Alternative to Payday Loans

Maria Contreras Maria Contreras is the Marketing Manager at Consumers Credit Union.
  • Posted on 4/6/2016
People who take out a payday loan typically expect it to be a one-time thing. They take out $250 fully intending to pay it back in two weeks or less. However, the average payday loan customer is in debt for five months and pays $520 in interest (on top of the original loan amount) according to Pew.

Payday loans are big business, $7.4 billion annually, according to research from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Each year 12 million Americans take out these loans from storefront locations, websites, and even banks.

People who take out a payday loan typically expect it to be a one-time thing. They take out $250 fully intending to pay it back in two weeks or less. However, the average payday loan customer is in debt for five months and pays $520 in interest (on top of the original loan amount) according to Pew.

This has become such a prevalent issue that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it was considering rules to end “payday debt traps.” The proposed rules would require lenders to ensure borrowers had the means to repay a loan without continually extending the term or adding to the loan amount. In addition, these rules would restrict lenders from attempting to collect payment from consumers’ bank accounts in ways that tend to rack up excessive fees.

The fact is that emergencies and unforeseen circumstances do arise leaving even the best money managers in need of cash in a hurry. If you find yourself in a financial bind, please consider these options as an alternative to payday lending and the heavy interest/fees you could pay:

  1. Talk to your creditors about extending your payment due date: When you know you won’t be able to make your payment, call your creditor and let them know.
  2. Sell some things you no longer need via eBay, Craigslist, Trading Post, Facebook, etc.
  3. Consider a short-term side job.
  4. Contact your local Department of Human Resources to find emergency assistance programs in your area.
  5. Borrow from a friend or family member but be as serious in paying them back as you would any other lender. Don’t ruin your relationship over money.
  6. Apply for a small, short-term loan from Consumers Credit Union.
  7. Consumers Credit Union also offers free credit counseling if you need help working out a debt repayment plan with creditors or developing a budget.

Consumers Credit Union is here to service our Members and advance their financial well-being. As a member-owned, financial cooperative CCU is dedicated to what is best for your specific financial situation. Whether it is advice, consideration for more time on a loan payment, or the need for a short-term loan, we’re here to help!