Cash advances are an effective way of getting money quickly, but they can also be problematic if used without any foresight. On top of that, they also have legal restrictions in some states. Some of these can work against you, while some may play to your benefit. To help you get a better idea of whether a cash advance is right for you, the following information is a broad overview of laws regarding cash advances:
Are cash advances legal?
Depending on your state, you might not even be able to get a cash advance at all. Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, and North Carolina completely ban cash advances, as does the District of Columbia. The remaining 46 states do allow cash advances, but many have additional restrictions.
Is there a cap on how much you can take out?
34 states have caps on the size of a cash advance, which brings the total number of unregulated states down to 12.
Of those 34 states, 30 have flat caps on how large the advance can be. In other words, your income is irrelevant when it comes to calculating how much money you can ask for. Instead, you simply need to ask for an amount that is at or below the cap.
2 of the remaining 4 states (Nevada and New Mexico) only allow loans that are less than a quarter of your gross monthly income. This can be helpful when you have a high salary, since it increases the amount of money that you can borrow, but can prevent you from getting the money that you need if your income is too low.
The last 2 states (Illinois and Washington) will place the cap at the lower of two values, chosen between a flat number and a percentage of your monthly income. Illinois uses $1,000 and 25%, while Washington uses $700 and 30%. This prevents you from getting a loan of any real size if you don't make very much money but caps your maximum loan size fairly low if you make too much money as well.
How long can a cash advance last?
The repayment period varies dramatically from state to state, with certain areas having essentially no regulation whatsoever (Idaho) and others that require loans to be paid back in as little as two weeks (Alaska). Therefore, you will need to look at your state's laws specifically in order to figure out the best course of action.
Talk to a company like Payday Express about any questions you may have about how cash advances work in your home state.