You can’t always predict when an emergency will occur, but you can prepare for it. Ideally, you should keep enough money to cover your household expenses for two months or more in a savings account. If that goal is too high, aim to save at least the amount of one paycheck. It is also a good idea to have a few credit cards available for unexpected costs.
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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.
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.
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.
People from all walks of life generally use their payday loan for emergency expenses, including doctor bills, utility payments, rent payments, or to avoid bouncing a check (or checks) at their financial institution. The fees associated with a payday loan can often be the most affordable option for a customer who may otherwise encounter NSF fees from the bank or late fees on a credit card.
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.