When You Get a Cash Advance, Do They Check Your Credit Score?

Neither credit card cash advances nor cash advance loans require a credit check. But that doesn’t mean they can’t affect your credit score.

For people with not-so-great or flat out bad credit, applying for a loan or a credit card can be nerve-wracking. After all, applying for new credit is something that gets added to your credit report, and it usually causes your score to lower just a little bit.

When your score is already hurting, the last thing you need is for your score to drop any further. Plus, what if you apply for a loan and you get denied for it? Now you’ve got a lower score and nothing to show for it!

One option you could explore is a cash advance. After all, if you need fast cash to cover some emergency expenses, a cash advance seems like as good an option as any. But will they check your credit? Will a cash advance affect your score at all?


With a credit card cash advance, you use your card to withdraw cash.

There are two different types of cash advances. One is a credit card cash advance. This is a type of credit card transaction where you use your card to take out paper money and the amount you withdraw is then added to your total balance.

The annual percentage rate (APR) for a credit card cash advance is usually much higher than the APR for a regular transaction. Plus, the cash advance does not come with a 30-day interest-free grace period like regular transactions do. This means that the interest for cash advances starts accruing immediately.

Plus, most credit card cash advances carry an additional fee just to process the transaction. The fee is often expressed as either a dollar amount or a smaller percentage of the amount withdrawn. For instance: $10 or three percent of the amount withdrawn, whichever is higher. All in all, credit card cash advances are a much more expensive alternative to regular credit card use.

Some predatory loans advertise themselves as “cash advance loans.”

However, credit card cash advances are far preferable to the other kind of cash advances, which are just sketchy no credit check loans—like payday loans or title loans—that advertise themselves as “cash advance loans.”

These loans are a subset of bad credit loans. They’re financial products with short terms and high rates that can be very difficult for people to repay on time. Lenders who offer these products often stand to make more money from the customer rolling their loan over and entering a dangerous cycle of debt.

However, even though these two types of cash advances are very different, neither one of them involves a credit check.

With either type of cash advance, they won’t check your credit.

When you take out a credit card cash advance, there is no credit check run. In fact, the transaction won’t even show up on your credit report. It will just be seen as an increase in your total credit card balance.

As we mentioned earlier, most cash advance loans fall under the heading of “no credit check loans,” which pretty obviously means that they do not involve a credit check. Lenders that offer loans like these usually don’t report payment information to the credit bureaus either, which means that your cash advance loan won’t be showing up on your credit report.

With both types of cash advances, this is good news for your credit score. When a lender runs a full check on your credit history—otherwise known as a “hard” credit check—it will slightly ding your score. After all, looking for additional personal loans or credit cards can be a sign that you are “desperate” for more credit, which makes you a less appealing prospect to lenders.

The effects of the hard check won’t last long, but it’s always best if you can keep your score from lowering, even if it’s just a temporary “ding.”

There are two ways that a cash advance could affect your credit score.

Now, the only way that a credit card cash advance will affect your credit is if you take out a series of very large cash advances and add so much money to your balance that it starts to affect the “amounts owed” component of your credit score.

When it comes to credit cards, your credit score takes into account your “credit utilization ratio,” which measures how much of your total limit you’re spending. If you had a total credit limit of $10,000 and a balance of $3,000, your credit utilization ratio would be 30 percent.

And in fact, 30 percent is the ratio that you should aim to stay below. Above that, and you’ll start seeing your score be negatively affected. Luckily, it will probably take quite a few cash advances to push your balance above 30 percent, so this likely isn’t something you’ll have to worry about.

A cash advance loan, on the other hand, could affect your score if you fail to pay it back. In a situation like that, the lender will probably sell the debt to a collections agency, who will then report it to the credit bureau. Once that collections account is on your report, you will see your score be seriously impacted.

A “soft” credit check loan might be a better solution.

If you’re in the market for a cash advance loan, you should get out of that market right now. There are too many no credit check loans out there with incredibly high interest rates—often between 300 and 400 percent, but sometimes even higher—that will trap you in a cycle of debt.

Actually, the very fact that a lender does not do anything to check your ability to repay your loan is a big red flag. A lender that doesn’t care about your ability to repay is a lender that doesn’t mind if you have trouble repaying your loan. That way, they can charge you additional interest for a due date extension and make way more money.

Instead, look for a bad credit lender that runs a soft credit check with your loan application. These checks return a summary of your financial history but, most importantly, do not affect your credit score. You can apply for a soft credit check loan—like the installment loans offered by OppLoans—without having to worry about a denial lowering your score.

Plus, there are some other benefits to installment loans that a cash advance loan simply doesn’t have. To learn more, check out these related posts and articles from OppLoans:

What other questions do you have about cash advances? We want to hear from you! You can email us or you can find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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The information contained herein is provided for free and is to be used for educational and informational purposes only. We are not a credit repair organization as defined under federal or state law and we do not provide "credit repair" services or advice or assistance regarding "rebuilding" or "improving" your credit. Articles provided in connection with this blog are general in nature, provided for informational purposes only and are not a substitute for individualized professional advice. We make no representation that we will improve or attempt to improve your credit record, history, or rating through the use of the resources provided through the OppLoans blog.