The short answer is no, you don’t need a credit score. Payday lenders often do not check your traditional credit score. If you’ve stumbled along the way financially or you haven’t yet built a credit history, you could still qualify for a payday loan.

Just because a lender doesn’t check your credit score, it doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed a loan. You still have to meet the other eligibility requirements. If you come across a provider promising guaranteed approval, be wary — a legitimate lender will not make promises it may not be able to keep.

What qualifications do I need to get a payday loan?

You’ll generally see different qualifications based on the lender you’re considering. But there are a few universal standards that you can expect. In general, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old (or the age of majority in your state).
  • Be an American citizen or a permanent resident of the US.
  • Be able to provide proof of regular income.
  • Have a checking account.
  • Have a valid phone number and email address.
  • Be a resident of a state where payday loans are legal.

Do payday lenders perform credit checks?

Many payday loan providers don’t require a hard credit pull on your credit report. What that means for you is that there’s likely not going to be any information requested from the three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

Though those three credit bureaus are likely to go unchecked, some lenders will pull from an alternative source