In a perfect world, you could rely on a credit card to cover emergency expenses. But, as you might have already guessed, most Americans don’t have that kind of available credit on hand to use either. In fact, according to a Harvard University study, nearly 40 percent of households making less than $40,000 a year have no credit cards at all.2 And one in ten Americans have no credit score whatsoever!3
And even if you can repay it, that repayment will take a huge bite out of your next paycheck. If you count on that paycheck for rent, groceries, and other daily expenses (and who doesn’t?), then paying back your payday loan will leave you right back where your started: running low on money until your next payday! That could mean no money for gas to get to work, no money for groceries, maybe even no money for rent—sounds pretty bad, right?
With alternative payday loans, you may have the option to refinance your loan if you’re making payments consistently on time. Refinancing your loan could lower your interest rate and help you save on the overall amount of the interest paid on the loan. You can also extend the length of the loan, which would lower your monthly payments but result in paying more in overall interest.
The term signature loan is often interchanged with personal loan. Some people also call it loan of good faith as lender banks on your good faith to pay the loan and nothing more. Regardless, a signature loan is an unsecured loan that typically has so few qualification requirements that all you need to qualify is your signature and the promise that you’ll repay the loan. A signature loan allows you to borrow a larger amount of money than a payday loan and you can pay it back over a longer loan term. You can then use the loan for any purpose such as celebrating your anniversary, going on vacation, funding education or consolidating your debt.
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.