Debt That Goes From $50 to $450 In Just 30 Days

by : Randy San Nicolas

Imagine borrowing $50 from your brother to pay the phone bill. The following month your brother comes to you and says you now owe him $450. I know this sounds absurd but I just read an article citing a lady living in Ohio borrowed money from her local Payday Loan lender to buy her child school clothes. She obviously didn't understand the terms or nature of the note and failed to pay the borrowed amount back on her following payday. The article went on to bash lenders and how they are the vultures of the financial services world. A bit harsh but many legislators and politicians share the same view.

This creates a unique situation. On one side of the divide, you have consumers generally cash poor and in need of services like this. Lawmakers and politicians wage a warlike protest against predatory lending practices in which they believe is the foundation of payday loan lending. Then we have the actual lending companies. They provide the service, make the money and take all the heat.

Do cash advance companies provide a valuable service? Well that depends on who you ask. I find it interesting that the people in opposition of these loan types are for the most part financially well off. Ask the consumer needing money to pay a light bill if he is ok with the finance charges and you'll know what I'm talking about.

The bottom line is that the poor lady that borrowed the $50 did not pay back the loan as agreed to. In situations like this, it would have been better to not take out the loan. Unfortunately not everyone takes the time to read and/or understand the financial terms.

The good news is that there are many credible payday loan companies that make extra effort to educate their consumers on the ins and outs of personal finance and payday loan basics.

The key to not falling into the same unfortunate trap as the lady mentioned above is to understand your options before you actually need it.

Things to remember:

1. A payday loan is meant to be a short term solution to your emergency cash needs.

2. Be sure to plan for the payback. The loan is borrowed against your next paycheck so you'll need consider that amount gone from your wages. Many payday loan companies offer an extension option. Be careful! This is where it becomes expensive. You're better off biting the bullet and paying back the loan in full plus finance charge.

3. Communicate with the lender. Ask questions. Make sure you understand what you are committing to.