In a perfect world, you could rely on a credit card to cover emergency expenses. But, as you might have already guessed, most Americans don’t have that kind of available credit on hand to use either. In fact, according to a Harvard University study, nearly 40 percent of households making less than $40,000 a year have no credit cards at all.2 And one in ten Americans have no credit score whatsoever!3

The minimum credit history varies among lenders for bad credit. For example, Upstart specializes in loans to those with short or no credit history, while Peerform requires a credit profile without any current delinquencies, recent bankruptcies, tax liens, no medical debt within the last 12 months and at least one open bank account and revolving account.


You’ll have to repay the loan on your next payday, which can be up to 30 days from the date you get the loan. Most lenders require your bank account information so they can debit the repayment amount directly on the given due date. If you apply in-store, you can provide a post-dated check at the time of application. Some lenders allow you to make early repayments via credit cards, MoneyGram and Western Union.
In US law, a payday lender can use only the same industry standard collection practices used to collect other debts, specifically standards listed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices to collect from debtors. Such practices include calling before 8 o'clock in the morning or after 9 o'clock at night, or calling debtors at work.[32]
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California Residents: Flurish Inc. dba LendUp is licensed by the Department of Business Oversight, pursuant to the California Deferred Deposit Transaction Law, license #1004393, and the California Financing Law, license #6054610. LendUp loans made under the authority of its CFL license are made pursuant to the California Financing Law. LendUp credit cards are not offered under any license regulated by the California Department of Business Oversight.


A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded that, "We ... test whether payday lending fits our definition of predatory. We find that in states with higher payday loan limits, less educated households and households with uncertain income are less likely to be denied credit, but are not more likely to miss a debt payment. Absent higher delinquency, the extra credit from payday lenders does not fit our definition of predatory."[24] The caveat to this is that with a term of under 30 days there are no payments, and the lender is more than willing to roll the loan over at the end of the period upon payment of another fee. The report goes on to note that payday loans are extremely expensive, and borrowers who take a payday loan are at a disadvantage in comparison to the lender, a reversal of the normal consumer lending information asymmetry, where the lender must underwrite the loan to assess creditworthiness.
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