Many people, at some time or another, will run into an emergency where cash is needed fast. This is especially true when the economy is bleak. A payday loan is one way to get quick cash and it is attractive for the person who no longer has a credit card to fall back on due to its balance being over limit or the account closed. A payday loan is one where you borrow money and pay it back at your next payday which is typically in a span of two weeks. Payday loan companies oftentimes advertise that they are here to help but do they really provide true help? Are they are wise choice? Let's look at the facts about payday loans to see.
The cost of the loan will be very expensive. Annual percentage rates on this type of loan vary but will typically be above 300% APR. For example, let's say that you borrow $300 until your next payday in two weeks. The lender advertises a loan fee of $30 per $100 borrowed. If you repay the loan within two weeks, you will pay a total of $390 which means an APR of 780%.
They are rarely offered to the unemployed. You might see some who offer payday loans to the unemployed but these advertisements are mostly found in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it is highly unlikely that you will be able to get such a loan without a job. A lender would consider the unemployed person's situation too risky. Also, the U.S. Treasury Department does examinations on the books of lenders and with all the recent economic troubles caused by bad loans it is possible for the lender to get into serious trouble for taking on borrowers who are high-risk. Check the lender's service agreement to see if they offer unemployed paydays loans if this is really what you want to do.
Likewise, it is rare for a self-employed person to qualify. A person who is self-employed is also somewhat of a loan risk because of cash flow fluctuations. A self-employed person doesn't get a regular paycheck which in most cases disqualifies him from getting a payday loan. However, some companies will approve a loan if the applicant can provide proof of sufficient cash flow over previous months.
Be careful because of the addictive nature of payday loans. Since they are so easy to get if you have a job, a person can quickly learn to rely on them as a quick fix to financial trouble. What typically happens is the fan of this type of loan gets quick money and then when the due date for repayment arrives he doesn't have the money. In this case, the lender lets you roll it into another loan for a two-week period (unpaid interest included). For the borrower, finance charges will rapidly accrue. Lenders don't allow unlimited rollovers and eventually the principal along with all accumulated finance charges will be due. This is the point where the borrower realizes he was addicted to easy cash.
Are these loans really a wise choice? If you pay off a payday loan and don't roll it over, it can be a good tool to get quick cash to pay for emergency expenses. However, a payday loan should only be your last resort. There are other avenues you can try first. For example, if you still have credit available on one of your credit cards, a cash advance would be better than a payday loan because the interest is nowhere near as high. Another option is using your checking account's overdraft protection. Some accounts will actually let you overdraft your account through an ATM if you have this coverage. Typically, they give you 30 days to pay what was advanced to you along with the overdraft fee.
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