In summary, taking a cash advance on your credit card means taking on a very expensive short-term loan. This is almost never a good idea, so consider all other options before using a cash advance. It’s also important to take the fact that you’re thinking about using a cash advance as a sign that your finances need some fine-tuning. You don’t want to end up in this situation again!
The propensity for very low default rates seems to be an incentive for investors interested in payday lenders. In the Advance America 10-k SEC filing from December 2011 they note that their agreement with investors, "limits the average of actual charge-offs incurred during each fiscal month to a maximum of 4.50% of the average amount of adjusted transaction receivables outstanding at the end of each fiscal month during the prior twelve consecutive months". They go on to note that for 2011 their average monthly receivables were $287.1 million and their average charge-off was $9.3 million, or 3.2%. In comparison with traditional lenders, payday firms also save on costs by not engaging in traditional forms of underwriting, relying on their easy rollover terms and the small size of each individual loan as method of diversification eliminating the need for verifying each borrower's ability to repay. It is perhaps due to this that payday lenders rarely exhibit any real effort to verify that the borrower will be able to pay the principal on their payday in addition to their other debt obligations.
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.
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.”
According to a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Most payday loan borrowers [in the United States] are white, female, and are 25 to 44 years old. However, after controlling for other characteristics, there are five groups that have higher odds of having used a payday loan: those without a four-year college degree; home renters; African Americans; those earning below $40,000 annually; and those who are separated or divorced." Most borrowers use payday loans to cover ordinary living expenses over the course of months, not unexpected emergencies over the course of weeks. The average borrower is indebted about five months of the year.
Many countries offer basic banking services through their postal systems. The United States Post Office Department offered such as service in the past. Called the United States Postal Savings System it was discontinued in 1967. In January 2014 the Office of the Inspector General of the United States Postal Service issued a white paper suggesting that the USPS could offer banking services, to include small dollar loans for under 30% APR. Support and criticism quickly followed; opponents of postal banking argued that as payday lenders would be forced out of business due to competition, the plan is nothing more than a scheme to support postal employees.
VCC Credit Services Inc., dba Check City Title Loans, a motor vehicle title lender, is licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. License #VTL-28. Tosh of Utah, Inc. dba Check City Check Cashing, a payday lender, is licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. License #PL-57 Anykind Check Cashing, LC. dba Check City, a payday lender, is licensed by the Virginia State Corporation Commission. License #PL-21
Payday loans can be very costly. Loan amounts generally range from $50 to $1,000, depending on state laws. Fees also depend on state laws, but the structure might be something like $15 per $100 borrowed, and some states may cap how high the fee goes. Because the loans have such short terms, the cost of borrowing is generally high. A typical payday loan with a two-week term and a $15 per $100 fee has an annual percentage rate (APR) of nearly 400%, according to the CFPB. (Here’s a primer on how interest rates work.)
For most people, a cash advance (also known as a payday advance) is something associated with a credit card or other line of credit. Many credit card companies make it easy for customers to receive cash advances nearby by using their credit card at a local ATM. The problem with such tactics is that the costs of the advance can add up quickly and you might not even realize what all those costs are. You'll likely pay an ATM fee charged by the bank that runs the machine, and you might also pay a fee to the credit card company for taking the advance, along with finance charges and interest if you don't pay the money back before your next billing cycle. Some credit card companies charge interest on cash advances that is higher than the interest charged on regular balances, which can make for surprising increases in your total balance.
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