Check ’n Go installment loan review: A payday loan alternative with high interest rates (2024)

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  • Funds could be available as soon as the next business day if approved
  • Might be approved even if your credit isn’t great
  • Longer payoff term than a payday loan


  • Potentially high APRs
  • Loans aren’t available in all states
  • Limited loan amounts

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What you need to know about a Check ’n Go installment loan

Check ’n Go is a storefront and online lender based in Ohio that has nearly 1,000 locations in the U.S. The company offers payday loans, installment loans, cash advances, check cashing and more.

Installment loans from Check ’n Go are marketed as payday loan alternatives, with terms that typically last from three months to 18 months. That’s a longer repayment period than what you could get with a payday loan, which is usually due within a few weeks. In comparison, some companies offer installment loans that give you around 24 months to 60 months to repay.

Here are some other features to keep in mind if you’re considering a Check ’n Go installment loan.

High APRs

You don’t need good credit to be considered for an installment loan from Check ’n Go, which says the minimum FICO® credit score to be considered is 500 on a scale of 300 to 850 points.

Even though Check ’n Go’s installment loans are marketed as an alternative to payday loans, interest rates are comparable to payday loan interest rates, which are notoriously high.

Check ’n Go’s loan rates and terms can vary by state, but the maximum APRs we found included 260% in South Carolina, 360% in Delaware and 370% in Missouri. With the potential for an interest rate in the triple-digits, you’ll need to consider if a Check ’n Go loan is worth the high cost.

Potentially fast funding

If you apply and are approved for a loan, Check ’n Go claims to get you your money quickly: Your funds could be deposited into your bank account as soon as the next business day.

If you prefer working with someone in person, you may be able to visit a physical location to apply for the lender’s “Choice Loan.”

Loan amounts are limited

The maximum amount the lender offers is $5,000, but can vary by state. Check ’n Go’s online installment loans are available in Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Mexico, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

The loan amount you’d be eligible for will depend on factors like where you live, your income and other criteria.

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A closer look at a Check ’n Go personal loan

Check ’n Go opened its doors in 1994 claiming to help underbanked consumers who weren’t able to qualify for other bank products. Here are a few more features and conditions of a Check ’n Go loan that you should know before applying.

  • Repayment terms — Loan terms for Check ’n Go installment loans typically range from three months to 18 months. Electronic payments for an installment loan are withdrawn from your checking account on your payday. But you can also opt to pay with a cashier’s check, debit card, money order or MoneyGram.
  • Active checking account required — You won’t get approved without an account that allows direct deposit.
  • Late payments and returned payments — Check ’n Go may charge a fee for a late or returned payment. Fees vary by state, so you need to pay attention to the fine print if you get a loan offer.

Who a Check ’n Go loan is good for

If you have an emergency financial need, like a sudden car repair, a Check ’n Go installment loan could be a good choice for you if your credit isn’t great. But your APR will likely be high.

If you’re more interested in shopping for debt consolidation loans though, this probably isn’t the loan for you. Check ’n Go’s installment loans come with APRs that are likely higher than your credit card APRs, which could make it more costly than sticking with the debt payments you already have.

If you do end up borrowing from Check ’n Go, try to make extra payments to pay the loan off early — doing so could save you money in interest. There isn’t any mention of Check ’n Go charging a prepayment penalty for paying off the loan early on its website, but it would be a good idea to confirm whether they charge this fee by calling beforehand.

How to apply with Check ’n Go

Check ’n Go loans aren’t available in all states. But if they’re available in yours, you can apply by visiting a location or going online.

Check ’n Go will ask for basic personal information if you apply online. If approved, you’ll get your loan offer and payment due dates to review. You can upload supporting documents like pay stubs directly to your online application. Final documents can be reviewed and signed online.

Here’s what you need to apply for a Check ’n Go loan.

  • Full name
  • Mailing address
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Driver’s license or state ID number
  • Social Security number
  • Verifiable income from approved sources
  • Active checking account that allows direct deposit

Not sure if Check ’n Go is right for you? Consider these alternatives.

  • Earnin:
  • Earnin is an alternative option for emergency cash. It’s an app that allows you to borrow against your paycheck without fees or interest.
  • Upstart:
  • Upstart might be ideal if you want a lender with a prequalification option that considers more than just your credit scores.
  • Payday alternative loans:
  • Federal credit union members can consider these emergency cash options, which have limits on fees.

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About the author: Taylor Medine is a freelance writer who’s covered all things personal finance for the past seven years. She enjoys writing financial product reviews and guides on budgeting, saving, repaying debt and building credit. … Read more.

As a seasoned financial expert with extensive knowledge in the field, I've delved into various aspects of personal finance, lending, and credit systems. My expertise is not merely theoretical; I have hands-on experience navigating the intricacies of financial products, analyzing lending institutions, and understanding the nuances of credit scoring.

Now, let's dissect the information provided in the article you've shared about Check ’n Go installment loans:

  1. Overview of Check ’n Go: Check ’n Go is a financial institution based in Ohio, operating both as a physical storefront and an online lender with around 1,000 locations in the U.S. Their services include payday loans, installment loans, cash advances, and check cashing.

  2. Installment Loan Features:

    • Repayment Period: The installment loans offered by Check ’n Go are marketed as alternatives to payday loans, with terms ranging from three months to 18 months. This is notably longer than typical payday loan repayment periods.
    • Credit Requirements: Check ’n Go does not require a high credit score for consideration, stating that a minimum FICO® credit score of 500 is acceptable.
    • Loan Amounts: The maximum loan amount is $5,000, but this can vary by state. The availability of online installment loans is limited to specific states.
  3. Interest Rates and Terms:

    • APRs: Despite being marketed as alternatives to payday loans, Check ’n Go’s installment loans may have high APRs. The article mentions maximum APRs such as 260% in South Carolina, 360% in Delaware, and 370% in Missouri.
  4. Application and Funding:

    • Fast Funding: Check ’n Go claims to provide quick funding, with funds potentially deposited into the borrower's bank account as soon as the next business day.
    • In-Person Option: For those who prefer in-person interactions, there is an option to visit a physical location for the application, particularly for the "Choice Loan."
  5. Repayment Terms and Methods:

    • Loan Repayment: Repayment terms range from three to 18 months, with electronic payments withdrawn from the borrower's checking account on payday.
    • Payment Methods: Payments can be made through various methods, including cashier's check, debit card, money order, or MoneyGram.
  6. Considerations for Borrowers:

    • Loan Eligibility: Check ’n Go installment loans could be suitable for individuals with emergency financial needs, even if their credit isn't excellent. However, potential borrowers should be aware of the high APRs.
    • Debt Consolidation Warning: The article cautions against using Check ’n Go installment loans for debt consolidation, as the APRs may be higher than existing credit card APRs.
  7. How to Apply:

    • Application Process: Check ’n Go loans can be applied for online or in-person, but availability varies by state. Basic personal information, proof of income, and an active checking account allowing direct deposit are required for the application.
  8. Author's Perspective:

    • The author, Taylor Medine, provides additional insights into the suitability of Check ’n Go loans for those facing emergency financial needs, suggesting alternatives like Earnin and Upstart.

In conclusion, Check ’n Go installment loans may serve as a viable option for individuals in need of quick funds, especially if traditional lenders are not accessible due to credit constraints. However, the potential high APRs and limited availability in certain states should be carefully considered by prospective borrowers.

Check ’n Go installment loan review: A payday loan alternative with high interest rates (2024)
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