A payday loan (also called a payday advance, salary loan, payroll loan, small dollar loan, short term, or cash advance loan) is a small, short-term unsecured loan, "regardless of whether repayment of loans is linked to a borrower's payday."[1][2][3] The loans are also sometimes referred to as "cash advances," though that term can also refer to cash provided against a prearranged line of credit such as a credit card. Payday advance loans rely on the consumer having previous payroll and employment records. Legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different countries, and in federal systems, between different states or provinces.
In the traditional retail model, borrowers visit a payday lending store and secure a small cash loan, with payment due in full at the borrower's next paycheck. The borrower writes a postdated check to the lender in the full amount of the loan plus fees. On the maturity date, the borrower is expected to return to the store to repay the loan in person. If the borrower does not repay the loan in person, the lender may redeem the check. If the account is short on funds to cover the check, the borrower may now face a bounced check fee from their bank in addition to the costs of the loan, and the loan may incur additional fees or an increased interest rate (or both) as a result of the failure to pay.
Compare offers from multiple lenders. Even if you have to get the money in a hurry, take some extra time and see which lender in your area or online is the most reliable and/or can offer you the best deal. Finding the loan that works best for you is important. You might even want to compare some lenders now before you’re hit with an emergency expense. That way, you can act quickly when you need to while staying confident that you’re getting the best deal available.

These lender-matching services are not lenders, loan brokers or agents for any lender or loan broker. They also do not make credit decisions. They focus on trying to match you with a lender that might be able to provide you the funds you seek. Note that the max loan amount is based on the matching services max amount and will vary based on your state of residence. If you proceed with one of these services, confirm that the lender is reputable by checking with your local government.
One of the most appealing aspects of payday loans is that they do not perform credit checks. The loans are meant to be short-term, so the loan terms often dictate that you repay with your next paycheck. You can ask for an extension, but additional fees will be added. This will increase the amount that you owe the lender and if you are still unable to pay your loan off upon your next due date then the cycle goes on.
This reinforces the findings of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) study from 2011 which found black and Hispanic families, recent immigrants, and single parents were more likely to use payday loans. In addition, their reasons for using these products were not as suggested by the payday industry for one time expenses, but to meet normal recurring obligations.[15]
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.

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.
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