Play Video Review


Wondering who CashUSA is? Wondering whether they are legit? Who are they? What do they do? Should I use them? There are some pretty compelling reasons to not use CashUSA and I’m going to explain what they are.

What is CashUSA? What do they do?

CashUSA is not a lender. They are actually what is called an aggregator. They collect and share your information with their network of lenders. While this sounds like it would be a good idea, the problem is that they aren’t sharing with you the lender who would give you the best offer. The will present you the offer that will pay them the most money, not the one that would be best for you. Think about what that might mean. I suspect that the lender who charges the highest rates are likely to be willing to spend more money getting customers. 

What is a “ping tree”?

In the lending industry, CashUSA uses a thing called a “ping tree.” This is just industry jargon for a process of selling a lead. In simplistic terms, a ping tree lists all the lenders based on how much money that lender is willing to give CashUSA for the referral. CashUSA starts at the top of the list and moves down until they find a lender who will pay them to lend you money. 

You might have been approved by a better lender who would have given you a better APR, but if they were lower on the ping tree, you will never see that offer. In fact, CashUSA says so on their website.  If you read the fine print at the bottom of the page, they say 

“We often use a “ping-tree” model similar to Google AdWords to connect the highest bidder to a consumer. So, if you receive a loan offer, it is likely from the highest bidder and not from the lender offering the best loan terms. Always review all options available to you and never assume a loan offer you receive is the best loan offer available to you”

What APR can I get from CashUSA?

On the front page of the CashUSA website, they list their APR range from 5.99% to 35.99%, but because they are just a broker and not a lender, those number are probably meaningless. They list those numbers upfront in order to satisfy Google advertising limitations on high-interest lending. Google won’t let them buy search ads if they sell high-interest loans. By making the maximum under 36%, they avoid those restrictions. 

They likely have lenders in their network that offer rates that low but not on small dollar loans. I suspect that the vast majority of their customers are offered loans with considerably higher APRs. I don’t think it is unusual to think that you would be offered short term loans with interest rates in the triple digits.

Again, I’ll pull some information from their website: They state “APR Example: If you borrow $1500 over a term of 2 years with an APR of 7.9%, you will have 24 monthly payments of $67.77, for a total amount payable of $1626.54”  

This is not a valid loan for anyone.  In this hypothetical loan, the lender can make a maximum profit of $126.54.  But the ping tree will typically charge the lender more than that. Add all the lender costs together and there’s only one conclusion.  This loan doesn’t exist, even for people with excellent credit.  I would be shocked if anyone got a $1500 loan from CashUSA with an APR below 50%.  

Is CashUSA legit?

This is a trickier question to answer than it sounds. They are a real website that is designed to connect potential borrowers to lenders. In that sense, yes, they are legit. But, they do that by sending its customers to the lenders who will give them the higher referral fee, not necessarily the one that will give their customers the best loan rate. So, the company is legit, but that doesn’t mean that you should do business with them. 

What is the minimum credit score for CashUSA?

Because CashUSA is not the lender, there is no minimum credit score requirement to submit your information. People with bad credit will still be sent through their loan matching system. They are just likely to only qualify for low-dollar, high-cost, short-term loans. 

Is CashUSA and CashNetUSA the same?

No. they are not the same company.  CashUSA is a lending marketplace that connects borrowers with lenders who offer personal and bad credit loans. CashNetUSA is an online lender that offers payday loans, installment loans, and lines of credit. Both work to provide loans to people with bad credit. For me, this bigger difference is that CashNetUSA is upfront about their business and rates.  CashUSA is very misleading.  

Is it a good idea to use CashUSA?

No. I don’t think you should use CashUSA, even if you have bad credit. When you submit your information through a ping tree like CashUSA, you are sold to the highest bidder and you have no choice in your lender. There are better options, even when you’re desperate. 

If I need a loan and I have bad credit, what would be an alternative to CashUSA?

You ought to consider our marketplace at The Yukon Project. You can see some of our top lenders. Pick one and apply. We will check your rate with up to 40 lenders and bring you back the best offers. It’s a great way to make sure you’re getting the best terms you can qualify for. 


While CashUSA is a real website that has been operating for years, it is probably not a good idea to use them if you are looking for a personal loan, especially if you have poor or bad credit. They will simply sell your information to the highest bidder instead of trying to get you the best rate you can qualify for.

Picture of Nathan Foley

Nathan Foley