Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, payday lender Advance America, Cash Advance Centers (NYSE: AEA) has earned a respected four-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 $301.6 million
Industry Consumer finance
Trailing-12-Month Revenue $600.2 million

Co-Founder/Chairman William Webster, IV

CEO/CFO Patrick O'Shaughnessy

Return on Equity (Average, Past 3 Years) 20.8%
Cash/Debt $26.95 million / $116.3 million
Dividend Yield 5.2%

Cash America International (NYSE: CSH)

Dollar Financial (Nasdaq: DLLR)

Rent-A-Center (Nasdaq: RCII)

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 91% of the 419 members who have rated Advance America believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include declanus and FoolishElephant.

Just last week, declanus tapped Advance America as a timely opportunity: "This company will benefit greatly from and improving economy because as more middle class and lower class people get their jobs back they will need places like this to get money. ... Plus their financials a great."

Currently, Advance America even sports a paltry forward P/E of 4.8. That represents a clear discount to listed rivals Cash America (9.0), Dollar Financial (9.8), and Rent-A-Center (10.1).

CAPS member FoolishElephant elaborates on the Advance America bull case:

[T]his payday loan outlet has made nice adjustments to new state regulations by quickly closing locations and managing operating costs. Like many companies, the end of the recession will help them: low/mid-income people who deal in cash are their best customers; people without jobs are not. The fact remains that their target customers will continue to require short term credit (don't most people, businesses, governments?). Large and medium banks aren't offering much competition with their balance sheet woes and the similar scrutiny of their credit card businesses.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.