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  • Writer's pictureDonnelle Brooks

Payday Loan Reviews - The Best and The Worst

Updated: Jul 26, 2023

We've all been in a position where we need a bit of extra cash. It's a stressful situation and it's tempting to go with a quick fix. This is exactly what Payday Loan companies rely on. In this article, we will discuss what a payday loan is, why they should be an absolute last resort, and which ones are the best and the worst. So if you are considering a loan with one of these companies, make sure you read our payday loan reviews first.

What is a Payday Loan?

Put simply, payday loans offer fast loans with high interest, to be paid back over a short period of time. They will often take an asset such as a car as security. They often promise fast or same day approval and small weekly repayments, but the total amount repaid is often close to half again what you borrowed.

The term "payday loan" has been banned from many advertising platforms, including Facebook and Google. However, many companies are getting around these rules by advertising terms like "Fast Cash Loans" and "Small Personal Loans"

payday loans neon sign
Payday Loans - friend or foe?

What are the laws?

Under payday loan legislation, Short term loans to be payed back within 15 days are also banned. Loan companies are not allowed to charge more than 48% interest and an establishment fee of 20% of the value of the loan. They may also charge account fees of up to 4%. That's a lot, over $1000 in fees and interest over 12 months. And that doesn't even scratch the surface when it comes to default, dishonour and direct debit fees.

So without any further ado, we are going to review some of the worst, and some of the not-so-bad lenders in the payday loan space.

Note: comparing these lenders can feel a little like comparing apples with oranges, so this comparison will be based on a $2000 loan over 12 months


Loan amount - $300 - $5000

Establishment fee: $400 or 20%

Interest rate: 47.61%

Secured: No

Loan Management: Login portal to manage your loan

Amount Repaid on $2000 over 12 months - $3016

Transparency: 6/10

Their website lists all their fees in the fine print, but does not include a calculator to give you an idea of the repayments before you apply.

Nimble has a slick advertising campaign, but they are just as expensive as other lenders in the payday lending space.

Sunshine Loans

Loan amount - up to $2000

Establishment fee: 20% of loan amount

Interest rate: 4% monthly flate fee

Secured: No

Loan Management: Must contact to request balance and make extra payments

Amount Repaid on $2000 over 12 months - $3360

Transparency: 3/10

Their website is light on info about their loans. Their lack of a customer portal means you must contact them to see what you owe. Sunshine Loans are a gold coast run company. One thing they have going for them is they require you pay off a loan before you get a new one, rather than using the tactic of offering increasingly large amounts of credit to trap their customers. When doing a review of payday loans however, transparency is the number one most important thing. If they are hiding info from you, that is a bad sign.

Wallet Wizard

Loan amount - $500 - $5000

Establishment fee: $0

Interest rate: 48%

Secured: No

Loan Management: Member portal

Amount Repaid on $2000 over 12 months - $2503

Transparency: 9/10

Wallet Wizard features a customer portal and are pretty upfront about their fees. Wallet Wizard isn't too bad for a payday lending company. Don't get me wrong, they are still a terrible option for short term finance. You will end up paying back over a quarter of what you borrowed in 12 months. Just don't!


Loan amount - $300 - $2000

Establishment fee: $400 or 20%

Interest rate: 4% per month

Secured: No

Loan Management: Member portal

Amount Repaid on $2000 over 12 months - $2800 at least

Transparency: 1/10

To get an idea of how much your repayments are going to be you need to give them your mobile number. There is no fee structure on their website and their estimates do not factor in interest. How much will $2000 cost you? Who knows?


Loan amount - $300 - $5000

Establishment fee: 20% or $400

Interest rate: 4% per month

Secured: No

Loan Management: Member portal

Amount Repaid on $2000 over 12 months - $3360

Transparency: 7/10

Cashstop know exactly what they are and they don't try to hide it. They provide cash to desperate people at high rates. They charge a dishonour fee of $40 which is one of the highest out there. In terms of payday loan reviews, they come in at the bottom.

Jacaranda Finance

Loan amount - $300 - $10000

Establishment fee: 20% or $400

Interest rate: 4% per month

Secured: No, maybe, I don't know

Loan Management: Member portal

Amount Repaid on $2000 over 12 months - $2734

Transparency: 3/10

Jacaranda advertises low interest rates that are not representative of their typical loan. The reason for this is they charge different interest rates depending on your credit rating. They don't advertise their fee structure on their website, therefore it is difficult to know what a loan will cost you until you actually apply. If that is the case, it's normally bad news

Honourable Mentions

So, are there any companies out there that are actually helpful for those who need to borrow some cash? Yes and no. Here are a few services that I think could actually be beneficial for those struggling with debt.


Fees: $5.99/month flat fee

Amount: up to $2000

Deferit is a service similar to Afterpay that allows you to split your bills over the course of several pays. They have a bad review on Trustpilot, but that is mainly due to people being rejected, which I think is a good thing. Rather than handing out cash to desperate people, they are providing a service that they believe will really help. They also have a small card payment fee of 1.5% plus 20 cent processing fee.

Wisr App

Fees: $1.25 monthly transaction fee

Amount: up to $2000

Don't get this confused with Wisr loans! They have an app that you can connect to a spending account that helps you pay down debt faster. Here's how it works. You buy a coffee for $3.50. Wisr rounds it up to $4 and pays 50cents off a debt you owe. These roundups are applied at the end of each month (hence the $1.25 monthly transaction fee) By doing this you can pay down debt faster without even knowing it!

I hope these payday loan reviews have helped you clear up some of the muck around payday loans. The bottom line is - don't do it! If you are struggling to make repayments, most billers will help you with a repayment plan if you just call them. If you are looking to get on top of your budget and on the road to financial freedom, have a look at our article on how to start saving money. It's got lots of handy tips and tricks.

Good luck on your journey to financial freedom! If you are thinking about it you are one step closer!

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