If you are behind on your bills or are drowning in credit card debt, chances are you might have been tempted to take out a payday loan. A payday loan is typically a loan between $100 to $500 that you have to pay back from your next paycheck. But, payday loans can be more damaging than they are helpful since many have interest rates that exceed 400%.
What Is a Payday Loan?
Payday loans are a short-term borrowing solution where you obtain a high-interest loan based on your credit profile and income. They may also be referred to as check or cash advance loans. The loan amount is usually a portion of your next paycheck. As mentioned, these loans can carry crazy interest rates for short-term borrowing.
Finding Better Alternatives
Some individuals can not afford to pay payday loans off within a couple of weeks. So, they either roll the loan over or take another payday loan out to pay off the first one.
There are alternatives you can try rather than taking out a payday loan.. They include:
- Ask Family or Friends
Ask a family member or friend if they would be willing to make a short-term loan to help you out of a tough situation. If they agree, you should always put the loan agreement in writing, provide them a time period where you will be able to repay the loan and offer to pay them a reasonable, but friendly, interest rate. This ensures reliability and trust. If they can not help you out financially, perhaps they could help with things like:
- Sharing meals
- Free child care
- Other assistance
- Sell Valuable Belongings
You can sell valuable items through a yard sale or at a pawn shop. You can put your belongings up for auction on sites like Craigslist or eBay. Selling belongings for fast cash is definitely a better solution than taking out a payday loan, especially if they are items you do not need.
- Try a Payday Alternative Loan (PAL)
The National Credit Union Administration regulates PALs. It created the program in the year 2010. However, the loans must be:
- Given in amounts between $200 and $1,000.
- Issued only to people who have been members of the credit union for a minimum of a month.
- Affordable, with a 28% maximum annual percentage rate and no more than a $20 application fee, which will reflect the actual processing cost.
- Provided to individuals one at a time; people can not receive more than three PALs within a six month period.
- Provide no rollovers; they must be repaid completely after one to six installment months.
- Get a Second Source of Income
A temporary or additional part-time job might be needed for covering extra expenses. Today, there are a lot of side gig opportunities, including dog sitting, rideshare driving, and even grocery shopping. If you have substantial debt, you might require more funding than what a short-term payday loan can provide. Ask your family or friends if they can help watch your children so you can get a second job.
- Seek the Help of a Bank
Many banks, when you consult with them, will often help consumers with pending overdrafts. They might help you work a short-term solution out with reduced fees. But, you’ll never know until you ask them.
Remember, payday loans, while a standard solution for paying off debt, come at a high cost, and they can be more damaging than they are helpful. So, it is always better to seek alternatives to payday loans whenever possible.