Emergencies are inherently unexpected and almost always emotionally and financially jarring. Emergency funds are a key component in the arsenal of a successful saver because they not only mitigate the financial burden of unexpected expenses, they also help reduce the stress which often accompanies them. Unlike the amount you set aside for a specific purchase, an emergency fund is to be used exclusively for events like family crises, medical issues and natural disasters. People with emergency savings avoid crippling debt and are on the road to recovery much more quickly than those who are unprepared.
A staff report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded that payday loans should not be categorized as "predatory" since they may improve household welfare. "Defining and Detecting Predatory Lending" reports "if payday lenders raise household welfare by relaxing credit constraints, anti-predatory legislation may lower it." The author of the report, Donald P. Morgan, defined predatory lending as "a welfare reducing provision of credit." However, he also noted that the loans are very expensive, and that they are likely to be made to under-educated households or households of uncertain income.
Other options are available to most payday loan customers. These include pawnbrokers, credit union loans with lower interest and more stringent terms which take longer to gain approval, employee access to earned but unpaid wages, credit payment plans, paycheck cash advances from employers ("advance on salary"), auto pawn loans, bank overdraft protection, cash advances from credit cards, emergency community assistance plans, small consumer loans, installment loans and direct loans from family or friends. The Pew Charitable Trusts found in 2013 their study on the ways in which users pay off payday loans that borrowers often took a payday loan to avoid one of these alternatives, only to turn to one of them to pay off the payday loan.
Payday loans should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Any advance of money obtained through a payday loan is not intended to meet long-term financial needs. A payday loan should only be used to meet immediate short-term cash needs. Refinancing a payday loan rather than paying the debt in full when due will require the payment of additional charges. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any payday loan transaction.
NOTICE: The Federal Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits creditors from discriminating against credit applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age (provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a binding contract); because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program; or because the applicant has in good faith exercised any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act. The Federal agency that administers compliance with this law concerning this creditor is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1700 G Street NW, Washington DC 20006 and the Federal Trade Commission, Equal Credit Opportunity, Washington DC 20580.
To inquire about an advance on your paycheck, either talk to your boss directly or go to your human resources department. While ideally, your employer wouldn’t be too involved in your private life, it’s best to be prepared with an explanation as to what the money's for and why you need it so urgently. Otherwise, your boss is left to wonder if there’s an underlying personal issue that could someday impact your work performance, such as a gambling addiction.
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.
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.
If you carry only credit cards for day-to-day spending, you could find yourself in a pinch when confronted with a cash-only situation, such as buying lunch from a street vendor, veggies at a farmers market or a sandwich at a mom-and-pop deli. In that case, a cash advance might be tempting. Some people also turn to credit card cash advances when they need paper money but don’t have enough in their bank account.
Many experts suggest that you contribute 10 percent to 15 percent of your income to a retirement plan. While that's not always realistic, successful savers know to contribute at least what their company will match. If your employer offers to match 3 percent of your income toward retirement savings, you should match that or risk leaving money on the table. Additionally, because contributions to your 401(k) are tax-free, contributing will reduce your overall taxable income. If your employer does not offer a retirement benefit or you're self-employed, consider a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Research these options and chat with a financial planner about the best plan for you, your budget and your business.
For instance, if a looming credit card or other loan payment is jeopardizing your ability to pay for basic expenses, see if you can work out a deal. “If you’re having trouble making your monthly payments, call your lender to ask for more time,” suggests Natasha Rachel Smith, consumer affairs expert at rebate website TopCashback. “You’d be surprised how willing they are to work with you on your payment schedule. … It pays to be transparent.”
While a cash advance lender may only charge $15 for every $100 you borrow, that’s only for two weeks. If you don’t pay back the loan as well as interest and fees, you roll over the loan and then you’re responsible for paying the interest again. An interest rate of 15 percent for a two-week loan becomes an interest rate of 30 percent when you roll it over for a month. And if you extend the loan for a year and do the math, you end up with an annual percentage rate of almost 400 percent!
If approved for a loan, your lender will present you with the exact fees and interest rate of your loan prior to your acceptance of the loan. Cash Advance® has no control or knowledge of the loan details between you and your lender. You are under no obligation to continue with the loan request if you find a particular lender’s loan terms unsuitable.
It’s possible to tap into another workplace resource without counting on your boss’s approval: your 401(k). Although traditional advice would have you run for the hills before taking money out of your retirement account, it is actually one of the most cost-effective options. In fact, according to Investopedia, a 401(k) loan should be one of the first options you consider to address a short-term, but serious need for liquidity.
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Customer Notice: Payday Loans are typically for two-to four-week terms (up to six months in IL). Some borrowers, however, use Payday Loans for several months, which can be expensive. Payday Loans (also referred to as Payday Advances, Cash Advances, Deferred Deposit Transactions/Loans) and high-interest loans should be used for short-term financial needs only and not as a long-term financial solution. Customers with credit difficulties should seek credit counseling before entering into any loan transaction. See State Center for specific information and requirements.
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