Based on the aggregated intelligence of 130,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, payday advance provider Advance America (NYSE:AEA) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Advance America's business, and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Advance America facts

Headquarters (founded)

Spartanburg, S.C. (1997)

Market Cap

$215.75 million


Consumer finance

TTM Revenue

$676.4 million


Co-Founder/Chairman William Webster, IV
CEO Kenneth Compton

Return on Equity (average, last three years)


Dividend Yield



Cash America (NYSE:CSH)
Dollar Financial (NASDAQ:DLLR)

CAPS members bullish on AEA also bullish on

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC)
General Electric (NYSE:GE)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)

CAPS members bearish on AEA also bearish on

CompuCredit (NASDAQ:CCRT)

Sources: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and Motley Fool CAPS. TTM = trailing 12 months.

Over on CAPS, fully 249 of the 271 members who have rated Advance America -- some 92% -- believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include NoDoughBro and All-Star 1stock1, who is ranked in the top 0.1% of our community.

Two weeks ago, NoDoughBro touched on the (unfortunate) tailwinds advancing in Advance's favor: "It hurts for me as a fellow US citizen to choose this stock but the writing is all over the wall. High unemployment. You have to pay the piper some how."

In a pitch from October, 1stock1 expands on that bullish reasoning:

This was an underperform for a long time primarily due to stupid state governments who think their subprime citizens "deserve" money at interest rates deemed acceptable by said governments. … They are continuing to operate normally in many states, and I can't imagine that the government crackdown on lenders, even hated "paycheck" lenders, will continue after people saw just how bad a credit crisis can get. Meanwhile the business model itself thrives in a recession. People denied normal loans and credit cards in the new environment just won't have many options, and even subprime borrowers can be profitable with fees and triple digit interest rates.

What do you think about Advance America, or any other stock for that matter? Make your voice heard on Motley Fool CAPS today. More than 130,000 investors are waiting to hear what you have to say. CAPS is 100% free, so simply click here to get started.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Johnson & Johnson is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. The Fool's disclosure policy always gets a perfect score.