If you’re considering taking out a payday loan, it’s important to know what you’re applying for. Understanding how payday loans work is the best way to making the right choice.
What exactly is a payday loan?
Payday loans are short term loans, typically for relatively small amounts. Interest rates are usually high, in comparison to other types of credit.
The true definition of a payday loan is one that is offered over a month. It originates from the fact that the borrower pays the money back on their next payday. Nowadays, most payday loan terms vary between 2 and 6 months.
What does the application process involve?
Applying for a payday loan is usually a relatively simple process. Often, borrowers can apply online without having to speak to another human being.
In a majority of cases, decisions are made online. Most affordability assessments can be automated. Lending guidelines lenders need to follow are strict but clear.
When you apply you’ll need to provide bank details and information about income and expenditure, as well as your personal details. The vast majority of regulated lenders provide an easy to use online calculator. These tools estimate the overall cost of your loan and how much you’ll pay back in each instalment.
How is the payday loan paid back?
Once you’ve received the funds, you’ll have a short break before they need to be repaid. You’ll then be expected to pay your loan back as a one-off repayment, or in smaller instalments.
Most providers take the money the loan repayments using Continuous Payment Authority, or CPA. This allows them to take the money directly from your bank account on the agreed date. This will also allow changing the amount month by month if your instalments vary. You can cancel the CPA at any time, but will still be responsible for your debts.
Is the payday loan industry regulated?
Lenders are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, as are loan brokers.
You can search the Financial Services Register, to examine the companies you deal. They must have been officially registered and approved.
The Financial Conduct Authority continually regulates all registered companies. Working on behalf of the consumer, to protect you from unfair treatment. Lenders and brokers need to be responsible and honest. Lenders need to provide full disclosure about costs. They also need to ensure that thorough affordability checks are carried out.
A few more things to remember…
Payday loans are high-interest credit options, not intended for long-term or repeated use. You’ll pay interest by the day on the money that you’ve borrowed. Some lenders also charge fees for late repayment. Many responsible lenders have removed these from their agreements. There are often cheaper ways to borrow, but there are sometimes benefits as well. The benefits come in the form of clear pricing, a set repayment date to encourage you to clear the debt. Fast deposit times with money often sent to your bank within hours of acceptance are also a plus.
You should only take out a payday loan if you know that you’ll be able to repay it in time. You should borrow the money only if you’ll have the spare cash on your next payday.
Remember that unexpected costs can arise at any time. Always look ahead and think not just about whether you’ll have the money available. You also need to think about what you’ll do if something else goes wrong. If you’re taking out a loan to pay unexpected bills this month, could you still afford to pay it back if your car broke down next week?