Dallas, Texas - home of professional sports teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and the Dallas Stars. The city is known for its amazing shopping opportunities, superb dining, and wide, open spaces. Nearby attractions include Six Flags over Texas, Hurricane Harbor, and the Dallas Zoo. However, the citizens of Dallas also have significant amounts of debt, with the average Texan owing $5,960 in credit card debt in 2015. It is easy to get into debt, but it seems almost impossible to get out of debt. In times of financial need, people in Dallas may resort to payday loans to solve their financial problems. However, these loans have a reputation for leading borrowers into a vicious cycle of debt. There is an alternative to payday loans that is a much better choice.
The CFPB has issued several enforcement actions against payday lenders for reasons such as violating the prohibition on lending to military members and aggressive collection tactics. The CFPB also operates a website to answer questions about payday lending. In addition, some states have aggressively pursued lenders they felt violate their state laws.
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Payday loans can be very costly. Loan amounts generally range from $50 to $1,000, depending on state laws. Fees also depend on state laws, but the structure might be something like $15 per $100 borrowed, and some states may cap how high the fee goes. Because the loans have such short terms, the cost of borrowing is generally high. A typical payday loan with a two-week term and a $15 per $100 fee has an annual percentage rate (APR) of nearly 400%, according to the CFPB. (Here’s a primer on how interest rates work.)
Depending on the lender, you should receive your funds within a few days, though it could vary from one business day up to several weeks. Funds will typically be deposited into the checking account you specify during the loan process, and they can then be withdrawn as cash, spent via your bank card, or used to make payments and purchases online like any other funds.
Payday loans are meant to give you access to money short term, until you get your next paycheck. Reasons for getting a payday loan range from unexpected expenses to working irregular hours at your job. But more often than you’d think, these loans don’t get paid off after two weeks and need to be rolled over into another loan. If you can, avoid doing this – it can result in you being stuck in a cycle of debt, and you’ll end up paying much more in fees than the amount you borrowed.
Several companies, including TrueConnect and HoneyBee, offer cash advance loans to employees. These can be for as much as $2,500, and they have repayment periods of up to three months. You pay a fee of around 5%, up to $50. These loans also have the advantage of being reported to credit bureaus, so they can help you build your credit score. Payday loans aren’t reported to the credit bureaus.
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You’ll sign an ACH authorization to give the payday lender permission to withdraw the repayment amount from your checking or savings account. Unless the lender allows you make repayments by check, you will need to sign this authorization. Before you sign the authorization, make sure you know how much will be debited and on what dates, whether this amount will repay your loan or simply renew it, and also how to revoke the authorization (federal law requires lenders to state this).
Though regulated at the state and federal level, there are still payday lenders that attempt to skirt the rules. Some are online-only lenders based in other countries. Other lenders work around state laws by operating out of Native American reservations. Be wary of brokers that offer to connect you with lending partners – this can result in a lot of calls and emails about offers.