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The federal Truth in Lending Act treats payday loans like other types of credit: the lenders must disclose the cost of the loan. Payday lenders must give you the finance charge (a dollar amount) and the annual percentage rate (APR — the cost of credit on a yearly basis) in writing before you sign for the loan. The APR is based on several things, including the amount you borrow, the interest rate and credit costs you’re being charged, and the length of your loan.
Consumer Notice: Cash advances are short-term loans, and can typically range from $100 to $999. They are intended for short-term financial relief and do not constitute long-term financial solutions. For example, they can generally be intended to be repaid within a year. Consumers facing debt and credit difficulties should seek out debt and credit advisory help. Federal and state laws cover certain types of lenders and loans, including short-term loans. If a lender is wholly owned and operated by a federally recognized American Indian Tribe and sovereign government, applicable Tribal and Federal law governs its loans and related contracts, requests and documents. Consumers are encouraged to research laws that may be applicable to short-term loans, and to ask their lenders for more information.
Credit card cash advances can come in handy when there’s a necessary expense that you can’t charge to your card (like rent) and you don’t have the funds to cover it otherwise. But the problem with credit card cash advances is that they have fees and interest rates that are generally much higher than if you just used your credit card to make a purchase. Also, you can only borrow as much as your cash advance limit allows, and if you already have a balance on your credit card, that amount may be reduced.
The APR on a short-term loan can vary greatly depending on how the APR is calculated (nominal vs. effective), the duration of the loan, loan fees incurred, late payment fees, non-payment fees, loan renewal actions, and other factors. Keep in mind that the APR range is not your finance charge and your finance charge will be disclosed later on, if applicable. See a See a Representative Example
This reinforces the findings of the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) study from 2011 which found black and Hispanic families, recent immigrants, and single parents were more likely to use payday loans. In addition, their reasons for using these products were not as suggested by the payday industry for one time expenses, but to meet normal recurring obligations.
In many cases, borrowers write a post-dated check (check with a future date) to the lender; if the borrowers don't have enough money in their account by the check's date, their check will bounce. In Texas, payday lenders are prohibited from suing a borrower for theft if the check is post-dated. One payday lender in the state instead gets their customers to write checks dated for the day the loan is given. Customers borrow money because they don't have any, so the lender accepts the check knowing that it would bounce on the check's date. If the borrower fails to pay on the due date, the lender sues the borrower for writing a hot check.
In the UK Sarah-Jayne Clifton of the Jubilee Debt Campaign said, “austerity, low wages, and insecure work are driving people to take on high cost debt from rip-off lenders just to put food on the table. We need the government to take urgent action, not only to rein in rip-off lenders, but also to tackle the cost of living crisis and cuts to social protection that are driving people towards the loan sharks in the first place.”
These arguments are countered in two ways. First, the history of borrowers turning to illegal or dangerous sources of credit seems to have little basis in fact according to Robert Mayer's 2012 "Loan Sharks, Interest-Rate Caps, and Deregulation". Outside of specific contexts, interest rates caps had the effect of allowing small loans in most areas without an increase of "loan sharking". Next, since 80% of payday borrowers will roll their loan over at least one time  because their income prevents them from paying the principal within the repayment period, they often report turning to friends or family members to help repay the loan  according to a 2012 report from the Center for Financial Services Innovation. In addition, there appears to be no evidence of unmet demand for small dollar credit in states which prohibit or strictly limit payday lending.
In terms of online lending, a cash advance usually refers to a short-term loan that is quickly funded to your bank account after approval. Typically, the amount you borrow for a cash advance loan is relatively small, which often means you can pay it back in only one or two payments. These short-term loans are very similar to what many people call payday loans, but cash advance loans don't always require a single repayment on payday.
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