If you need cash for an emergency situation, a short-term loan might be the best option. The interest rates are quite high, but if you realize you're going to overdraft your bank account multiple times within a few days, and get fees for each overdraft, then a payday loan might actually be a cheaper option. Make sure you have a plan to pay the loan off when it's due without getting further in debt. To save some money, look for lenders like Speedy Cash that have discounts if you're a new customer or if you pay off your loan early.
A payday loan (also called a payday advance, salary loan, payroll loan, small dollar loan, short term, or cash advance loan) is a small, short-term unsecured loan, "regardless of whether repayment of loans is linked to a borrower's payday."[1][2][3] The loans are also sometimes referred to as "cash advances," though that term can also refer to cash provided against a prearranged line of credit such as a credit card. Payday advance loans rely on the consumer having previous payroll and employment records. Legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different countries, and in federal systems, between different states or provinces.
As with any other loan, if you default on a payday loan, it can result in growing fees, penalties, and possible legal action. Because many payday loans use automatic debit payments to take funds directly out of a bank or prepaid account, you can also end up with overdraft fees on top of everything else. This can leave you without the funds you need to pay for necessities like food, childcare, and utilities. To top it all off, you may also experience a barrage of calls and threats from debt collectors.

Payday loans are meant to be short-term, unsecured loans. They are based on a pre-set automatic withdrawal from your bank account or a check held by the loan company for future deposit on a specific date. Borrowers either write a check to the lender or promise to pay back the amount borrowed, plus interest and any fees. Some companies will allow in-store payday loan customers to repay in cash at the store, in exchange for their post-dated check.


California: A payday loan costs approximately $17.65 per $100 borrowed. For example, a $100 loan due in 14 days would have a total repayment amount of $117.65 and has an APR (Annual Percentage Rate) of 460.16%.* Moneytree, Inc is licensed by the Department of Business Oversight pursuant to the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law to make consumer loans. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight pursuant to the California Finance Lenders Law to make business loans. Loans made or arranged pursuant to a California Financing Law license.
Payday loans should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Any advance of money obtained through a payday loan is not intended to meet long-term financial needs. A payday loan should only be used to meet immediate short-term cash needs. Refinancing a payday loan rather than paying the debt in full when due will require the payment of additional charges. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any payday loan transaction.

Extended payment plans allow borrowers to pay back the loan in installments for a longer period than their original loan agreement. Setting up an extended payment plan involves contacting the payday lender to work out an arrangement. While setting up the plan doesn’t typically involve a fee, defaulting on the payment plan can come with fees and penalties.
Making regular payments is a must, and consumers must refrain from using credit cards while in the program. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urges consumers to carefully review DMP terms and ensure creditors are willing to work within its confines before jumping in. Keep in mind this isn’t a quick fix. Paying off debt through a DMP can take years depending on how much debt you have.
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States have varying regulations in place to protect consumers when it comes to short-term loans. Payday loans are illegal in some state, while other states regulate or restrict them. Lenders, online or otherwise, must comply with these regulations when they consider you for a loan, so the state you live in will play a part in whether you are eligible.
Because every state regulates payday loans differently and each lender operates in different states, there’s no one-size-fits-all pricing. Some states have limits on how much a payday lender can charge, some have no limits and some have enough regulations in place that payday lenders don’t operate in them. This makes evaluating lenders on their rates difficult. With that in mind, we looked for the highest and lowest fee each lender charges. This gives a good baseline for how much you can expect to pay and how these lenders approach state regulations, especially in the states with no regulations. The fees we list apply to a $100 loan for a 14-day period. Many of these lenders offer additional products, including installment loans, lines of credit and check cashing. Installment loans are paid back bi-weekly or over several months. They are larger than payday loans but are often as expensive or more so. Over the course of paying back an installment loan, you often pay double the amount you borrowed. Some of the lenders we looked at, including RISE and LendUp, offer installment loans that have lower rates than standard payday loans.
Note that accounts closed in good standing stay on your credit report for 10 more years, so it doesn’t affect your credit age in the near term. After 10 years, the closed account will only lower your average age if you close old accounts and keep newer ones around. If you close newer accounts and keep the old ones open, this may actually help improve your credit score.
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.
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