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. 
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.
We spoke to John Fairbanks at the National Credit Union Administration who told us that “Many credit unions have their own programs to provide small-dollar, short-term loans, either in lieu of payday loans or as a means of helping members get rid of existing payday loans so they can begin to rehabilitate their credit.” Payday alternative loans are available through federal credit unions and have applications fees that are capped at $20 for the entire amount of the loan. State credit unions also offer similar short-term, small-dollar loans.
The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).
A payday loan is a very short-term loan option that you usually repay all at once when you get your next paycheck. About 1 in 8 Oklahomans have taken out a payday loan in the past. Since so many people use this type of small loan, we wanted to know more about payday lenders. We looked at over 300 reviews and researched payday lenders to learn about interest rates, the application process and customer service.
While lenders that offer bad credit loans typically require a minimum FICO score between 580 to 620, the average credit score of borrowers is higher, ranging from 600 to 700. The maximum debt-to-income ratio, which is the total of your monthly debt payments divided by your gross monthly income, allowed by bad credit lenders is higher than what is typically expected for applicants with good credit, ranging from 40 to 45 percent.
Colorado: The amount of payments will vary based on the loan amount, the number of payments and the length of the loan. Using a $300 loan as an example: If you borrow $300 to be repaid in 6 months, the total finance charges would be $209.44, with an APR (Annual Percentage Rate) of 208.00%.* The finance charges and APR are based upon you agreeing to make 13 payments of $36.39 due every two weeks and one final payment of $36.37.
Payday loans can be paid back from money borrowed from a different source, such as a credit union or family member. Alternatives to payday loans don’t erase the debt, but they may have more agreeable terms and interest rates. A variety of different loans are available for numerous financial scenarios. One could be useful in helping you escape the payday loan trap if your credit qualifies you.
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."[24] 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.
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