Payday Loans: Find Better Alternatives

Local and regional resources can help you weather an emergency — and avoid the risks of payday loans.
Mar 24, 2022

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

When you're facing an emergency — car repairs, medical bills or other unexpected expenses — it might seem that your only choice is a payday loan. It's not. You have other options that are far less expensive and risky than payday loans.

We've looked across the country and found local and regional resources that can help with emergency expenses, whether through assistance programs or small loans. Choose your state below and find options near you.

About these resources

What are these organizations — and why should I trust them?

NerdWallet has vetted these organizations to ensure they provide consumer-first services, either through low-interest loans or financial assistance.

These local community centers and nonprofits serve people who need help with rent, transportation, paying utilities or other emergencies. They're part of your community and have track records of helping people just like you. Many offer advice and education to help you make sound financial decisions even after the immediate crisis has passed.

Not only do these organizations offer an alternative to payday loans, but they also help avert a cycle of debt that can trap you for years. That empowers you to make the right financial decisions for you and your family far into the future.

Why is NerdWallet interested in payday loans?

NerdWallet's mission is to provide consumers with clarity for all of life's financial decisions — from immediate worries about paying for necessities to long-term decisions that lead you toward a life without financial stress.

Toxic loans made by payday lenders complicate that path. Every year, payday loans trap millions of consumers in a cycle of debt.

Our goal is to support organizations that provide better alternatives and promote financial literacy.

More on payday loans and alternatives

Know where every dollar goes
Find ways to spend more on the things you love, and less on the things you don’t.
Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.