A payday loan or cash advance is a small, short-term financial instrument that allows a borrower to cover his or her expenses until the next paycheck. Typically, the amounts of such loans range of $100 to $1500, on 10-14 days term and have enough high interest rates (APR) from 390 to 900 percent.
Payday lending is regulated at the state level – each state has its own laws regarding payday loans. Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress passed a law in October 2006 that limits lending to military personnel at 36% APR. The Defense Department was concerned that payday lenders could cause financial challenges for soldiers and even jeopardize security clearances irchss.ie.
Some federal banking regulators are trying to limit or prohibit payday loans not just for military personnel, but for all customers. The high interest rates are considered as a hard financial blow to the lower and middle class people who are the primary borrowers.
Lenders prove that payday loans are often the only available way to get money for customers with bad credit history or who can not obtain another lower-interest alternative, such as a bank loan or a credit card. In their turn, critics say that the most of borrowers find themselves in a worse financial situation when they have to repay their loan. Many of them get trapped into a cycle of unsecured debt.
Statistics compiled by the Center for Responsible Lending show that the large part of the payday lending’s profit comes from repeat consumers who can not repay prior loans on the due date and instead prolong their loans, paying extra fees each time.
Customers come to a payday lending store and qualify for a small cash advance in the range of $100 to $500 with payment on the borrower’s next paycheck.
As loan charges, the customer will pay from $15 to $30 per $100 borrowed for 14 days period, which translates to interest rates of 390 to 780 percent (APR). On the due date the borrower returns to payday lending store and writes a check to his lender in the full amount of the cash advance plus charges.
If the borrower does not repay the loan, the lender may process the check traditionally or through electronic withdrawal from the borrower’s bank account.
If there is not enough money to cover the check at the checking account, the customer will face extra fees from his bank in addition to the costs of the loan. Meanwhile, the most of payday lenders offer an extended payment plan with no additional fees for customers who can not pay out their loan at the due date.
In several states like Washington, extended payment plans are required by state law.
You can get a payday loan not only from payday lending store, but online through special lending websites. Typically, a customer fills out a simple online application form, where he or she indicates required personal and bank account information, Social Security number and employer information. Some lenders require fax copies of a check, a recent bank statement, and signed paperwork. After instant approving the loan amount is direct deposited into the borrower’s checking account. On the due date loan payment with fees is electronically withdrawn from borrower’s account.