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What are payday loans? You know those “get cash fast” places you hear about? Those are payday loan lenders — and they are not your friend. Payday lending depends on desperate people with few other options to keep their doors open.
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Consider a cash advance
If you have a credit card, a cash advance loan may be the answer. Cash advances typically carry a higher interest rate than regular credit card purchases, so we wouldn’t normally suggest you take one out. However, when the choice is between a cash advance with an APR of 30% or a payday loan with an APR of 400% or more, a cash advance is the clear winner. Most cash advances come with fees and begin to accrue interest immediately, so make it a point to pay it off as quickly as possible.
Turn to friends and family
If you need only enough to get you through until your next payday, help from a friend or family member might be the ticket. Before you borrow, though, make sure you can repay the loan as promised. There are few things worse than leaving someone else in the lurch because you couldn’t uphold your end of the deal.
Check charitable organizations
Let’s say you paid to repair your car but now don’t have money to feed your family. A number of organizations offer services to help. There’s aid available for just about everything — from groceries to utility bills to transportation. Need Help Paying Bills offers a long list of organizations, who they help, and how to contact them.
Apply for a bad credit loan
As mentioned, borrowers with poor credit scores may still qualify for a personal loan for bad credit. Your interest rate is likely to be high, but it’s better than paying 400% interest.
- You’ll know exactly how much your monthly payment will be and when the loan will be paid in full.
- You can “set it and forget it” by scheduling automatic monthly payments from your bank account.
- If you want to pay the loan off quickly, you can choose a short loan term.
- Personal loans are available from local banks, credit unions, and online lenders.
- You can avoid a predatory high interest rate.
- As long as you stick to the repayment plan, your credit score is likely to go up.
In short, trying one of these options instead of becoming a victim of predatory payday loans is good for your bottom line.
The Ascent’s Best Personal Loans for 2021
The Ascent team vetted the market to bring you a shortlist of the best personal loan providers. Whether you’re looking to pay off debt faster by slashing your interest rate or needing some extra money to tackle a big purchase, these best-in-class picks can help you reach your financial goals. Click here to get the full rundown on The Ascent’s top picks.