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.
However, these advantages are tempered by several heavy disadvantages. Payday loans usually accrue high rates of interest. The United Kingdom's average annual interest rate for payday loans ranges from 30% to as much as 60%. Moreover, payday loans generally have very short repayment terms, generally from two weeks to a month (Hence the name - the loan should be repaid upon receiving your employer's next paydate).
4. Stay on top of your payments. Commit to a loan length that you know will work for your budget. For instance, if your loan length is three years, do the math and see if you can manage to pay it off in two. If there are no prepayment fees, you’ll save on the interest. However, if you can’t, your credit won’t be affected negatively and you’ll still be adhering to the terms of the loan.
Though payday loans can be used for a wide range of purposes, they’re generally designed to cover unexpected expenses. Common uses include forgotten bills, car repairs, medical expenses or any other sudden event. You shouldn’t use payday loans to fix long-term issues in affording your credit, for day-to-day expenses or for a big-ticket item like a car or house.

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Signature loans, or installment loans, are not regulated by the same law. Lenders that make installment loans can charge 27 percent interest on loans up to $2,910. This interest rate is similar to a high-interest credit card. However, signature loans can have a prepayment fee, which lets the lender charge you extra money if you pay the loan back early.
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
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Although some have noted that these loans appear to carry substantial risk to the lender,[7][8] it has been shown that these loans carry no more long term risk for the lender than other forms of credit.[9][10][11] These studies seem to be confirmed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings of at least one lender, who notes a charge-off rate of 3.2%.[12]

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