Best Loans In Arkansas, Payday, Auto Title Laws 2019 - Elite Personal Finance
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Best Loans In Arkansas, Payday, Auto Title Laws 2019

EPF July 28, 2019
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To protect consumers from predatory payday loans, in 2008, Arkansas’ Attorney General’s Office began a crusade to eliminate all forms of payday loans in the state. And while storefronts have been shut down, online payday lenders still use loopholes to skirt the law and provide financing.

When Arkansas’ Supreme Court ruled that the Check Cashers Act conflicted with its state-imposed usury cap, payday lenders were told to stop issuing new loans and void all existing loans. Soon after, Arkansas voters agreed to amend its state Constitution and adopt a 17% interest rate cap for all consumer loans – including installment loans.

If lenders didn’t comply, the penalties were severe.

Any loan issued with a rate that exceeded 17% was immediately deemed void of both principal and interest. If caught, the lender would not be able to collect anything from the borrower. It would be as if the loan didn’t exist.

However, there are exemptions.

Loans issued by national banks and FDIC-institutions headquartered in Arkansas are exempt from the 17% cap. Essentially, they can charge whatever interest rate they want. It’s been a topic of controversy because many national banks now offer small loan products similar to payday loans. And with APRs of 50% or more, some are eerily similar to the ones that were outlawed.

Best Bad Credit Loans In Arkansas

Lender:Min Credit Score:Loan Amount:APR:Licensed in Arkansas:
BadCreditLoans0$500 – $5,0005.99% – 35.99%Not a direct lender
CashUSA0$500 – $5,0005.99% – 35.99%Not a direct lender
PersonalLoans580$1,000 – $35,0005.99% – 35.99%Not a direct lender

If you’re struggling to get approved, see our complete guide on bad credit loans.

Best Personal Loans for Good Credit In Arkansas

Lender:Min Credit Score:Loan Amount:APR:Licensed in Arkansas:
Prosper640$2,000 – $40,0006.95% – 35.99%Yes
Payoff640$5,000 – $35,0005.99% – 24.99%Yes
Upgrade620$1,000 – $50,0007.99% – 35.97%No, but complies with law
PersonalLoans580$1,000 – $35,0005.99% – 35.99%Not a direct lender
LendingTree500$1,000 – $35,0003.99% – 35.99%Yes

If you need more help, see our full list of recommended lenders.

You can also visit SuperMoney. It’s one of the best loan comparison sites. After you register, you can instantly view all of your options without having to give your personal information to several lenders.

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Payday Loans in Arkansas

Like we mentioned, payday lenders don’t have a physical footprint in Arkansas. Technically, the product isn’t illegal, but the 17% interest rate cap makes it unprofitable for payday lenders to conduct business in the state.

However, researchers at George Mason University found that the 17% interest rate cap has unintended consequences. By reducing the supply of payday loans in Arkansas, borrowers are now travelling out-of-state to purchase payday loans – only increasing their costs that much more.

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Car Title Loans in Arkansas

Car title loans are also illegal in Arkansas.

Arkansas’ Small Loan Act stipulates that lenders cannot accept car titles for short-term loans. However, lenders can get around the law by using the Credit Repair Services Organizations Act. After becoming a licensed member, participants are allowed to charge fees for credit counseling, showing borrowers how to improve their credit score and helping them obtain a loan. This allows lenders to use the license to obtain ‘broker’ status. By doing so, they can claim they’re helping the borrower obtain a car title loan from a ‘third party.’

Credit Unions In Arkansas

Arkansas Federal Credit Union9.3% – 18%$100+
Telcoe Federal Credit Union7.5% – 18%$200 – $6,000+

Arkansas Federal Credit Union

Arkansas Federal Credit Union’s Personal Signature Loan allows you to borrow anywhere from $100 to a maximum that varies by borrower. The final terms depend on your credit score, current income and financial history. To qualify, you need a monthly income of at least $50, but loans are unsecured so you don’t need any collateral.

APRs range from:

  • 9.3% to 18% for 24-month loans
  • 9.55% to 18% for 36-month loans
  • 10.05% to 18% for 48-month loans

As well, Arkansas Federal operates 15 branches across the state, with locations in Bryant, Cabot, Jacksonville, Little Rock and many others.

Telcoe Federal Credit Union

Offering four different loan products, Telcoe Federal Credit Union provides financing for nearly any situation:

  • Vacation Loans allow you to borrow anywhere from $500 to $1,000 and APRs range from 9.5% to 18%. Terms extend up to 12 months.
  • Credit Builder Loans allow you to borrow anywhere from $500 to $1,000 and APRs range from 13.5% to 18%. Terms extend up to 24 months.
  • Christmas Loans allow you to borrow anywhere from $500 to $2,000 and APRs range from 9.5% to 18%. Terms extend up to 12 months.
  • Signature Loans allow you to borrow anywhere from $200 to $6,000 and APRs range from 7.5% to 18%. Terms extend up to 30 months.
  • Shared Savings Secured Loans have APRs as low as 3% and terms extend up to 36 months. However, loan amounts depend on the quality of your collateral.
  • FHA Title 1 Home Improvement Loans have APRs as low as 4.74% and terms extend up to 180 months. However, loan amounts vary by borrower.

Telcoe Federal operates four branches across Arkansas with locations in Little Rock, Sherwood and Russellville.

Student Loans In Arkansas

If you plan on attending college in Arkansas, the state provides scholarships and subsidy programs that can help lower your tuition costs.

Arkansas Academic Challenge Program

Arkansas’ Academic Challenge Program provides scholarships to high school graduates, students already enrolled in college and past attendants who are re-enrolling after spending time away from school. To qualify, high school seniors need to score at least a 19 on their ACT or an equivalent 900 or their SAT.

Students attending four-year colleges can receive:

  • $1,000 in year 1
  • $4,000 in year 2
  • $4,000 in year 3
  • $5,000 in year 4

Students attending two-year colleges can receive:

  • $1,000 in year 1
  • $3,000 in year 2

Arkansas Future Grant (ArFuture)

The ArFuture Grant is Arkansas’ newest program and is designed specifically for students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Grants are provided on a “first come, first serve” basis, but funding covers tuition and fees for those attending partner institutions.

To qualify, you must:

  • Have graduated from a public, private or home school in Arkansas or earned an equivalency diploma through the Department of Career Education
  • Have lived in Arkansas for at least 3 years before applying
  • Take part-time or full-time classes at a partner institution and pursue a STEM-related degree
  • Complete your application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Arkansas Health Education Grant (ARHEG)

Available to students pursuing a career in medicine, dentistry or optometry, the ARHEG Grant offers financial aid to students applying to both in-state and out-of-state universities.

Participating schools vary by the field of study, but institutions include: the University of Tennessee, the University of Louisville, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University as well as several others.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Loans In Arkansas

To qualify for an FHA loan in Arkansas, the property must be your primary residence and not used for investment purposes. However, you can purchase multifamily homes with up to 4 units as long as one is your primary residence.

You also need:

  • A credit score of at least 580
  • At least two years of prior employment
  • Pay stubs and tax returns that show consistent income
  • A debt-to-income ratio of no more than 43% (including your FHA mortgage payment)

Across Arkansas, FHA loan limits are identical in all 75 counties.

The lowest amount you can borrow is $314,827, while the highest amount you can borrow is $605,525. Keep in mind though, lower limits are reserved for 1-bedroom units, while upper limits are reserved for 4-bedroom units.

Business Loans in Arkansas

If you’re seeking capital to grow your business, you can obtain a reliable loan both in-state and online.

Here are some great online lenders:

Lender:Min Credit Score:Loan Amount:APR:Licensed in Arkansas:
LendingClub630Up to $500,0009.77% – 35.98%Yes
LendingTree500Varies5.99% – 35.99%Yes
Kabbage0Up to $250,00024% – 99%Not a direct lender

However, for a local touch, you can contact these Arkansas lenders directly:

Arkansas Capital

Arkansas Capital is a non-profit lender that’s been servicing Arkansas entrepreneurs since 1957. The company has provided more than $1.5 billion in loans and aims to help businesses in the state scale their operations.

SBA7(A) Loans are its most popular small business product. To qualify, you must meet SBA size standards and operate “for profit.” Loan amounts range from $100,000 to $5 million and variable interest rates are 2.75% above the Wall Street Journal prime rate.

Its SBA 504 Loans are used to purchase equipment or long-term assets with useful lives of at least 10 years. They can also be used to purchase commercial real estate. However, SBA 504 loans cannot be used for working capital.

The current rates for SBA 504 Loans are:

  • 10-year fixed at 3.937%
  • 20-year fixed at 3.914%
  • 25-year fixed at 4.011%

Its third product is USDA B&I loans. These are used to make acquisitions, purchase new machinery or fund working capital. Loans are capped at $10 million, but the Rural Business-Cooperative Programs Administrator can authorize loans up to $25 million. Interest rates are also variable and reach upwards of 3.25% above the Wall Street Journal prime rate.

Repayment terms look like this:

  • Up to 7 years for working capital
  • Up to 15 years for machinery and equipment
  • Up to 30 years for real estate

Last is Arkansas Capital’s Conventional Loans. These are used for general purposes. Loan amounts can reach upwards of $500,000, but interest rates and repayment terms vary by borrower. It’s a secured loan and qualifying collateral includes commercial real estate or a combination of residential real estate, machinery and equipment.

The company operates two locations in Arkansas, located in Little Rock and Fayetteville.

FORGE Community Loan Fund

In 1988, FORGE began making loans to organic farmers in Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. As time passed, the company expanded its reach, providing loans to several businesses across these regions. As a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) – FORGE aims to help individuals start and grow their businesses.

Through its General Credit Fund, you can borrow anywhere from $500 to $200,000. Loans are available in all 75 counties across Arkansas, but terms and interest rates vary by borrower.

Its SBA Micro Loans are also available in all 75 counties and loans can reach upwards of $50,000. Repayment terms can also reach upwards of 6 years.

FORGE’s USDA Rural Development Loans are designed to help disadvantaged and remote rural communities. You can borrow up to $250,000 or 75% of the total cost of your project. To qualify, majority ownership in the business must be held by a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You can’t have any federal delinquent debt outstanding and the business must be located in a rural area of Arkansas.

To contact FORGE, you can visit its Arkansas location at: 4415 Highway 412-B Huntsville, AR 72740. You can also contact them by phone at: (479) 738-1585 or email them at:


Arkansas is one of the few U.S. states that outlaw both payday loans and car title loans. Since 2008, the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office has made it a priority to protect borrowers from predatory lenders. However, national bank exemptions allow large corporations to fill the payday loan void. Not having to abide by the states 17% interest rate cap, national banks can sell similar products and not violate the law. Moreover, researchers at George Mason University found that limiting the supply of small-dollar loans only encourages borrowers to travel out-of-state to make the purchase. And the added travel expense simply increases their out-of-pocket costs that much more.

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