If an EPP isn’t an option, you may want to talk with a credit counseling agency. Credit counseling aims to help consumers better manage their finances, and a number of reputable organizations exist across the country. Services can include help with payday loan debts, budget creation and money management. Credit counseling is usually offered by many nonprofit organizations.
Extended payment plans allow borrowers to pay back the loan in installments for a longer period than their original loan agreement. Setting up an extended payment plan involves contacting the payday lender to work out an arrangement. While setting up the plan doesn’t typically involve a fee, defaulting on the payment plan can come with fees and penalties.
APR Disclosure. Some states have laws limiting the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) that a lender can charge you. APRs for cash advance loans range from 200% and 1386%, and APRs for installment loans range from 6.63% to 225%. Loans from a state that has no limiting laws or loans from a bank not governed by state laws may have an even higher APR. The APR is the rate at which your loan accrues interest and is based upon the amount, cost and term of your loan, repayment amounts and timing of payments. Lenders are legally required to show you the APR and other terms of your loan before you execute a loan agreement. APR rates are subject to change.
Restructure the payback. Fox says that payday lenders who are members of the CFSA “seem to be more lenient” and are “more apt to try to work with people.” Those lenders will often “restructure to pay back (the balance) over six to twelve months when coming through our program.” But he also adds that this applies in only about 40–50% of the payday debt situations clients are dealing with.
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.
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Financial Implications – The cost associated with short term loans of up to $500 can range from 15% to 40%, and these costs may climb even higher for loans that are greater than $500 in value. Before you sign your agreement, you should check these fees carefully. Similarly, there may also be charges applied for nonsufficient funds. As an example, if your $100 loan is 15 days past due, you may be assessed a charge that is equal to 10% of the principle balance as well as a $25 nonsufficient funds fee.
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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.
However, despite the tendency to characterize payday loan default rates as high, several researchers have noted that this is an artifact of the normal short term of the payday product, and that during the term of loans with longer periods there are frequently points where the borrower is in default and then becomes current again. Actual charge offs are no more frequent than with traditional forms of credit, as the majority of payday loans are rolled over into new loans repeatedly without any payment applied to the original principal.
According to a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Most payday loan borrowers [in the United States] are white, female, and are 25 to 44 years old. However, after controlling for other characteristics, there are five groups that have higher odds of having used a payday loan: those without a four-year college degree; home renters; African Americans; those earning below $40,000 annually; and those who are separated or divorced." Most borrowers use payday loans to cover ordinary living expenses over the course of months, not unexpected emergencies over the course of weeks. The average borrower is indebted about five months of the year.
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