The Benefits and Risks of Payday Loans

Payday Loans are designed to give you a small, short term, unsecured loan which you repay on your next pay day. Sometimes, waiting for payday to come around can feel like an age, especially if you have prematurely spent last month's packet! Too often can unexpected expenses arise whilst your account is somewhat sparse, from 'final demand' bills, MOT payments, to emergency health care costs. What is unique about Payday loans is not only that they can be used for almost anything, but that they are a quick and easy way to access credit. The majority of payday lenders can now be found online and provide just one simple application form for you to fill out. Providing all the information you enter is accurate and verified, payment is usually received on the same day as your application is submitted. All legitimate online payday lenders have associations with support agents available 24 hours a day and it is always recommended that you speak to a financial advisor to discuss your options before you obtain a payday loan. As Payday loans can be used as funding towards almost anything, they tend to come under various guises from, 'Cash Loans', 'Quick Cash', 'Short term loans' and 'payday advances' to name but a few. There are also 'Low Income Payday Loans' which are designed especially for individuals with a limited salary.

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Furthermore, Payday Loans are perfect for individuals with bad credit. Since it is a form of unsecured loan, you do not have to secure it against any collateral. Additionally, payday loans can be generally obtained without any credit checks being made. Nevertheless, there are a few restrictions in order to qualify for this type of loan; you must be at least 18 years old, have a minimum monthly income (usually around £300 or less), be a UK resident and have a UK bank account. Most payday loans can be arranged for anywhere between £80 to £1,500 and this can vary depending upon the lender and the borrowers circumstance. Furthermore, as with most unsecured loans, interest rates are relatively high often reaching 3 to 4 digits. In regards to repayment, this is usually arranged in the agreement with the lender, but usually you repay the loan on your next pay day.

Short term unsecured loans to be repaid by next pay day is now a multimillion pound business, some reports suggesting it's worth over £900million. According to Consumer Focus, the payday loan market has almost quadrupled since the recession began. UK Lenders have noticed an opportunity to charge as much as 4,400% annual interest. Although, many payday lenders complain that APR is an unfair measure as the loans granted are specially designed to be paid off within 28 days and can be cheaper than most unauthorised overdrafts. Despite the huge interest rates, it's been recorded that over 1.2million people have taken out short term loans over the last 4 years emphasising that a growing priority within a typical UK household is a 'quick fix' to their finances rather than long term solutions. Despite the boom in the payday loan market, the Better Banking Campaign controversially claims that approximately 5 to 7 million people in Britain alone are still denied credit today.

Five of the seven largest payday lenders in the UK are actually US owned or financed. This is because the idea of the Payday loan originated in the US. Ironically, many American States have now effectively banned these forms of short term loans by placing caps on interest rates that lenders charge. MP Stella Creasy has recently proposed a Bill to enforce similar regulations in the UK in regards to short term lending. The 'Ten Minute Rule Bill' comes after a front page scandal which reported over 5,000 innocent Britons were told they owed hundreds of pounds in loan repayments, despite never obtaining a loan in the first place. Creasy hopes she will receive government approval to tackle the increasing level of loan harassment to families living in poorer communities. The Bill hopes to place a cap on interest rates, limit loans to one quarter of monthly income and hopes payday loan firms will help those who do not have access to affordable credit. To summarise, the Government is being urged to crack down on 'legal loan sharks' in an attempt to restore some hope to households being harassed over their debt problems. Before now, The Office of Fair Trading has failed to cap both unauthorized bank charges and interest rates on payday loans, leaving borrowers in somewhat of a pickle!

It is essential to ensure you have done your homework when it comes to obtaining a payday loan. Campaigners are warning that Payday Loans are potentially ruinous, with more and more firms claiming they can provide the cash in less than an hour. Some lenders are even promoting their loans on Social Networking sites, such as Facebook, whilst others have created iPhone Apps specially designed for instant loans. As many lenders now operate online, for the ease of the consumer, finding a legitimate firm is more difficult than ever. Before you jump into a payday loan application, it is advised to speak to an Independent Financial Professional to get some impartial and honest advice. This type of loan is designed especially for emergency situations and should not be used as a regular source of money. A more regular and reliable alternative for example would be to obtain a credit card which is designed to help budget your finances with stable monthly repayments and can be used to help improve your credit rating.

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