Ashley Dull is the editor-in-chief of BadCredit.org, where she oversees a team of finance experts and journalists who develop in-depth industry profiles and advice articles read by more than 15 million Americans. Her years of experience reporting on consumer credit scores and reports positions Ashley to make smart recommendations on ways to improve one’s credit and avoid predatory lending. She is often asked to serve as an expert source on financial topics for national media outlets, including CNN Money, MarketWatch, Money Matters, ABC News, and NBC News, and is a regular contributor to several leading finance websites. Connect with Ashley on Twitter and LinkedIn.
The legislation for short-term loans differs between states. Some states, like New York, prohibit payday loans altogether. Others restrict how much payday lenders can charge or impose other regulations to protect borrowers. Many states allow payday lending without heavy regulations. Learn more about the payday loan regulations in your state or go to our loan by city directory to find options where you live.
If you already have existing credit card debt and you’re in need of emergency funds, but you have average to good credit, consider the Discover it® Balance Transfer card. The card offers an extended, 18-month window for you to transfer and pay off existing debt. And cardholders even enjoy 0% intro APR period for their first six months on purchases. (After both introductory periods end, ongoing APR is 13.99% – 24.99% variable.)
When you have bad credit, obtaining new credit can be challenging. People with bad credit often find it difficult to get approved for a loan, as there is a limited number of lenders that offer bad credit loans. When people with bad credit are approved for a loan, there are typically higher interest rates, more fees and greater restrictions than personal loans for people with good credit.
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.
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Ask yourself if it really is an emergency. Payday loans can be helpful for one-time emergency costs such as medical fees, but are not a good idea for funding unnecessary expenses. Is it possible to wait to repair your car or pay your bills until you receive your next paycheck? A late fee on a bill may be cheaper than a finance charge for a payday loan. Think about other ways to borrow money, keeping in mind they’ll have different fees and pros and cons.
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Filing for personal bankruptcy may be an option if your debt is completely out of control, but keep in mind that it comes with some serious consequences. While bankruptcy may help you escape payday loans and other debts owed, it also means a huge blemish on your credit reports for up to 10 years in some cases. That can result in you being denied future credit, mortgages and other financial opportunities. It can even make things like auto insurance more expensive. That’s why it’s best to exhaust all other possible options before making this choice.

Nobody likes being in debt, but it’s even worse when it seems like there’s no way out. Twelve million Americans turn to payday loans every year, spending $9 billion on loan fees, according to a recent report by the Pew Charitable Trusts, because few of these loans are paid off by their due date. In fact, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau notes more than 60% of borrowers end up trapped in payday loan debt, rolling over the loan so many times that they end up paying more in fees than their initial loan amount.


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Payday loans have been in the news a lot recently, but not all short-term loans carry the same risks. LendUp Loans are an alternative to traditional payday loans from a licensed lender. A typical payday loan is exactly that: You borrow money against your next paycheck. However, borrowing against your paycheck often imposes several restrictions on this type of lending:
The USA PATRIOT Act is a federal law that requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account. You will be asked to provide your name, address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify you. You may also be asked to provide documentation as proof of identification. Approval is contingent upon successfully passing this mandatory identification confirmation.
Title loans are very risky. Because you use your vehicle as collateral, it can be taken by the lender if you don’t make your payment or come to an alternative arrangement. Often, that means rolling over your loan. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau studied title loans and found that over 20 percent end in a car being repossessed. Only 12 percent of borrowers pay off the loan without having to renew. More than a third of borrowers end up taking out more than seven loans, meaning they have to pay nearly as much in fees as they borrowed in the first place.
Editor’s Note: Top Ten Reviews recommends avoiding payday loans as much as possible and suggests looking for alternatives before getting one. If you are looking for a payday loan to pay bills or other expenses, we recommend exploring getting a personal loan. Before applying for a payday loan for an emergency expense, we recommend considering a cash advance on your credit card or an overdraft line of credit. If you’re considering a payday loan because you have inconsistent paychecks, we recommend checking out some new apps that help even out paychecks. Many credit unions offer payday alternative loans that are less expensive. If you already have payday loans and continue to roll them over, we recommend contacting a credit counseling agency. 
Many of the lenders in our network stick with in-house debt collection practices rather than selling your debt to an outside collection agency, and they will never sue you or threaten criminal charges against you. Your lender may attempt to collect your debt via email, postal mail, telephone, or text message, and they may offer you a settlement so that you can repay your debt over time. All of our lenders are required to adhere to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act which protects you from harassment. You can contact your lender for more information about its specific policies.
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We recommend exploring alternatives before getting a payday loan. These are expensive loans with high fees, and they can catch you up in a cycle of taking out new loans to pay off previous ones. Each state regulates payday loans differently – some outright ban them. As such, depending on where you live, the costs vary widely. With this in mind, our pick for the top payday lender is Check Into Cash. It is the most broadly available lender, with stores and online loans available in 32 states. It offers a variety of payday loans, installment loans and lines of credit.
You typically face an emergency situation when you seek out short-term loans, so find out the payday lender's response time for support issues. Delayed replies make it harder to get the money you need in time. ##Clear borrowing terms## Are you forced to investigate the fine print to discover all relevant loan terms? The best companies that offer payday loans give you an easily-understood contract. You know exactly how much you'll pay, your payment due dates and other relevant information.
A 2009 study by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Adair Morse[52] found that in natural disaster areas where payday loans were readily available consumers fared better than those in disaster zones where payday lending was not present. Not only were fewer foreclosures recorded, but such categories as birth rate were not affected adversely by comparison. Moreover, Morse's study found that fewer people in areas served by payday lenders were treated for drug and alcohol addiction.
While having a co-signer can boost your chances of a loan with more favorable terms and rates, there are drawbacks. These include potentially damaging the personal relationship with the co-signer as well as their credit if you default on the loan. Co-signers and borrowers should understand the terms of the loan and repercussions before taking out a loan.
If your employer works with any of these companies, it’s a good option to take advantage of their services since they are less expensive in the long term than a payday loan. Still, if you find yourself taking advantage of these services regularly or your employer doesn’t offer them, you may want to look at your finances, make a budget or look for additional ways to earn income. 

LendUp rewards responsible actions. With the LendUp Ladder, we strive to provide a path for customers in eligible states to move up and earn access to apply for more money at a lower cost. See The LendUp Ladder for details. Finding the best payday loan doesn't have to be difficult when you know what to look for. Spend some time researching your options before you find yourself in a critical situation so you'll have all the information you need to get help as quickly as possible. Consider payday loan alternatives like LendUp.
Before you dive into a product marketed as a one-stop financial Band-Aid, consider your alternatives. Though they aren’t significantly better, installment loans can come with slightly less egregious terms and more manageable payments. While it may requires a level of humility and openness, asking to borrow from friends or family could be another possibility. Better damaged pride than ruined finances.
A staff report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded that payday loans should not be categorized as "predatory" since they may improve household welfare.[45] "Defining and Detecting Predatory Lending" reports "if payday lenders raise household welfare by relaxing credit constraints, anti-predatory legislation may lower it." The author of the report, Donald P. Morgan, defined predatory lending as "a welfare reducing provision of credit." However, he also noted that the loans are very expensive, and that they are likely to be made to under-educated households or households of uncertain income.
According to the CFB, more than 80 percent of payday loans are rolled over. When you roll over a loan, you pay the finance charge and have another two weeks to pay back the initial amount. For example, if you take out $200 with a $40 charge, you’d normally pay $240 at the end of a two-week period. If you can’t pay it all back, you pay the $40 and rollover the $200 while also taking on another $40 finance charge. If you pay that loan back, you end up paying a total of $280.
The basic loan process involves a lender providing a short-term unsecured loan to be repaid at the borrower's next payday. Typically, some verification of employment or income is involved (via pay stubs and bank statements), although according to one source, some payday lenders do not verify income or run credit checks.[13] Individual companies and franchises have their own underwriting criteria.
If an EPP isn’t an option, you may want to talk with a credit counseling agency. Credit counseling aims to help consumers better manage their finances, and a number of reputable organizations exist across the country. Services can include help with payday loan debts, budget creation and money management. Credit counseling is usually offered by many nonprofit organizations.
According to the CFB, more than 80 percent of payday loans are rolled over. When you roll over a loan, you pay the finance charge and have another two weeks to pay back the initial amount. For example, if you take out $200 with a $40 charge, you’d normally pay $240 at the end of a two-week period. If you can’t pay it all back, you pay the $40 and rollover the $200 while also taking on another $40 finance charge. If you pay that loan back, you end up paying a total of $280.
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