A 2009 study by University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Adair Morse 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.
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To prevent usury (unreasonable and excessive rates of interest), some jurisdictions limit the annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge. Some jurisdictions outlaw payday lending entirely, and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders. In the United States, the rates of these loans used to be restricted in most states by the Uniform Small Loan Laws (USLL), with 36–40% APR generally the norm.
With a title loan, the amount you qualify for depends on an assessment of your car’s value. Loans range from a few hundred dollars to $10,000. A standard title loan is due in full after 30 days. This includes the finance charge, which can be as much as $125 for a $500 loan – that means you’ll pay $625 total when the loan is due. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, the average APR on title loans is around 300%.
Instead of getting a payday loan, you can apply for a line of credit, a service Speedy Cash offers in select states. A line of credit differs from a payday or installment loan in that you only pay interest on the amount you use, not the total you’re eligible to borrow. Like payday loans, the fees you pay on a line of credit vary from state to state – depending on the regulations in your state, you can end up paying as little as $13 or as much as $22 for every $100 you borrow. An advantage of a line of credit is you only draw the money you need and only pay back what you borrow, which gives you some flexibility.
While credit counseling agencies spend their time helping consumers get out of debt, these kinds of loans can present unique challenges. “It’s not a traditional loan with set guidelines in terms of how they work with us,” explains Fox. In spite of those challenges, there are things a credit counseling agency can do to help you get out of payday loan debt:
Once you’ve submitted the requirements and satisfy the conditions, you just need to fill out the application form online or in person in the loan store. Lenders generally process the applications immediately and get back with a decision in a few minutes. Depending on the lender, you will get the borrowed funds in a few hours or by the next business day.
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However, there are ways these loans can affect your credit, especially if you can’t keep up with your payments. Part of getting a payday loan involves leaving a post-dated check, or giving the lender access to your checking account if you apply online. When the loan comes due, the lender deposits the check or withdraws what you owe. If you don’t have enough in your account to cover the amount you owe, you could bounce a check or overdraw your account.
Another way lenders increase the amount you pay on installment loans is by adding origination or acquisition fees. This fee is usually a flat dollar amount added at the beginning of the loan. The Pew study saw origination fees that range from 1 to 46 percent of the loan amount. Origination fees vary from state to state, but lenders charge the maximum allowable in each state.
If you are unable to pay your loan when it is due, Moneytree offers a payment plan for payday loans only. You must request a payment plan before the deposit time on the day your loan is due to restructure the payment terms to at least four (4) substantially equal payments. You may choose this option once per 12-month period. There is no charge to enter into the payment plan.
In 2014 several firms were reprimanded and required to pay compensation for illegal practices; Wonga.com for using letters untruthfully purporting to be from solicitors to demand payment—a formal police investigation for fraud was being considered in 2014—and Cash Genie, owned by multinational EZCorp, for a string of problems with the way it had imposed charges and collected money from borrowers who were in arrears.