Online Lenders vs Store-Front Lenders: What’s the Difference?

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We use the term “online payday loan” frequently in these articles and you might be wondering why we even differentiate in the first place. As mentioned in a previous article, while there are many different payday loan companies, not all of them are the same. Differences can include products offered, states of operation, and whether the lender is online only or has a storefront.

So, what’s the difference between an online lender and a storefront lender? Furthermore, which one is right for you? We will highlight the pros and cons of both.

Store-front lenders

The most obvious difference is that store front lenders have an actual brick and mortar store where customers can physically go to get a loan. Benefits of a store? An applicant can speak with a live person, get answers to any questions they have, walk through the application with the help of someone and get cash in hand right away.

Sometimes, store front lenders will require that you leave a post-dated check as security for the loan. When your loan becomes due, then you must go back to that location and make a payment, or the lender will process the check normally or collect a payment through electronic debit. If the store-front lender also has a website, it is possible that you can pay your back your loan online, too, but that depends on the company.

If you’re new to how payday loans work, going to a storefront lender will create more transparency for you during the transaction. While this information is also available with online lenders, you would have to make a phone call or look at the website rather then talk to the teller you’re working with at the store.

Online payday lenders

Conversely, the obvious difference here is that online payday lenders operate completely online. Customers access this business via a website and complete the application all online. The website, if it’s worth it’s salt, will have information for the consumer to educate themselves if they need additional help. Also, most companies have a customer service center that applicants can call to speak with a live representative for help with the website, application, or anything related to the company.

While some online lenders offer same day deposits, it’s not too common. Most companies deposit funds the next business day depending on when the approved application is accepted. The benefit here is that funds go directly to your bank account. There is no getting cash and depositing to your bank account later or leaving a postdated check as security for the loan. Customer can receive and make payments completely online.

Accessibility of the online business is also leaps and bounds easier than storefront lenders. It is not uncommon for people to not have means for transportation, but just about every person has access to the internet via a smartphone. Online lending appeals directly to those consumers that either don’t have the time or the means to stop by a store front lender.

All payday lenders

Both store front and online payday lenders are required to abide by the lending laws in the state(s) in which they operate. While it is easier to spot a phony store-front lender, it’s not as easy to spot an unscrupulous online lender. Reputable online payday loan companies fight against predatory companies, too. Easy ways to find out if the company you’re looking to get a loan from is legitimate is by doing a quick Google search to verify customer reviews, search reviews from a third party such as;, call the Better Business Bureau at or speak with a customer representative for that company. Truthful companies will be very transparent and helpful in guiding you towards information that attests the validity of their company.

Net Pay Advance is a licensed loan provider, locally owned and operated in Wichita, Kansas. Our No. 1 priority is helping you, the customer, by providing access to the cash you need and helping support financial independence goals with valuable, informational, and entertaining content. Stay up-to-date on our posts by following the Net Pay Advance Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages. Our organization is committed to transparency; learn more about our authors and editorial policy. The information provided within this blog is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice. Please contact us if you have any questions.

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