Smart Advances Reviews: Is Smart Advances Legit?

Smart Advances reviews

Are you in need of some quick cash before your next paycheck? Have you considered taking out a payday loan from Smart Advances? Payday loans can provide fast money when you’re in a bind, but it’s important to understand how they work before signing up.

In this complete review of Smart Advances, we’ll cover everything you need to know about this payday loan company. We will look at interest rates, fees, eligibility requirements, the application process, and what customers have to say about their experiences. Let’s dive in!

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What Is Smart Advances Payday Loan?

Smart Advances offers payday loans ranging from $100 to $20,000, depending on your state of residence. With these loans, you receive cash quickly – as soon as the next business day in some cases – which you’re then expected to repay on your next pay date.

Here are some key things to know about Smart Advances payday loans:

  • Loan amounts: You can borrow between $100 and $20,000, depending on your state’s regulations.
  • Loan term: Payday loans through Smart Advances have a term of 7 to 31 days typically. The loan is due on your next pay date.
  • Interest rates: Interest rates vary by state but generally range from $10 to $30 per $100 borrowed. APR for good credit usually ranges from 5.99% to 35.99% and it will have a repayment term of 2 months to 2 years.
  • Origination fee: Smart Advances charges an origination fee that is typically $10 to $30 per $100 borrowed. This is taken out of your loan amount.
  • Extension fees: If you can’t repay the loan on time, Smart Advances may allow extensions for an additional fee. This allows you to extend the due date of your loan for an extra 7 to 14 days typically.
  • Eligibility: You need to be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, at least 18 years old in most states, have an active checking account, and have a regular income source.

The Pros and Cons of Smart Advances Payday Loans

Let’s look at some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using Smart Advances for a payday loan:


  • Fast approvals and funding
  • All credit types welcome
  • Convenient access to cash
  • Easy application process online or in-store
  • Flexible extended payment plans are available


  • Very high interest rates
  • Can be difficult to repay on time
  • Fees can add up quickly
  • Not available in all U.S. states
  • Can impact your credit negatively if not repaid

While payday loans through Smart Advances provide quick access to cash, the high costs and short repayment terms mean they should be used cautiously. It’s important to have a plan to repay them in full.

Smart Advances Payday Loan Eligibility

Smart Advances has relatively minimal eligibility requirements to qualify for one of their payday loans:

  • U.S. citizenship/permanent residency – You must be a citizen or permanent resident.
  • Minimum age – You need to be at least 18 years old in most states, 19 in AL and NE, and 21 in MS.
  • Regular income – You must have a steady source of income from a job, government benefits, retirement, etc. Minimum required amounts vary.
  • Active checking account – You need a valid open checking account that has been active for at least one month.
  • Valid contact information – You need a functioning email address and phone number.
  • ID – You need to show a valid government-issued photo ID.
  • Not active duty military – Active duty service members are ineligible.
  • No outstanding payday loans – You cannot have any outstanding payday loans with Smart Advances or other providers.

As long as you meet these requirements, you can likely qualify for a Smart Advances payday loan if available in your state.

How Does the Smart Advances Payday Loan Application Process Work?

Is Smart Advances Legit

Applying for a payday loan through Smart Advances involves the following simple steps:

  1. Go online or visit a store – You can start your application on the Smart Advances website or by visiting one of their store locations in person.
  2. Provide contact and income information – Fill out the application with your name, address, contact details, social security number, income source, and employer details.
  3. eSign loan agreement – If approved, you’ll need to electronically sign the loan agreement which outlines the repayment terms.
  4. Verify with bank and references – Smart Advances will verify the information you provided by checking bank account details and contacting personal references.
  5. Get approved and receive funds – Once approved, you’ll receive the loan funds as soon as the next business day, either deposited in your account, on a prepaid card, or in cash at a store.

The whole process from application to receiving funds can be as fast as just one business day if you apply online. In-store applications are usually funded instantly.

What Fees and Interest Rates Does Smart Advances Charge?

Smart Advances, like most payday lenders, charges high fees and interest rates. Here are the typical costs:

  • Interest rates – You’ll pay $10 to $30 per $100 borrowed based on your state. APR ranges from 5.99% to 35.99%
  • Origination fees – A fee of $10 to $30 per $100 is charged and taken out of the loan amount.
  • NSF fees – If your scheduled payment doesn’t go through, you may be charged a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee of around $15 to $30.
  • Late fees – Expect a late payment fee of around $15 to $30 if you miss the repayment deadline.
  • Extension fees – Extending your loan for an extra 7 to 14 days carries a fee of $10 to $30 typically.

Always make sure you understand the full costs before taking out a payday loan. The fees can add up if you extend the loan or fail to repay on time.

Repaying Your Smart Advances Payday Loan

When you take out a payday loan from Smart Advances, you’ll need to repay it in full along with any fees on your next pay date. Smart Advances will automatically withdraw the repayment amount from your bank account on the due date.

If you can’t repay on time, Smart Advances does allow extensions for an extra fee. You’ll need to apply and pay the extension fee before your current due date to push it back 7 to 14 days typically.

Smart Advances will try to work with borrowers who are struggling to repay. You can contact them to discuss alternate repayment options before your loan becomes delinquent.

Failing to repay your payday loan can result in additional late fees, collection calls, and potential damage to your credit score. Always try to pay back payday loans on time to avoid extra costs.

What Do Customers Have to Say About Smart Advances in Reviews?

In reviews on sites like Trustpilot, Smart Advances earns an average rating of around 2/5 stars. Here’s an overview of common compliments and complaints in Smart Advances customer reviews:


  • Quick and easy application process
  • Fast approval decisions and receiving of funds
  • Allows extensions if contacted before the due date
  • Customer service agents are friendly


  • High-interest rates and fees
  • Short repayment terms are difficult to meet
  • Getting caught in cycles of debt is common
  • Follow-up calls from collections can be aggressive
  • Poor BBB rating due to complaints

While customers appreciate the quick access to cash, many warn that the loans are extremely expensive. Most negative reviews focus on the difficulty of repaying the loans on such short terms before high fees start adding up.

Smart Advances Reviews: FAQ

Smart Advances reviews

How long does it take to get approved for Smart Advances payday loans?

Approvals only take a few minutes if you apply online. You can receive the loan funds deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day. In-store applications at Smart Advances locations are usually approved instantly.

What happens if I miss my payment due date?

You will owe late fees of around $15 to $30 immediately if you miss your Smart Advances payment due date. The company will continue trying to withdraw the repayment and fees from your bank account. This can result in additional NSF fees from both Smart Advances and your bank. Missed payments also damage your credit score and lead to collection calls and potential legal action.

What is the maximum payday loan amount I can receive from Smart Advances?

The maximum payday loan from Smart Advances ranges from $100 to $20,000 depending on the regulations in your specific state. Visit the Smart Advances website to see the amounts available in your location.

Can I get more than one payday loan from Smart Advances at a time?

No – you are not allowed to have multiple loans with Smart Advances simultaneously. You can only apply for a new loan after fully repaying any current loans you have with them. Having several outstanding payday loans at once makes them even harder to repay.

The Bottom Line Smart Advances Reviews: Is it a Good Choice?

At the end of the day, Smart Advances provides an option to receive cash quickly when you’re facing an emergency or unanticipated expenses between paychecks. Just have a solid plan for making the repayment on time to avoid fees. Payday loans are risky if used improperly and can create more long-term financial hardship.

Consider all your options, like borrowing from friends/family, using credit cards, or taking out a personal loan from your bank if you qualify. But if a payday loan is your only viable solution for an immediate need, Smart Advances offers reasonable terms relative to other payday lenders. As with any loan, be careful about taking on more debt than you can reasonably handle based on your income and expenses.

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I'm Ellie, a freelance writer with years of experience in the loan industry. Based in the United States, I founded, a loan finance blog providing expert advice and insights. I specialize in creating high-quality content promoting financial literacy and consumer rights to ensure fair and transparent lending access.

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