Finance 101

At Check ‘n Go, we’re dedicated to keeping our customers informed when it comes to financial topics. Our Finance 101 section can help you get a handle on your budget, protect yourself against scams, understand how finances work and more.

piggy bank and calculator

Finance 101

At Check ‘n Go, we’re dedicated to keeping our customers informed when it comes to financial topics. Our Finance 101 section can help you get a handle on your budget, protect yourself against scams, understand how finances work and more.

Budgeting Tips

Managing money can be a challenge. Having a budget makes it easier. Our tips and guidelines can help you create a budget and stick to it.

Fraud & Scams

Identity theft, scams and other types of fraud are all too common. Find out how to protect your good name and your credit.

How Finances Work

Understanding how finances work can help you make the most of your money. Get simple answers when it comes to comparing rates, paying off debt and more.

Credit Basics

Your credit history (good or bad) can affect more than just your ability to get a loan. Learn how to maintain good credit (or clean up bad credit) here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Featured FAQ

I’m on Social Security or disability. Can I still get a payday loan?

In most cases, borrowers who receive Social Security or disability payments will qualify for a payday loan since many payday loan providers accept Social Security and disability payments as sources of reliable monthly income. However, be sure to confirm this with the provider you choose prior to beginning the application process.

Check `n Go accepts social security and disability payments as an income source for a fast payday loan. To apply online, you’ll simply need to report that this is your source of income. You may need to fax a copy of your award letter during the application process, depending on the regulations of your state of residence. You can find out if your state requires faxing by going to Check `n Go’s state center. To apply in-store, you’ll need to bring a copy of the award letter with you.

How much can I borrow with an installment loan?

When it comes to installment loans, the amount you can qualify to receive depends on a number of different factors, including income level, state of residence, and other underwriting criteria.

Income Level Installment loans are income-based loans, which is why lenders will request proof of steady employment. How much you earn will determine the initial amount you are able to receive. This keeps your installment loan from exceeding the amount you can afford to repay.

State of Residence Installment loans are only available in select states. To see a list of states where installment loans are available, click here.

Can I get a loan without a bank account?

There are a few things you will need when you apply for a payday loan with Check `n Go. You will need a government-issued photo ID, proof of income, an active checking account and an active phone number. If you have a steady source of income (for example, a paycheck, Social Security benefits, pension or unemployment benefits), you may qualify for a payday loan.

To learn more, you can apply online from the convenience of home or apply at a Check `n Go store near you.

What is payday loan refinancing?

Payday loan refinancing allows you to apply for additional financing to extend the amount of time you have to repay your loan. When you refinance your payday loan, you must pay off your existing finance charges. Some states also require you to pay down a portion of the principal on your existing loan.

Keep in mind that payday loan refinancing is not available in every state.

Are all online loan providers the same?

Not all loan providers adhere to the standards and best practices of the CFSA and/or follow state regulations properly. Be sure to ask about the standards and practices of any financial service providers you do business with, and be sure to ask for full disclosure of all terms and conditions. Also, consider the provider’s measures for your security, whether online or at their store.
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Who is the CFSA and why is it so important?

The Community Financial Services Association (CFSA) is the payday loan industry’s national trade group. The CFSA helps to promote appropriate consumer protections, enforce privacy and maintain exceptional professionalism. Check ‘n Go is a founding member, and Check ‘n Go’s leadership serves as active participants on the Board of Directors. Check ‘n Go adheres to, and in fact helped write, the CFSA Best Practices Guidelines, including principles that encourage full disclosure, truthful advertising and consumer responsibility.
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How is the payday loan industry regulated?

The payday loan industry is regulated by state and federal law. Members of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) encourage further self-regulation for the benefit of payday loan borrowers. Each payday loan provider has its own set of terms and conditions in addition to state, federal and CFSA rules. It’s important to know the basics about a payday loan provider so that you know exactly what policies it upholds. For example, if you choose an online payday loan provider that is not based in your state of residence and is not a CFSA member, it will have a significantly different set of regulations than a lender like Check `n Go, who abides by each state’s laws and the CFSA’s Best Practices. We even provide a list of what to look for when choosing a payday loan provider.

The payday loan industry supports balanced regulations that are in customers’ best interests. It strives for regulation to provide customers with privacy protection, to support customers’ right to alternative financial options and to give customers the freedom of choosing a payday loan provider that best suits their individual financial needs. The CFSA works closely with state lawmakers to ensure that consumers are both protected and empowered, while also giving payday lenders every opportunity to provide responsible financial solutions.
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Is my installment loan transaction confidential?

The confidentiality of an installment loans transaction depends on the reputation of the lender. When lending online, security becomes even more crucial and depends not only on the provider’s policies, but on the structure of the company’s website. We use VeriSign to encrypt our customers’ personal information, and our servers are housed in secure facilities to prevent loss, misuse, or alteration of data. For the safest possible installment loans transaction, make sure of the following before borrowing:

Privacy Policy Every lender should freely provide you with a privacy policy, whether you borrow in-store or online. This policy should clearly and concisely outline all the ways your information is or isn’t shared with other companies. Online installment loans providers should make their privacy policies easy to locate and free to download.

Secure Site Online lenders should encrypt their sites to ensure your security. Check in the bottom right corner of your Internet browser for the lock icon, which means the site is encrypted and safe. You should also make sure your online transaction is secured through other reputable means, like with an Internet security and infrastructure specialist such as VeriSign. These additional security measures will be displayed on the site where you enter your sensitive information.

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How do I cash a money order?

If you just received a money order, you may not be familiar with this form of payment. Simply put, treat it like a check. Take it to your bank or credit union and cash it or deposit the funds into your account. Or take it to your local Check `n Go store and cash it! You can choose to receive your funds in cash, or have them loaded onto a prepaid debit card. Like a check, a money order must be endorsed – so you’ll need to sign your name on the back and provide proof of identity.

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What determines payday loan interest rates?

Payday loan fees are regulated by state and federal law. Payday loan interest rates are expressed by using Annual Percentage Rate (APR).

Payday Loan Service Fees The amount charged for a payday loan is the total amount borrowed, plus a service fee. This fee is a one-time, flat payment that varies only slightly depending upon how much is being borrowed. Payday loan service fees are regulated and dictated according to state laws where the borrower resides. Payday lenders who practice choice of law are exempt from this regulation. When a lender practices choice of law, the fees are regulated by the laws of the state in which the lender originates, and not by the state where the borrower resides. Reputable payday lenders typically avoid the practice of choice of law.

Payday Loan Interest Rates United States federal law requires that the fees for any financial transaction be expressed to the customer in terms of annual percentage rate, or APR. The formula for APR assumes that that the loan will last a year or more. A payday loan is a two-week loan, so commonly seen APRs for payday advance loans are very high. This is because the APR is expressing the one-time loan fee in terms of an annual charge. Even though payday loans are not intended to be held for a year or longer, payday lenders express their fees in terms of APR to comply with federal law.

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What is a prepaid debit card?

Prepaid debit cards are simple to use and put you directly in control of the balance. A prepaid debit card holds only the amount a cardholder deposits, can never be overdrawn, and is accepted almost anywhere, just like a credit card.

If you’re thinking about getting a prepaid debit card, consider this:

  • Because you don’t borrow funds with a prepaid debit card, there’s no interest to worry about and no way to damage your credit when using them.
  • The initial and deposit fees charged by most prepaid debit card companies are much smaller than the cost of a credit card account, with no overdrafts, late payment fees or hidden charges.
  • Prepaid debit cards do not link to any other accounts and do not affect your credit, so they are an excellent way to keep yourself safe from identity theft.
  • In most instances, merchants accept prepaid debit cards in the same way they accept conventional credit or debit cards, even online. As long as the card has the logo of one of the common providers, such as MasterCard, it can be used anywhere that brand is accepted.
  • Prepaid debit cards are an excellent way to monitor your spending. You can only spend as much as the account contains and no more until the next deposit. That means no overdrafts and no going over-budget.

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Online Disclosures

Customer Notice: Payday Loans are typically for two-to four-week terms. Some borrowers, however, use Payday Loans for several months, which can be expensive. Payday Loans (also referred to as Payday Advances, Cash Advances, Deferred Deposit Transactions/Loans) and high-interest loans should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction. See State Center for specific information and requirements.

Rhode Island licensed check casher. California operations licensed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation pursuant to the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law. Texas loans originated by a third-party lender, restrictions apply. Eastern Specialty Finance, Inc., D/B/A Check ‘n Go is licensed by the Delaware State Bank Commissioner pursuant to 5 Del. C. sec. 2201 et. al., and expires 12/31/2021.

Check `n Go Online is not a direct lender in Texas, where instead it acts in the capacity as a Credit Services Organization in conjunction with third-party lenders.

*Approval depends upon meeting legal, regulatory and underwriting requirements. If approved and originated by 8:00 pm ET on a business day, online loans are typically funded the next business day. All times and dates are based on Eastern Time (ET). Check `n Go and third-party lenders may, at their discretion, verify application information by using national databases that may provide information from one or more national credit bureaus, and Check `n Go or third-party lenders may take that into consideration in the approval process.

We do not report credit in Ohio or Texas.

Products or services offered to customers may vary based on customer eligibility and applicable state or federal law. All available products subject to applicable lender’s terms and conditions. Actual loan amounts vary. See State Center for specific information and requirements.

Check `n Go currently operates online in: Alabama, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Check `n Go currently operates in store locations in: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.

Notice to California consumers: In order to process credit applications, service accounts, and provide the best online and in-store experience, Check ‘n Go collects various categories of information on consumers during the application process. Categories of information may include internet protocol address, internet and network information, geolocation data, product preferences, and inferences drawn from this information.

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