Are Payday Loans Expensive?

APR – A Comparison Tool

According to the US government, payday loan companies are required to disclose the annual percentage rate (APR) of a loan before you sign any agreements. While this makes sense for long-term loans, a payday loan on average is paid off in 17 days.

While an APR doesn’t tell you the true cost of the loan, it is a helpful tool to compare lenders with. An APR is suppose to include both fees and interest rates. By simply finding the lowest APR, you will find the best rates on a cash advance.

Finance Fees

Finance fees come in the form of interest rates or flat fees. Finance fees vary, but $15 for every $100 borrowed is average. Some lenders waive part of the fee for first time borrowers, so it pays to shop around.

Save On Fees

You can save on fees by paying your loan back as soon as possible. Some lenders charge a finance fee by the day where others charge for a pay period. Ideally, you want to pay your loan on the first day you get your paycheck. Most online lenders will automatically deduct both your cash advance amount and finance fee.

If you can’t pay the entire amount, then pay at least a small portion of the principal. Call your lender and ask about rolling over the loan to avoid any late fees. Don’t bounce a check to your lender as you will only rack up fees.

If you plan on using payday loans for several periods, a better idea is to look into a credit card or line of credit. For long term loans, you will find better rates than with a cash advance.

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