Before you dive into a product marketed as a one-stop financial Band-Aid, consider your alternatives. Though they aren’t significantly better, installment loans can come with slightly less egregious terms and more manageable payments. While it may requires a level of humility and openness, asking to borrow from friends or family could be another possibility. Better damaged pride than ruined finances.
We’d like to add two more pieces of advice to those who are shopping around for a loan; 1) If a lender offers you more than you can afford to borrow, you can ask them to lower it. Take advantage of that opportunity as it will ease repayment, and 2) Avoid the temptation of paying to extend your loan duration (often called a “roll over”). Instead of paying a fee to postpone your repayment date, ask your lender for a payment plan.
You’ll sign an ACH authorization to give the payday lender permission to withdraw the repayment amount from your checking or savings account. Unless the lender allows you make repayments by check, you will need to sign this authorization. Before you sign the authorization, make sure you know how much will be debited and on what dates, whether this amount will repay your loan or simply renew it, and also how to revoke the authorization (federal law requires lenders to state this).
The term signature loan is often interchanged with personal loan. Some people also call it loan of good faith as lender banks on your good faith to pay the loan and nothing more. Regardless, a signature loan is an unsecured loan that typically has so few qualification requirements that all you need to qualify is your signature and the promise that you’ll repay the loan. A signature loan allows you to borrow a larger amount of money than a payday loan and you can pay it back over a longer loan term. You can then use the loan for any purpose such as celebrating your anniversary, going on vacation, funding education or consolidating your debt.
And even if you can repay it, that repayment will take a huge bite out of your next paycheck. If you count on that paycheck for rent, groceries, and other daily expenses (and who doesn’t?), then paying back your payday loan will leave you right back where your started: running low on money until your next payday! That could mean no money for gas to get to work, no money for groceries, maybe even no money for rent—sounds pretty bad, right?
“When you apply for a personal loan, the creditor will check your credit report to help them determine whether you will repay the debt,” says Rod Griffin, director of public education for Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. “Your credit history and credit scores help lenders predict the likelihood a person will repay a debt as agreed upon.”
Disclaimer: NerdWallet strives to keep its information accurate and up to date. This information may be different than what you see when you visit a financial institution, service provider or specific product’s site. All financial products, shopping products and services are presented without warranty. When evaluating offers, please review the financial institution’s Terms and Conditions. Pre-qualified offers are not binding. If you find discrepancies with your credit score or information from your credit report, please contact TransUnion® directly.
Filing for personal bankruptcy may be an option if your debt is completely out of control, but keep in mind that it comes with some serious consequences. While bankruptcy may help you escape payday loans and other debts owed, it also means a huge blemish on your credit reports for up to 10 years in some cases. That can result in you being denied future credit, mortgages and other financial opportunities. It can even make things like auto insurance more expensive. That’s why it’s best to exhaust all other possible options before making this choice.
Disclaimer: This service is not a lender and therefore cannot determine whether or not you are ultimately approved for a short term loan, nor can we determine the amount of credit you may be offered. Instead, we facilitate business relationships between consumers like you and the lenders in our network. Our purpose and goal is to match you with one or more lenders from within our network who can provide you with the cash you need in an emergency. We will never act as an agent or representative for any of our lenders, so you can rest comfortably in the knowledge that you will receive fair and competitive offers.
As an alternative to traditional payday loans, LendUp also has several different types of loans. A traditional payday loan means you must repay the full value of the loan with your next paycheck. That could leave you in a financial tight spot. LendUp offers up to 30 days for repayment. The added flexibility makes it much easier for you to repay these alternative loans without failing to meet other financial obligations.
Making regular payments is a must, and consumers must refrain from using credit cards while in the program. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urges consumers to carefully review DMP terms and ensure creditors are willing to work within its confines before jumping in. Keep in mind this isn’t a quick fix. Paying off debt through a DMP can take years depending on how much debt you have.
Bad credit loans typically have higher interest rates and shorter loan terms than loans offered to people with good credit. Standard bad credit loan terms are two to five years with an average annual percentage rate of 25 percent, according to Bankrate. In comparison, personal loans for those with good credit typically have term lengths from one to seven years and an average APR of 4.29 percent.
Some payday loan companies gather your personal information and then shop around for a lender. That means your information could go out to third parties as part of the lending process. Other companies will even sell contact information, leaving you dealing with sales calls and spam emails. LendUp protects customer information and will never sell it.
Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.