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Can You Get a Cash Advance With No Bank Account?

Written by
Andrew Tavin, CFEI
Andrew Tavin is a personal finance writer who covered budgeting with expertise in building credit and saving for OppU. His work has been cited by Wikipedia, Crunchbase, and Hacker News, and he is a Certified Financial Education Instructor through the National Financial Educators Council.
Read time: 4 min
Updated on October 9, 2023
man holding money
Regular credit card cash advances do not require a bank account. Sort of — it's complicated.

When you need quick cash to cover an emergency expense, it can be helpful to have a bank account and a good credit score. That should provide you with a range of loan options to cover your financial needs. 

Your options become a lot narrower, however, if you don’t have a bank account. You probably can’t write a check without one, nor will you have a reliable place to stash your cash and withdraw it at will. On top of that, you may have limited options when it comes to accessing other emergency financial services, such as a cash advance.

Let’s say you are in a position where you’re considering a cash advance, which is another term for cash loan: Do you really need a bank account? The answer is, “sort of.” Let’s explore.

The relationship between cash advances and bank accounts

As explained in the OppU article What is a Cash Advance, a cash advance is a type of credit card transaction you can make at an ATM. Instead of using your credit card to simply make a purchase, you can use it to receive cash. The amount that you withdraw is not given to you for free; it is added to your total credit card balance, similar to when you use the card to make a normal purchase. You can learn more about how cash advances work here.

While a credit card cash advance doesn’t require you to have a bank account to access your funds, you are probably going to need a bank account in order to get that credit card in the first place. 

Yes, there are credit cards that don’t require the applicant to have a bank account to qualify, but they will likely have more restrictions than a traditional card. For example, the card may have a higher interest rate, or it may be a secured credit card, which will require the user to put down cash as collateral. With a secured credit card, the amount of your deposit typically equates to the amount of your credit limit.

Secured credit cards are intended to help build credit through proper use, but do not offer the same utility as other cards. That means you will probably not be able to get a cash advance with a secured credit card. 

Can I get a cash advance without a credit card?

You may see other loans that are advertised as “cash advance loans” but do not require a credit card. These are likely to be high-interest, short-term, no credit check payday loans. As the name “payday loan” would suggest, they are intended to be paid off by the borrower’s next paycheck, but if that does not happen, then the borrower will be forced to extend the short-term loan and take on additional interest. 

Defaulting on a payday loan can lead to additional fees and a cycle of debt, especially if the borrower does not have a source of regular income. Car title loans are similar, but with the added risk of losing your car, as the vehicle is the collateral required to secure the loan amount.

Alternative solutions 

Unfortunately, if you have bad credit or no credit history, your personal loan options may be more limited and expensive. If you can show financial institutions significant proof of income, that may be enough to overcome poor credit.

If you don’t have significant income or good credit, you may consider asking for help from a friend or family member while you search for a long-term financial solution. If you do, be sure to work out a written agreement that is comfortable for both parties so the financial relationship does not ruin the personal relationship.

Of course, many people do not have a well-off friend or family member to go to for money or a loan. If you are in desperate need of funds, and need to fill out a loan application, shop around for the best loan terms for your situation. You can look at different online applications through Google, but don’t give away any personal information until you’ve confirmed the legitimacy of the site. 

If you decide to take out an installment loan in lieu of a cash advance, you may be required to set up a direct deposit to a checking account as part of the application process; so, much like getting a credit card, having a bank account could be vital.

Bottom line

A cash advance is probably not the answer to your problems, whether you can get one with a bank account or not. Regardless, a bank account will be very helpful for access to necessary financial services.

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