Discount Advances - pay day loans
Jackie Gay rates this 3.5/5
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Discount Advances PayDay Review From: (and company)

25% discount on loans for new customers, simple and easy to arrange, referral program

loan rates high for extended loans, need to check if loans comply with state law

A good option for the short term, especially for new customers

Discount Advances (PayDay Loans) Review - Let's compare the rates & terms to the others...

Bad credit scores don't stop the bills coming in. And payday is always too far away, so if you're overstretched already and the rent is due, what are your options?
So-called 'loan sharks' have always been with us and their image is not good - think of Charles Dickens' characters, all long, bony fingers and ruthless enforcement.
But the internet has changed everything and now pay day loan companies proliferate across the World Wide Web, able to wire money straight into your bank account should you meet the necessary conditions.
You have to pay your landlord; there are no other options. But which company should you use?
Well, it (as always) depends on your circumstances. 
Discount Advances are an internet-loan company based in St Lucia who specialize in short term loans arranged online or by telephone. 
Within certain terms they give instant approval for up to $1500, notwithstanding any bad credit records, and cash is deposited into account your overnight.
Fees are based on a minimum 14 day loan term, with no penalty for early payoffs. 
To be eligible for a loan, you must be 18 years old, have an active checking account  and earn a minimum of $1000 a month.
Discount Advances will check that you are employed and receiving a consistent income but that is all.
So how much will it cost? And how do they compare to their competitors?
The company proudly advertise that, 'while other unsecured personal loans companies hide their fees and rates, we are committed to disclosing information to our customers.'
This is true. Their guide and table of loan fees is clear and consistent. However what they don't mention is that whilst they operate within the laws of St Lucia, they are still obliged to comply with US state law (the state that you live in) over loan and interest rates.
The website does not provide any information about the laws of particular states regarding unsecured loans, you have to wait to find out this information on submission of your application.

Which may complicate their nice simple table.
However, lets look at the published rates.
On a 14 day loan, $100 will cost you $17.50 (APR 456.25%). However for new customers they offer a 25% discount on loans which would mean you pay $13.13 on $100 (APR 342.25%).
Which is a good deal, compared to other short term lenders. 
Looking around the discussion forums it seems that this new customer discount used to be 50% - an even better deal, but maybe one which wasn't quite profitable enough...
Charges on larger loans are the same: $200 would cost you $35, $400 would cost you $70 etc.
Customers have the option to extend their loans, but 'may incur additional fees by doing so.'
And this is where it gets expensive. Extensions cost money.
The 'lower' rate of APR (456.25%) only applies to loans borrowed for up to 14 days. Beyond this the rate rises to as much as 912.5% which would work out at $38.75 of charges on $100 loan.
The industry standard is around $25 per $100 borrowed.

So for the short term, if you are absolutely sure you can pay the money back within 14 days, then Discount Advances gives a good deal.
Some customers are clearly very happy with this.
'Discount Advances was absolutely great during my time of despair. They have always kept to their promises. They helped us more than anyone during our Hurricane nightmare.'

Which is important. Unlike banks, Discount Advances are available 24 hours a day, 6 days a week. Kudos can certainly be earned by being there when no one else is.
'Cheapest first time finance charge I've come across,' says one customer. 'Avoid extending a loan to save money, other than that cheap, easy!'

Which is confirmed by other customers.
'It could be a good choice for people who are only going to use this type of service once.'

This is clearly a big draw. However if you choose a loan with a longer term, the standard rates are higher than average. So be sure to consider the length of your loan when calculating interest and comparing to other providers.
Another attractive feature is the referral program. This is an incentive program through which users can earn $100 each time they refer a friend who creates and account and fulfills certain conditions.
And the forums are full of customer's referral codes: please use mine! They say.
Well, why not?
The simplicity of this service does cause a few hitches - verification of employment, for example, but once this is done the loan works smoothly.
'It really worked! I applied on Friday and I received the money on Monday. They called me to make sure I worked at my job and that was it.'

Easy money (until the 14 days is up).
However be warned again about the costs of extension. 'They charge big bucks each week,' said one disgruntled customer.
If you are unsure of your ability to pay back in 14 days then you'd be better advised to find a company that offers more flexible payment options.
But if the rent is due before your paycheck then the service comes highly recommended. 
' made it easy to get the 200 bucks I needed quickly.'
As one customer said, Discount Advances 'lend out short term loans to those who need it and can pay them back.'

Is this you? Try DiscountAdvances.
Date Reviewed: October 15, 2011, 10:16 am
Reviewed by Jackie Gay
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