Payday loans are typically for between $100 and $1000. Due to the short length of the loan, the APR will also appear significantly higher ranging from hundred up to around 2000%. While the APR does seem high, it actually isn’t as bad as it sounds because the loan is paid off so quickly. Don’t confuse these with personal loans, which are typically for a higher dollar amount and spread out over a much longer period of time. One other thing to note about payday loans is that they are highly regulated by the states. Each state has its own rules and regulations and they can vary quite significantly. The following are a few examples of state regulations:
However, despite the tendency to characterize payday loan default rates as high, several researchers have noted that this is an artifact of the normal short term of the payday product, and that during the term of loans with longer periods there are frequently points where the borrower is in default and then becomes current again. Actual charge offs are no more frequent than with traditional forms of credit, as the majority of payday loans are rolled over into new loans repeatedly without any payment applied to the original principal.
Depending on the nature of your need, if what you’re looking for is quick cash, you may be able to take out a cash advance on your credit card. A cash advance is basically a small cash loan from your credit card company. It looks similar to a credit card purchase (there will likely be a cap on how much you can draw based on your credit limit) but comes with additional fees and an often larger interest rate.
If you find yourself in a situation where you're considering a payday loan, explore alternatives first. If you have emergency expenses, consider using a credit card or finding a cosigner for a personal loan. These have lower interest rates and don’t put you in as much of a bind as payday loans. The balloon payment when the term of your payday loan expires can leave you short when your next paycheck arrives, which can force you into taking out another to pay for your expenses. In cases like this, making minimum payments on a credit card, while not ideal, is a better option than being caught in a payday loan debt trap.
These loans require repayment of the principal and a fee measured as a fixed dollar amount per $100 borrowed. Military personnel are no less susceptible to these loans than civilian consumers. In 2010, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority report found that 32 percent of enlisted and junior NCO respondents used non-bank borrowing and 11 percent of them had used a payday loan. Of civilian respondents, 9 percent had used a payday loan.
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