From time to time a person can come up a little short on cash before their next paycheck is due to come in. One solution to this is a payday loan. There are several different places that offer payday loans. It works somewhat like a cash advance only it comes through a different business rather than through your employer. These are specialized businesses set up to give you loans based on the fact that you are going to receive another pay check. Some are based on the Internet, others are businesses that you walk in to and do business with face to face. The money that they offer can be used anywhere from one to four weeks.
These companies may seem like an easy way to get rid of a bounced check, avoid a late payment, or even help yourself out of a bad credit situation. Many of them will even give you a loan if you have bad credit, no credit at all, or even if you have claimed bankruptcy. As long as you have an income and can prove it they will likely give you a short-term loan.
The biggest problem with these loans is that they have a very high interest rate. Their excuse is that it is because you are borrowing the money for a very short time. The average rate of these loans is usually 300% APR. Because of this you will actually end up owing more in interest than what you borrowed in the first place. Many people will end up having to extend the loan, which will cause them to go more in to debt than they were when they went to the loan company.
When you go to the loan company to get the loan you show them proof of employment and then write them a postdated check for the amount that you are borrowing plus a fee. This fee is a lender fee but it does not include the interest rate. The fee really isn't that high but the interest rate will be. If you don't pay the interest rate the loan company will begin calling you or your place of employment to collect on the outstanding money owed.
If you need money and need it fast there are much better ways to go about it. This way may very well get you in a bind later on. The first way is to get a credit union loan. Many credit unions offer small loans much the same way as the payday loan companies do. There is one big difference though, the credit union loans will only charge about 15% APR as compared to 300% of the short-term payday loan companies. This, of course, makes them at least possible to pay off, unlike the short-term payday loan. If you all ready have an account with the credit union you have the option to borrow from your own account. If you do this you have an even lower APR rate. You even earn dividends back on your savings when you pay back the loan if you do it this way.
Another way to avoid going to a payday loan company is by using a credit card advance. This means taking money out of your credit card and paying it back later. The APR is a little higher than with the credit union solution but still much less than with the payday loan company. The interest rate here would be about 20-25%. This option is something that you probably only want to do if you have a good credit score so that you don't make your credit score look bad. Especially if you think that you might not be able to pay it all back by your next payday.
You can also avoid going to payday loan companies by using resources that are all ready available to you. Many banks have overdraft protection available to their patrons. This means that if you write a check without funds in the checking account the bank will give you an automatic loan for the amount of the check to cover it. Then you pay back this loan over time. It may also be just as effective to talk to the people where you owe the money. They may be very willing to cut you some slack and take partial payments on what you owe or give you a grace period. Many places can be very flexible.
While payday lenders can be a very convenient way to get money the huge interest rate and the automatic permission that you give them to contact you and your employer when you sign the papers for the loan. This is an instance where the end may not justify the means.
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Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Payday Loans at www.easygovernmentgrants.com
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