Payday Loans Online: Introduction
Payday loans online is a web extension of Payday loans, which have been around for decades now. Over the years, the rules of the game have changed from state-to-state and so has the way that borrowers apply for them, receive their funds, and pay the loan back altogether or in payments. Just in case you aren’t well aware of what a payday loan is, here’s a little background info to clarify their purpose, ways to apply, different methods of repayment, and how payday loans online can affect married couples. In some cases, it’s a positive effect but in many others, it can have negative consequences.
What is a Payday Loan?
It’s a small-principal short-term loan that generally is repaid on your next payday. In many states, loan extensions aka roll-overs are available and how they are done is subject to the state and the payday loan company’s policy. On the other hand, many states, like California, require the borrower to pay the entire loan off getting a new one. In almost all states, only one payday loan is allowed per company at a time.
What’s in a Name?
They’re often called different things by different companies including:
2. Payday cash loans
3. Short-term loans
4. Cash advances
5. Payday Advances
6. Short-term advances
7. Paycheck loans
8. Cash advance loans
9. Salary loans
10. Payroll loans,
11. Small-dollar loans
12. Unsecured loans
Basically, however, they all have nothing to do with your actual paycheck and many aren’t even really synched up with your next payday. Many companies will have a strict two-week time limit even if you get paid once a month.This can make things quite difficult for a borrower, not only to get a loan but also to pay it back in a timely manner without defaulting or having to make continuous roll-overs. And, often lenders will simply decline a borrower who gets paid only once a month, like recipients of SS, SSI, SSDI, or pensions because they only offer two-week loans. Why? Well, in a nutshell, issuing month-long loans cuts their interest in half.
Speaking of interest, in many states, the amount of “interest” that payday lenders are charging could be considered usury, so instead, they call it a “fee” when in reality, it’s just plain high interest. But, a rose by any other name is still a rose and interest is still interest no matter what you call it, so be sure to check the APR when you apply because interest or fee, it can be quite high.
A Blessing or a Curse?
As you can see, payday loans have been called many things over the years. In fact, some may call them a blessing while others call them a curse. Basically, they’re a blessing when you get the funds, especially since it’s so easy to get payday loans online, that you need for an emergency like:
A. Unexpected vehicle or home repairs,
B. An illness or injury in the family,
C. An expensive trip to the veterinarian for a beloved pet,
D. A special occasion like a birthday or anniversary that you’re not financially prepared for,
E. A past due utility bill,
F. Overdue insurance premium,
G. Back-to-school clothes for the kids
H. A new suit or dress for an important job interview
I. Any other one of life’s emergencies, large or small.
Where the curse comes in is at payback time when many borrowers find that they don’t have enough when their loan comes due to pay it back in full. So, what happens then? They either default on their loan, incurring yet another fee on top of bank fees for a returned check. Payday lenders should follow the same rule as any other bad check-holder but often they don’t. Two submittals to a borrower’s bank, period. Almost all of them have ACH capabilities and may try to ACH a borrower’s account in violation of the law. Some even go so far s to try debiting the amount due in increments, also against the law. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop some lenders. In addition, your bank will charge you every time it is resubmitted. Many borrowers get into real trouble when this happens and may end up losing their bank account and becoming one of the many unbanked individuals nationwide.
From the Street to the Web
Prior to the late ‘80s, there really weren’t many payday loan offerings. However, as far back as the Great Depression, actual loan sharks who, instead of interest or fees, charged what was called “the vig” which stands for vigorish or viggerish, were the old-style payday lenders. Most of us have never even met one but we’ve seen plenty of them in movies over the years.
All of a sudden, payday loan stores started popping up across the country and even worldwide as well. The rage started here in the U.S. but it spread quickly to other countries. By the late 20th century, there seemed to be one on every corner, especially in lower-income neighborhoods, where they could garner the most business. And, those businesses grew and grew into major conglomerates.
Then, the Internet came along and payday loans online became the next big thing. They were easy, quick, and borrowers could sit at home in their PJs and get a loan. Everybody in the PDL biz was going online. Unfortunately, what payday loans online often means for married couples is that not only did they have the opportunity of getting in over their heads and being caught up in what some critics have called “the treadmill of debt” but one partner could easily get a loan without the other knowing about it. Sure, this could have happened with getting a loan in-person at payday loan store but it’s not nearly as prevalent.
Payday Loans Online
So, what’s so good about payday loans online? Well, since there are numerous benefits, where should we start? Let’s just start by mentioning how convenient they are since there’s no need to drive to a payday loan store to apply for and get funds. You also don’t need a checkbook, which is good because many people don’t even order checks anymore since debit cards have become so prevalent. Who needs paper checks anymore, right?
With payday loans online, you also don’t need to bring a paycheck stub, ID, recent bank statement, and sometimes more, to get a loan. However, all of this ease-of-use also makes it really easy for one half of a married couple to get a loan, or even multiple loans, with the other knowing anything about it.
There are tons of payday loans online from a variety of companies, both good and bad. We have compiled a list of some of the most trusted well-known direct lenders, and it includes:
~ Advance America
~ Check Into Cash
~ Check ‘n Go
~ Speedy Cash
~ Cash Central
~ National Payday
Our choice for the best payday loans online is LendUp. Why? We chose it because it has an unusual platform and its name says it all. Let’s say, you start out by only qualifying for a $100 loan, based on your income and other criteria. After you pay off that loan, you can get a new loan for a higher, amount. This is an excellent option for people who don’t qualify for the max, as well as those who have trouble fitting loan payments or a total payoff into their budget. Their rates are also pretty fair, as payday loans online go, and they’re easy to work with when you’re going to be a little late.
Beware of Imposters
One of the unfortunate truths about payday loans online is the fact that there are literally hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of imposters out there. They’re not direct lenders but just affiliates. Anybody can become an affiliate simply by signing up to drive traffic to the real lenders’ websites. You’ve probably read on the web about affiliate marketing plans. Yes, there’s good money in being an affiliate, to be sure, however, the practice is very misleading for people looking for a genuine legit lender. All the affiliates do is gather information and sell it to others. When you submit an app to one of them, you just end up with your personal information spread all over the Internet and dozens of unwanted texts, emails, and even phone calls. You also put yourself and your spouse, if you’re married, at a higher risk for identity theft. And, let’s face it, that risk is much too high already for all of us.
How do you avoid wasting your time with imposters? It’s really quite simple. Just scroll to the bottom of the page and, if the site does not belong to a direct lender, they have to say so. There will be disclosure, (probably in small print) that says something like “MoneyMoneyMonyey is not a direct lender but we will match you with a lender”. You don’t want to be “matched” with a lender, you want to actually submit your loan application to a lender directly. Many a spouse has gotten caught applying for pay loans online when they submitted their application to a site that isn’t a direct lender. A landslide of loan offers alerted their spouse and they were busted.
Prevent this from happening to you by only applying to legit direct lenders or, better yet, advise your spouse if you’re getting payday loans online and save both of your a lot of stress and possibly irreparable damaging your relationship.
Beware of Overly-Aggressive Collection Practices
If you or your spouse have taken out a payday loan and, for some reason, defaulted on it, don’t forget that you have rights. Many payday lenders are aggressive about collecting their loans. They can hit your bank account more than the legal amount of times, costing you excessive fees. If this happens, possibly your bank will listen to your account of what occurred. and refund some, if not all of the fees incurred on your account. It’s definitely worth a try, so give them a call. It wouldn’t hurt, however, to bone up on the laws prior to talking to your bank. And, make no mistake about it, payday lenders cannot charge you treble damages like other recipients of an NSF check. Many lenders and especially collection agencies who buy defaulted payday loans, will try to intimidate borrowers by telling them that they can do so. Treble damages mean three times the face amount of your loan. You can only owe the face amount plus any defaulted payment charge that is clearly outlined in your online loan agreement.
Get it in Writing
In most cases, you can set up a payment plan with a lender if you have defaulted on your loan. Make sure that the terms are something that you can live with so that you don’t end up defaulting yet again. Most importantly, when you come to an agreement on a payment plan with the lender, whether online or via a telephone call, be sure to get them to send you an email agreeing to those terms. Otherwise, you could continue to be harassed or have fees or interest added to your debt even though you both agreed to the arrangement.
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA)
US payday lenders are bound by law to only use industry-accepted standard collection practices. They are the same as the law for collecting other debts, like credit cards, installment loans, etc. They’re clearly spelled out in the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). These rules prohibit the following actions by debt collectors:
1) Deceptive, abusive, or any unfair practices for collecting from a debtor,
2) Calling a debtor prior to 8 am or after 9 pm,
3) Calling a debtor at work,
4) Third party disclosure (i.e. telling someone who answers your phone that you owe for a payday loan and, yes, this includes your spouse)
Conclusion: Maybe a Little Bit Too Convenient
In conclusion, payday loans online are extremely convenient and lenders now have the technical innovations to check you out in mere seconds in order to approve or decline your loan application. Unfortunately, this does make it too easy for some people and especially for a spouse who doesn’t want their partner to know about their loan activity. Often these less than honest spouses forget how easy it is for their spouse to find out simply by checking their phone bill or bank statement. As always, honesty is the best policy so, if you decide that you need to get a payday loan, discuss it with your spouse first.