6. Beware of scams. It can be difficult to spot a scam among legitimate online lenders. Scammers may not offer you a loan, but instead take the highly private personal and credit information you provided and sell it for misuse. A company may be a scam if it requires upfront fees, ignores your payment history, initiates contact or contacts you nonstop, asks you to pay with a prepaid card or isn’t registered in your state.
RISE also offers tools to help you build your credit. You can sign up for Credit Score Plus, which lets you check your TransUnion score and sends you alerts when something impacts your credit. Having bad credit can close avenues to less costly loans, so having tools that help you improve your credit can help you avoid paying the expensive rates payday lenders charge.
Only 12 percent of all borrowers in the CFPB white paper had an annual income of $10,000 or less. Surprisingly, the $10,000 to $20,000 income bracket comprised 31 percent of borrowers. The $20,000 to $30,000 bracket accounted for 25 percent of borrowers. Note that borrowers only report their income when applying for a loan and not the income of their household. Nevertheless, it’s no surprise that the aforementioned income brackets make up 68 percent of payday loan borrowers. The industry depends on low-income consumers. Don’t let it depend on you.
Keep in mind that even the best payday lender is still extremely expensive, and you should try to find other options before visiting one. Fees vary depending on state regulations. In some states, such as Oregon, you pay around $13 for every $100 you borrow. In other states, such as Texas and Wisconsin, Check Into Cash charges $25 for every $100 you borrow. This puts the lender at about the industry average for payday loan fees. It doesn’t appear to take advantage of states with less stringent payday lending laws like Utah. We didn’t see fees greater than $25, which, while expensive, isn’t the highest we saw in our research.