You may have considered a payday loan or cash advance to get you through a tough time or to pay for an emergency medical expense or repair on your car. Payday loans can be obtained fairly quickly, sometimes on the same day as the request, and can sometimes be a lifesaver. You need to know what to expect before you apply.
First, shop around for the company that offers you the best terms and conditions. Don't worry if you have bad credit or no credit. There are companies out there that offer fair terms to people who have had some financial difficulty in the past. Most likely you will need to prove your income. Be prepared to fax information to the lender if it is requested. Most will require faxed information, but some advertise that they are a faxless lender. You do need to have a steady source of income to qualify for just about any loan, including payday loans and cash advances.
If you think that you'll be overwhelmed by fine print, just keep a few key rules of thumb in mind. Some companies charge a penalty if you choose to pay the loan off early. If you're not aware of the penalty, you could end up paying more than you anticipated. Try to stick to companies that boast they have no early payoff penalty. If your credit is good, then you can most likely take out a conventional loan at your bank for a lower annual percentage rate. However, it usually takes a lot longer to get your money. If you need it fast and you think you'll be able to pay it back rather quickly, then a payday loan or cash advance may be right for you.
Paying off your loan on time can help build your credit. If you take out a payday loan that helps you to make another loan or credit card payment on time, then you could avoid a late fee or bounced check fee that would have cost you more than you ended up paying in interest on the payday loan. Plus, making a credit card payment late hurts your credit even more. Just be very careful not to borrow more than you can pay back. Payday lenders make most of their money off of people that can't afford to pay back their loans on time. If you're responsible about it, then a payday loan could really help you out of a bind.
Some companies may require that you write them a check in advance. Let's say that you want to borrow five hundred dollars. They may require you to send them a post-dated check for six hundred dollars, which they will cash on your next payday. Other companies will only verify that you have a checking account. Then, you can payoff the loan at anytime. This can be helpful if there's no early payoff penalty and you don't want to get stuck with more interest than is absolutely necessary. Choose carefully, ask questions and get as much information as possible before borrowing, and you can use the payday loan system to your advantage.