Debt Rip-Offs: CashNetUSA

CashNetUSA is a Rip-Off. Don’t Fall For It.

This online lender, and others like it, take advantage of your misfortune and charge insane interest rates.

It sounds like a great idea: Get the cash you need for an emergency quickly and privately from the comfort of your own home. With CashNetUSA, you don’t even have to drive to a skeezy part of town to get a payday loan.

But you should resist the urge. CashNetUSA is a rip-off. These guys are loan sharks. If you do business with them, you’ll regret it.

Let me start by saying this: I’m no fan of debt. It’s a form of money slavery that can bind up your life for years. And payday loans are among the very worst kind of debt, intentionally trapping poor and desperate people in cycles of debt they may never be able to escape.

CashNetUSA functions much like a payday lender in the virtual world. All the products it offers are a giant rip-off.

CashNetUSA functions much like a payday lender in the virtual world. And while some state regulations prohibit CashNet from rolling over payday loans into despicable cycles of debt, all the products that this company offers are still a giant rip-off.

How CashNetUSA Works

The way that CashNet works varies from state to state. CashNet offers short-term payday loans, lines of credit, and other types of loans. The details of how you do business with CashNet aren’t all that important, though. The main thing that you need to know is that dealing with these people is very, very expensive.

The trick with short-term lending is that the short term of the loan and the “low” fees associated with borrowing mask the true interest rate involved in these loans. In most other instances where you borrow — maybe to buy a car, buy a house or open a credit card — the interest on the loan is displayed as a number called APR, for annual percentage rate. But because short-term loans are paid off in weeks or months, the lenders don’t have to disclose the APRs on their loans, because they’re not expected to last more than a year.

Since you never see the APR on a short-term loan, you probably won’t realize how expensive it is.A mortgage loan can be as low as 3% APR right now. Many auto loans are around 5% APR, and credit card interest rates can vary anywhere between 12% and 29% APR. But these rates are peanuts compared to the high costs of borrowing from CashNetUSA.

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Triple-Digit Interest Rates

Let’s look at a real life example. In Tennessee, CashNet will loan you $100 for a fee of “just” $15, and you have anywhere between a week and a month to pay the loan back. On the surface, that doesn’t seem like much money. But remember, that’s 15% of what you borrowed, and you pay it back in less than a month.

If you had a credit card with an APR of 15%, you would pay that $15 over the course of an entire year. But because you have to pay all of that money to CashNet on a much shorter term, it means that the true APR of that loan is much, much higher than 15%. We can do some math to determine what that $15 fee translates to in terms of APR (this is called “imputing” the interest rate), and the results are jaw-dropping: Using CashNet in Tennessee results in paying an imputed APR of anywhere between 176% and 684%.

It’s a total rip-off, and it should be illegal. In some states, it already is.

Yes, you read that right. If you borrow $100 and pay it back, along with the $15 fee, a week later, you’ve just borrowed money from CashNetUSA at an interest rate of 684% APR. That number is staggeringly high. It’s a total rip-off, and it should be illegal. In some states, it already is.

In Missouri, you’ll pay up to 297% APR. Virginia’s rates on CashNet lines of credit are around 299%. LIkewise, in California, the lowest APR available is 207%; the highest available is 805%.

In Louisiana, borrowing from CashNet can leave you paying an APR has high as 912%. And it gets even worse: CashNet customers in Idaho, Nevada, South Dakota and Rhode Island pay more than anyone in the country — up to a shocking 1140% APR. That’s mind-bendingly high.

Look For an Alternative

If you’re tempted to borrow money from CashNetUSA, it’s probably because you’re facing some emergency that you weren’t prepared for. I feel your pain, because I’ve been there myself. Emergencies like this can be terrifying.

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Fear can lead us to make some bad decisions… and borrowing from CashNetUSA at a triple-digit interest rate is a really bad decision. So instead of taking one of their predatory loans, you should do anything else you can think of to get the money you need.

Maybe a local bank or credit union will lend you the money. Perhaps you could sell something you don’t really need to get you over the hump. There might be a friend or a family member who could help you, or even a church in your area that offers some resources for people in your situation.

Whatever you do, don’t turn to online loan sharks to solve your financial problems. Because in the long run, they will only make your problems worse.

God's Master Plan For Your MoneyA Journey to Financial Freedom

If you’re facing a money emergency, maybe that’s a sign you need to change your financial life. I would love to help you do that. I have spent years studying what the Bible says about how to handle money, and have written hundreds of articles on this site to help people like you find freedom in your finances.

I’m not here to sell you anything. But I would love to invite you to join me on the journey to financial freedom. My free e-book “God’s Master Plan for Your Money,” is full of encouragement and practical advice to help you turn your financial life around. You can get it free today by filling out this form:

Join me, and we’ll walk step-by-step together on the road to financial freedom. Put loan sharks like CashNetUSA in the past, and build yourself a brighter future.


  One thought on “Debt Rip-Offs: CashNetUSA

  1. Bob
    November 2, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I needed to move into an apartment at the last minute and didn’t have money saved up for the deposit. Had no other options that would have put that money in my pocket in time. CashNetUSA charged me $75 for a $400 2 week loan…. totally worth not being homeless. I checked some other payday loan stores, like Ace Cash Express, and they wanted $150 for the $400 loan. That’s a little ridiculous there.

    • November 6, 2013 at 7:13 pm

      Bob, $150 is ridiculous on a $400 loan, you’re right. But $75 is ridiculous, too — when you do the math, that translates into an imputed annual interest rate of 487%. And if you actually paid the loan back in two years, you’re one of the few that do. Most customers end up rolling those loans over end incurring much bigger debts.

      The truth is that no independent adult should find themselves in a situation where they can’t come up with $400 in an emergency, especially if that emergency is homelessness. Payday lenders are no substitute for savings and good financial planning.

      • Jack
        March 5, 2016 at 8:33 pm

        Hi ,

        I saw where you said that no independent adult should never have a hard time coming up with $400;That statement is true but in the real world he could have had a part time job or anything . You would he suprised if you knew people’s situations.

  2. shelby
    July 4, 2015 at 2:46 pm

    I did not research this at all before getting $600 for a laptop I needed for school. I’m so screwed it’s not even funny. I set it for 6 months, figuring that’s long enough for my rates to be affordable every month but short enough where I wouldn’t rack up a ton of interest. I was so so wrong.

    I’ve made two payments that are up to $404.07. and I still owe $621, more than my original loan! The monthly payments were higher than they said they’d be and I dont really remember, but I think the program estimated a total of like, $700 being paid back, because of interest. I’m seriously freaking out right now and have no idea what to do. This was the worst decision I’ve ever made.

    • July 4, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      So sorry to hear that, Shelby. There’s a mistake you’ll never make again.

  3. jen
    January 11, 2016 at 10:56 am

    The fact is, these are short term loans. Meant to be used, and then paid back in full at your next paycheck. To not do so, incurs the enormous interest rates.

  4. Martin George
    October 20, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Years ago I knew credit loans of any kind was a bad idea. Don’t have any credit cards or loans except the 4.5 % interest on my home loan. Paid cash for my used car and cash for everything I purchase.

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