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Before you apply, ensure that you won’t have any problems in repaying the loan. If you think you might have trouble, don’t take out the loan. Late or missed payments come with increased fees, charges and interest rates on top of negatively impacting your credit. Always work the repayment schedule into your budget, and the best loans will remain the best.
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 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded that, "We ... test whether payday lending fits our definition of predatory. We find that in states with higher payday loan limits, less educated households and households with uncertain income are less likely to be denied credit, but are not more likely to miss a debt payment. Absent higher delinquency, the extra credit from payday lenders does not fit our definition of predatory." The caveat to this is that with a term of under 30 days there are no payments, and the lender is more than willing to roll the loan over at the end of the period upon payment of another fee. The report goes on to note that payday loans are extremely expensive, and borrowers who take a payday loan are at a disadvantage in comparison to the lender, a reversal of the normal consumer lending information asymmetry, where the lender must underwrite the loan to assess creditworthiness.