A payday loan is a small short term loan you can use to cover expenditure until your next payday. You can apply online and the decision to loan you the money is made almost straight away. In most cases the whole application can be completed online and the money loaned can be credited into your bank account on the same day as you make your application.
A payday loan is an unsecured loan, so it is not dependent on collateral, such as you owning a house or car etc.
Generally when you make your first application you can borrow any amount up to £300, depending on your take home pay. You are more likely to be approved the less you want to borrow, so it is advisable to borrow only what you need. Once you have successfully repaid loans with one particular company they may then offer to lend you anything up to about £750 in subsequent loans.
Payday loans can provide a useful solution for short term cash flow problems.
Who can apply for a Payday loan?
In order to be eligible for a payday loan you must be over 18 years old and in employment with a take home wage of at least £750 per month. You must also have a bank account with a valid debit card.
Even if you have bad credit history you should still be able to obtain a payday loan as long as you fulfil the above criteria.
How do you get a Payday loan?
The majority of payday loans are available online, so there is no delay with faxing or posting of documents. The application process is quick and easy to complete. You will be asked for your name, address, details about your monthly income and employment, when your next payday is, along with the amount you wish to borrow and your bank account details.
Once you have submitted your application you should hear back from the payday loan provider within minutes. They will email you with their decision to the email address you have registered with your application.
Payday loan providers partly make their decision as whether to lend you money dependent on the amount you want to borrow compared to the amount you earn. Only borrow what you need, the less you borrow the more likely that your application will be accepted and the smaller the amount of interest you will accrue.
If your application is successful you will be sent, by email, your loan agreement showing the amount that will be lent to you, the repayment date and the amount of interest you will pay on the repayment date. Along with the loan agreement you should also be sent loan conditions. These loan conditions should outline your rights under the Consumer Credit Act 1974 along with details about repaying the loan, cancelling the loan and the use the personal information you supply when applying for the payday loan.
If you are happy to proceed you sign online by providing details of your name and answering a security question such as your mothers' maiden name. Then, email this back to the loan provider and the money will be deposited into the bank account you registered at the application process. The money can be deposited in your bank account on the same day you make the application, so this is a very fast and efficient way of borrowing money short term.
How do I repay the loan?
You will need to repay the loan amount and the interest accrued on the repayment date as specified in the loan agreement. The repayment date is usually your payday, hence the name payday loan.
The repayment will be collected by the loan provider by debiting the bank account you registered at the application process, which is the bank account into which you get your wages paid.
Repayment over a longer period
Payday loans may be extended if you find yourself in a position to be unable to satisfy all or part of the amount due on the repayment date. If this happens it is recommended that you contact your payday loan provider as soon as possible and explain your circumstances to them. They will then be able to explain your options and how to go about extending your loan.
Even if you are not able to fully settle the repayment amount, it is advisable to pay off as much as possible on the repayment date. This will help to keep the amount of interest you owe to a minimum. Some companies may charge you additional fees for extending your loan, you should check if this is the case before you sign your loan agreement.
Regulation of Payday Loan Companies
Properly regulated payday loan companies must adhere to strict laws governing the finance industry.
As with any financial product you apply for it is always advisable to check that the company offering the loan is properly regulated. The payday loan company you are applying to should show its Consumer Credit Licence number within its loan conditions and it should also be authorised by the Office of Fair Trading. If you are in any doubt as to whether the payday loan company you are considering applying to is fully regulated then you are within your rights to contact either of these bodies for further information.
As long as the payday loan company you are applying to is properly regulated, there will be a recognised body to make any complaints you may have to and you can be assured that you will not be subject to any unfair practices.
What are the benefits of a Payday loan?
One of the main benefits of a payday loan is the speed at which the cash can be credited to you. The money you need can be available to you in your bank account on the same day that you make the application. This can provide valuable assistance if you have a short term cash flow problem and need money in an emergency.
The application process is very simple, it takes just minutes to apply for a payday loan and you do not have waste time posting or faxing documents to the payday loan provider, as you would with other more traditional high street loans.
Poor Credit History
Payday loans are available to people with a poor credit history. This is because payday loan companies do not solely make their decision to lend based on a persons credit history. As long as you fulfil the application criteria you have a good chance of obtaining a payday loan. For many people a payday loan may be the only way they are able to obtain credit, especially in the current financial climate where the majority of lenders are unwilling to provide loans altogether, never mind to a person with a poor credit history.
Use of the Loan Money
You do not have to tell the payday loan provider what you need the payday loan for. You can use the money for whatever you want. You may need money in an emergency which can not wait until payday for instance; emergency medical or dental treatment, to settle a bill quickly, extra spending money on holiday or even for a romantic weekend away. The choice is yours as long as you make the repayment due on the repayment date.
No Upfront Costs
There are no upfront costs associated with a payday loan. You do not pay anything back until the repayment date you have agreed to in the loan agreement.
Why does the APR appear high on payday loans?
The APR applied to payday loans appears at first glance to be high. This is very misleading, but there is a simple reason why this figure looks so high. APR is an Annual Percentage Rate, and as such is calculated over a whole year (365 days). However, a payday loan is taken usually only over a number of days or weeks.
The APR calculation was not designed to apply to very short term loans such as payday loans. It was designed to apply to long term loans in existence for a year or more. It is really a theoretical figure than enables people to compare similar longer term loan products, like mortgages or ongoing credit balances.
Rather than relying on the APR rate it is more advisable to look directly at the loan agreement to see exactly how much interest you will be charged for the period of your payday loan. Some companies have a standard interest charge for the amount you wish to borrow regardless of the duration of the loan. It is then up to you to decide whether you will be able to repay both the cash advance you receive initially and the interest amount on the repayment date.
Many people do not have savings or access to credit cards or more traditional loans and so the convenience of a regulated payday loan provides piece of mind should the occasion arise that they need some money quickly.
If you need money in a hurry, can not wait until payday and are confident that you can make the necessary repayments on the repayment date, this could be the ideal solution for you.
Overall, payday loans are convenient, easy to access and offer a viable option for people who require money quickly for whatever reason.