While competition amongst payday lenders has turned out to be good for the consumers, there are negative sides to it too. Many payday lenders take their promises to the extreme and start giving out incomplete or incorrect information in their advertisements to lure more and more customers. This has attracted a lot of negative attention towards the payday lending industry and criticisms are being made, calling these lenders “loan sharks”. Here are the few common pitfalls:
Check The APR: Interest rates can be expressed in a variety of ways. Different expressions of different interest rates change their meaning. For instance, 1% per month is not the same as 12% per annum. This is called the Annual Percentage Rate. At present, payday rules mandate every lender to clearly specify the annual interest rate to the borrower. However, this is considerable amount of hiding facts and misleading that goes on in the payday lending industry to win over customers.
Check The Processing Fee: Not only do companies mislead borrowers with interest rates, there have been loans specially created to deliberately hide the amount of interest charged. Instead of charging the amount as a percentage, lenders will charge you a processing fee that varies with the amount of dollars that you borrow. This is hidden interest. However, the processing fee has been a work around to avoid stating astronomically high APR rate as mandated by the rules.
Check The Documents Required: Many payday lenders require excessive documentation. It is essential that you ask the lender clearly what information you are required to disclose.
Although everyone may think that they have a unique story of how they ended up with unmanageable debt, analysis show otherwise. People in credit rating have identified two patterns in which debt usually builds up. An understanding of these patterns can help you avoid the situations. The analysis is as follows:
Frequent Overspending: This is how most newbie borrowers get into debt. This can be associated with credit cards and other lines of revolving credit. The debt is usually small in the beginning. It happens as a result of causal overspending by the borrower. This is because they fail to realize how compounding works. They are also prone to overestimating their income, underestimating their expenses or both. Soon they find themselves keeping more and more balance on the cards. This balance then compounds and soon there are over-limit fees and other such charges that become applicable. This is when the debt has gone out of hand. The bottom line is that small over spendings create a big financial disaster.
Accidental Debt: These kinds of borrowers usually are very careful with the way they handle their credit. They are the diligent borrowers. However, a medical or other emergency like a job loss puts them in a period where they are forced to spend beyond their means to survive the day. These people come out of the problems, however are now saddled with debt.
It may seem like it is no fault of theirs that they are in this predicament. However, such losses are also avoidable. This is the reason why having appropriate insurance and contingency plans are also part of smart financial planning and financial discipline. Hence, one must ensure that they have contingency plans in place and do not overspend to ensure that their credit score remains intact.