A payday loan can help you get through tricky financial situations, and getting one can be straightforward if you meet some basic criteria. While you can find multiple options online, not every lender that offers payday loans is a real lender. Some of these operate as intermediaries or loan matching services, while others are simply there to scam borrowers.
Fortunately, there are plenty real and legitimate payday lenders in the US. In the states where payday loans are legal, you can expect lenders to abide by all relevant state regulations. Here’s how to find real payday loans and lenders, and how to avoid the ones merely looking to take your money.
Check into Cash Loans
Check into Cash allows you to directly apply for a payday loan and have your cash when you need it.
- Min. Loan Amount: $50
- Loan Term: Varies upon State
- Turnaround Time: 1-2 business days
- Total Costs: Varies depending on the amount and your state of residency
- Must be 18+
- No security needed
- Confidential and secure!
What is a “real” payday loan?
Simply put, a real payday loan is one you get through a direct lender. A direct lender has its own underwriting department and makes its own lending decisions. This is in contrast to a loan matching service or an aggregator that collects your information and passes it on to a pre-selected bunch of lender. This can lead to you receiving scores of unsolicited offers, some of which might be scams. Searching online is also likely to turn up dubious operations alongside the legitimate ones.
With a real payday loan, you can expect to find out if the lender approves your application almost immediately. If approved, you can expect access to funds soon after. The time it takes depends on the lender you choose as well as whether you apply in-store or online.
How can you identify a “real” payday lender?
Distinguishing a real payday lender from a potential scammer is easy if you go through the following steps.
- Interest and fees. A real payday lender has required licenses and permits in place, and is operates in accordance with applicable laws. Such lenders will display their interest rates and fees clearly. You also won’t have to worry about hidden charges.
- No guarantee of approval. If you encounter a website that claims to provide guaranteed payday loans, you should be wary. While it is true that most payday lenders have more relaxed lending criteria than banks, they always look at a borrower’s ability to repay before approving the loan.
- Loan amount. State regulations govern the maximum amount you can borrow through a payday loan. If you find a payday lender that’s providing loans beyond this limit, you can be certain that it’s operating outside the law.
- Reputation. Seeing what previous borrowers have to say about any payday lender should give you some indication of how good or bad it may be. Don’t limit yourself to reviews on the provider’s website, because these can be faked. Use Google to find comments about the provider on other sites, or use a source such as finder.com where reviews and payday information are provided as well as being able to find lenders.
Payday loans in Australia are part of the small loans market, which was estimated in 2008 to be between $800m and $1bn a year, although it seems likely that the true market was and currently is higher than this.
The growth of this market mirrors the growth in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Because the market for small loans...
The Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) is a nonprofit organization non-partisan research and policy group based in Durham, North Carolina and with offices in Washington DC and Oakland, Calif. Its purpose is to educate the public about financial products and to push for policies that curb predatory lending. On its website and elsewhere, CRL...
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