PLS check cashing is a check cashing service that lets you cash checks for a 1% fee plus $1. PLS Financial Services, or PL$, stands for Payday Loan Store. Founded in 1997, they are based in Chicago, IL and have locations in 12 states.
Check Cashing Services Available With PLS
PLS offers multiple check cashing services. They include:
- Personal checks
- Out-of-state checks
- Government checks
These are only some of the services offered. We will cover some of the other products and services PLS offers later in this article.
PLS Financial Services Company Overview
PLS Financial Services now has over 300 locations in 12 states and continue to expand. Their goal is to make money easier for each and every one of their customers.
In the past, businesses providing services such as check cashing and payday loans have been deemed “shady” by consumers. However, PLS Financial Services has a goal of making a difference in its customers’ lives. And, as its website implies (PLS247.com), they are available 24/7.
In addition to check cashing, PLS offers products and services such as personal loans, title transfers, prepaid cards, and tax refunds. Companies such as Check Into Cash are considered their main competitors which tells you that check cashing is central to their business.
PLS Financial services is estimated to have between 1,000 and 5,000 employees and revenue of $100 to $500 million according to Glassdoor. With numbers like that, this is clearly not just a mom and pop shop.
PLS Check Cashing Locations
PLS check cashing has locations all over the US:
- New York
- North Carolina
This may seem like a random smattering of states, but PLS continues to expand. Although many people pay for things using credit cards nowadays, cash still remains popular. “Cash is king,” as they say. Until that is no longer the case, these services should remain popular.
How Does It Work?
PLS check cashing is a service that allows customers to convert their checks into physical cash. One of the benefits of such a service is that you can get cash for your check without needing a bank account. These services are often open 24/7; that includes PLS.
According to the FDIC, as of 2017, 6.5 percent of households in the US were unbanked. While that may sound like a small percentage, it still accounts for 8.4 million households. There are many different reasons people may not have a bank account, but where there is a need, there is a demand.
For those who are unbanked, check cashing is a vital service necessary if they ever have a check to cash. Without such services, they would be left with few options.
In addition to not needing a bank account to use a check cashing service like PLS, the other main benefit is the amount of time these services take.
How Long Does It Take?
Check cashing is almost immediate if you simply want cash in exchange for your check, the process is almost immediate. Remember that there is a 1% + $1 fee; that is what you pay in return for the convenience. Direct deposit is almost instantaneous as well.
If you use direct deposit, you will likely need your routing number. However, this won’t be needed if you simply want cash. Cash is generally the simplest and quickest option.
If you are depositing the money into a bank account, it will be a standard bank transaction. That means it will usually take 2-3 business days. However, since the main attraction of check cashing getting instant access to cash, this is probably a less popular option.
Are Check Cashing Places Legal?
Yes, check cashing places are legal. However, there are usually state rules and regulations these businesses are required to follow. Laws also vary by how much the check casher processes per day. They are considered “regulated” if they cash $1,000 or more each day.
In such cases, it is essential that the check cashing business follows regulations around check cashing. If they don’t follow the rules and regulations put into place, they could face fines or even have their business shut down for good.
Will Check Cashing Cash Personal Checks?
Typically, check cashing services will cash personal checks. This is the case with PLS check cashing. Every business is different, so it would be difficult to answer this question across the board. Your best bet is to ask someone at the business directly, or simply call them.
Although personal checks are not as common as they once were, millions of people still write personal checks. That makes check cashing a useful option for those who don’t have a bank account.
Why Check Cashing is Bad
Actually, provided that you use a reputable service, there is no reason to believe these services are inherently bad. They do charge a fee – something you can avoid by using a bank account. But that isn’t always an option, in which case a check cashing service can be helpful.
Paying a fee to cash a check is what someone could realistically refer to as “paying money to get access to your own money.” While that is true in a way, what you are really paying for is the ability to cash a check without needing a bank account.
Check Cashing for Free – Is It Possible?
It is possible to cash a check for free, but it is highly unlikely you will be able to do so through PLS check cashing or a similar service. The fee assessed for cashing a check is not just to make money for the business – it is also to protect them.
Of course, they do their due diligence to avoid fraud. Still, this type of business is inherently risky. Fraud would be even more difficult to combat if there were not a fee involved because producing counterfeit checks is not expensive.
How to Find a Location Near You
The easiest way to find a PLS check cashing location is to use the store locator on PLS’s website. They have dozens of locations in Chicago – no surprise since that is a large city and also where they are based.
However, if you live in one of the other 11 states where they have locations, you can hopefully find one close to you as well. As mentioned, they are always expanding so you may soon find a location close to you if you don’t have one now.
Conclusion on PLS Check Cashing
PLS check cashing allows all kinds of people to instantly gain access to cash in exchange for checks. One of the main benefits of this service is that you don’t need a bank account to use it.
Of course, that convenience comes at a cost. The cost for PLS check cashing is 1% of the check amount + $1. That fee works both to bring in revenue for PLS as well as to protect them. The fee sounds small, though it can add up over time.
All in all, PLS check cashing provides a valuable service for those who need it. They continue to expand their operations and are quickly growing. As long as cash continues to be a popular way to pay, check cashing will likely remain popular as well.
Hey there. My name is Bob Haegele and I'm an expert at frugal living and saving money. I’m also an EV enthusiast and have recently become mostly-vegetarian. Another thing I started doing recently? Dog walking. I’m working toward financial independence making money via my own ventures. Interested in starting a blog of your own? Check out my post on starting a blog.