At one point or another everyone of has encountered this situation, not having enough money to make it to our next payday. A common solution to this problem that seems to becoming more popular is a payday loan. While a payday loan may be fast and convenient, it may not be the best solution.
A payday loan company offers to loan you money based upon repaying it and a service fee on your next payday. This often seems like a perfect solution until you look closer.
There is a simple reason as to why we are seeing more payday loan companies opening up and advertising so much. Payday loans are very profitable for those doing the lending due to the high interest rates and often end up being almost addictive for those borrowing the money. A recent national survey of payday loan companies found that only 37% of companies accurately reflected their interest rate. At most places the interest rates varied from 390% to 851% annually with the average being 474%.
Once you get into a payday loan agreement it is often hard to get out of it due to the amount that must be repaid at once. In fact 77% of people who borrow money from a payday loan company can not afford to repay it in full so they roll the loan. When your loan is rolled a portion of the total amount owed is paid and the remaining amount of the old balance, including the old service fees, plus the new service fees and interest rates are added on to a new loan. Obviously it is very difficult to pay down the loan when so much more is being added on to what is owed.
If you can not afford to repay any of your loan then you may receive an even bigger surprise than the interest rates. It is common practice for you to sign a wage agreement that allows the payday loan company to garnish as much of your pay as they wish without having to go to court. Another option available to most companies is charging you with fraud. In many areas it is fraud to write a check if you do not have the money in your account to cover the check and you may receive court order fines or even some jail time.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to borrow from a payday loan company then perhaps it is time to pause and reflect upon how you got to this point. Sometimes situations arise that you have no power over but more often it is a fault of bad financial planning. Now would be a good time to review your monthly budget and try to see what went wrong and what you can do to prevent the problem from occurring again.
Depending upon your situation, there may be better options for you than a payday loan. For example, if you have a little time to wait, you may be able to use funds in your 401K plan. Funds withdrawn from your 401K you are only taxed at 10% and if you make arrangements with your payroll department to repay the withdrawal from your 401K then it is not taxable at all.
Before getting a payday loan make sure you have examined all of your options. Do you really need this loan? Is there a mistake on your credit report preventing you from getting a normal loan or credit card? Can you change your monthly budget to avoid the financial problem you are experiencing? Payday loans may seem like a convenient option but a steep price comes with that convenience.
About the Author
Jakob Jelling is the founder of http://www.cashbazar.com. Visit his website for the latest on personal finance, debt elimination, budgeting, credit cards and real estate.
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