loan term, interest rates, payments, and late-payment penalties. Depending on where you live, local and state laws may also affect your final terms and interest rate.
Bottom Line: Should You Shop for a Personal Loan with CashUSA?
As a healthy finance habit, personal loans should be considered a last resort. To avoid shopping around for a personal loan in the event of an emergency, it’s important to build a savings account and keep available credit open.
But if you need a personal loan, CashUSA may not be the best place to look. Because they work with subprime lenders with terms as few as 90 days, you could end up deeper in debt. If you have bad credit, or don’t want your credit to be affected by a personal loan, CashUSA could be an option – but think of it as a last resort of last resorts.
If you need a personal loan, talk to your bank first to determine if you have any options available. But if you need additional help in a pinch, CashUSA may offer an option.