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Payday Loans Online

For many people, dealing with the high cost of living is an almost daily challenge. Not only are there everyday expenses to consider, but there are unexpected ones as well. And when a surprise bill comes up, it can really put a dent in your finances. Sometimes, it can even make it where you fall behind on other bills in order to cover the new one. If this sounds familiar to you, then a payday loan online might be able to help.

A payday loan is a small, short-term loan that’s meant to cover emergency expenses, such as car repairs, high utility bills, or medical bills. Whether you get payday loans online or in person, they can also act as a temporary bridge between now and the next time you get paid — thus the name, payday loans.

If you’re experiencing a financial hardship and need quick funds, a payday loan could be right for you. Here’s what you should know about these loans, including where to find one, how to qualify, and what to consider before getting one.

What are online payday loans?

Online payday loans are similar to storefront payday loans. The main difference is that you can get an online loan from a lender that either operates exclusively online, or that offers digital lending solutions in addition to in-person ones.

Most online payday loans come in small amounts ranging from a couple hundred dollars to $500, though some lenders offer loans up to $1,000 or $2,000. These loans usually come with short repayment terms of two to four weeks from the date you take out the loan. Some lenders set the repayment term to coincide with the next time you get paid.

On the due date, the borrower — you — must pay back the amount borrowed plus any financing charges. If you’re unable to repay the loan, the lender might be willing to extend the deadline for repayment. This may come with an additional late fee.

Some payday lenders online will instead let you roll the original loan into a new one. This new loan will have its own balance, which covers the first one, and financing charges. It will also have a new due date, giving you more time to pay it back.

Payday loans are unsecured, meaning you don’t need collateral — like a house or vehicle — in order to get funds. Many other types of personal loans are also unsecured.

Unlike other personal loans, however, payday loans are much easier to qualify for. Most payday lenders do not require you to have good credit to get a loan. Oftentimes, a payday lender will not even check your credit score. Because of this, some lenders also refer to these loans as “no credit check loans.”

Online payday loans usually have quick approval and funding times. In fact, you can typically receive funds the same day you apply. This makes these loans a great solution to sudden or emergency financial situations.

Online payday loans vs. in-person payday loans

Although payday loans online are very similar to the payday loans you can find in person, here are a few differences worth noting:

  • Application process: The lending process with online payday loans is entirely digital, meaning you can apply from the comfort of your home. All you need is an internet connection. With in-person loans, you’ll need to visit a storefront location to apply.
  • Funding and approval times: Payday loans are known for their fast funding and approval times. However, online options might be even faster than in person ones. Some online lenders have extended operating hours, too, meaning you might be able to apply even when physical branches are closed.
  • Convenience: Getting a payday loan online is convenient. It’s also highly accessible as, even if you don’t live near a physical lender, you can still apply for a loan online. The process is also typically straightforward and streamlined.
  • Customer service: In-store payday loans might come with more customer service options than online loans. This depends on the lender, however. Many online lenders these days also offer exceptional customer support via online chat, email, and phone.
  • Lender perks: Online lenders sometimes offer other benefits or perks that might not be available with in-person lenders. For example, some digital payday loans can be repaid in installments rather than all at once. Smaller online lenders might also be more willing to work with you on repayment if you need more time to pay back what you borrowed.

Qualifying for online payday loans

When you’re dealing with a financial emergency, the last thing you want to worry about is lengthy application processes or stringent lending requirements. Fortunately, payday loans online typically come with minimal criteria. What this means is that you can get a payday loan even if you don’t necessarily qualify for other lending solutions.

Here are the typical eligibility criteria for payday loans online:

  • Bank account: Online payday loan lenders typically require you to have a bank account in your name. One reason for this is so that you can receive the funds sooner. Another reason is for repayment purposes. Some lenders will require you to provide a post-dated funds for the loan amount plus financing charges. Others will request written authorization to withdraw the funds from your bank account when the loan is due.
  • Proof of income: Both in-person and online payday loan lenders generally require proof of steady income. This can be in the form of bank statements, W-2s, a letter of employment, and so on. Other common sources of income include regular disability, retirement, or alimony payments.
  • Sufficient income: You don’t generally need to have high income to qualify for a payday loan, but some lenders have specific income requirements.
  • Valid ID: When applying for a payday loan online, you’ll need to provide some form of government-issued identification.
  • Minimum age: You’ll need to be at least 18 years old to qualify for a payday loan.
  • Minimum credit score: Unlike with other types of financing, many payday loan lenders do not look into your credit score or history. This can make qualifying for these loans easier, especially if you have less than stellar credit. If a lender does check your credit, they’ll also typically consider other factors when deciding whether to lend you money.

Each lender will have their own requirements, so double-check that you qualify before applying.

What are the best online payday loans for bad credit?

Before determining which online payday loans are best for you, it’s important to understand your credit score. This is because your credit score plays a major role in the types of financing — like loans or credit cards — you can get.

Here are the main FICO credit score ranges:

  • 300 to 580 = bad or poor credit
  • 580 to 669 = fair credit
  • 670 to 739 = good credit
  • 740 – 799 = very good credit
  • 800 to 850 = excellent or exceptional credit

If you have poor or fair credit, lenders might view you as a higher risk borrower and deny your loan application. This can make it harder to qualify for certain types of loans. If a lender does approve your application, you might end up with a higher interest rate or smaller loan amount than you need.

The good news is that payday lenders don’t typically use your credit score when making their lending decisions. Instead, they weigh other factors — like your income — when deciding whether to offer you a loan. This is true of both online and in-person lenders.

Even so, it’s important to consider other factors when choosing a payday lender online. Here are the main things to look for when trying to find the best online payday loans for you:

  • Loan amount: The best bad credit lenders will offer loans large enough to cover your financial emergency or bills.
  • Eligibility criteria: The payday lender’s borrowing requirements shouldn’t be too strict.
  • Repayment term: Some payday loans come with longer repayment periods, such as 4 or more weeks. A longer term might be easier to manage than a shorter one.
  • Fees: Every lender charges their own fees, which can add to the total cost of the loan. Review the lender’s fees and compare options to find the best loans.
  • Repayment method: The way you pay back your loan can vary from lender to lender. Some will debit the funds from your bank account, while others will let you pay back what you owe yourself. Most lenders will require a lump-sum payment, while some will accept installments.
  • Lender’s reputation: The best online payday loans tend to come from lenders with a good reputation in the industry. These lenders also offer transparency about their rates and fees.
  • Customer service options: A good lender will have at least one or two ways to contact them. They should also have clear business hours and reasonable response times, especially when it comes to complaint resolution.

How do I find the best online payday loans?

Finding the best online payday loans starts with doing a bit of research into different lenders and their loans. If you’re not sure where to begin, do a quick search online with phrases like “best online payday loans near me” or “online payday lenders in my area.”

Alternatively, you can look for local payday lenders that also offer digital payday loans. Check out places near where you live and then see if they have a website you can go to for the application.

You can also ask around to see if someone you know has used a specific payday lender before. If they have, see if they have any recommendations for you.

As you look for the best online payday loans, start narrowing down your options until you have a handful of lenders. Then, compare them to see which one is best.

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you go through this process:

  • What’s the lender’s reputation like online? Check sites like the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Trustpilot to see what people are saying about them.
  • Is the lender licensed to operate in your state? If not, look elsewhere.
  • What are the typical loan amounts, terms, and fees the lender charges?
  • Is the lender transparent about their payday loans online? If so, that’s a good sign.
  • How simple or streamlined is the application process?
  • What are the lender’s typical funding and approval times like?
  • What kind of borrowing criteria does the lender have?

How can I get the best online payday loans?

Since payday loans online don’t come with a lot of requirements, they’re generally easy to get. With that in mind, there are ways to improve your chances of getting the payday loan you need when you need it. The following methods can also help you qualify for other forms of financing in the future, should you ever need them:

  • Check your credit score. Your credit score ranges from 300 to 850. If you’ve never applied for a credit card or loan before, you might not have a credit score at all. In any case, you can check your credit online with the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax.
  • Get your credit reports. You can request a free copy of your credit report from the three major reporting credit agencies. Or you can get a free annual copy from www.annualcreditreport.com. Once you have your credit reports, review them for any errors that might be affecting your score. If you find any, dispute them with the reporting agency. This can bring your credit score up and help you qualify for the best loans.
  • Make on-time payments. Making on-time payments is a surefire way to improve your credit score and help you get the financing you need.
  • Try to pay down existing debt. By paying off your current debts, you can free up more room in your budget for expenses. At the same time, you’ll also have more money available to be able to handle a new loan payment. Some lenders also prefer to work with borrowers with fewer debts, though payday lenders are usually more relaxed about this.
  • Maintain a steady income. Payday lenders do require you to have steady, verifiable income. To get the best loan possible, make sure you have a job or another source of regular income.
  • Improve your income. Increasing your income can help you qualify for financing, while making it easier to pay back any loans you might take out. It can also make you more financially prepared for emergencies that come up.
  • Review your budget. Check your budget to see how much money is coming in every month, and where it’s going. If possible, try to lower your expenses a little.
  • Calculate the payday loan’s cost. Even the best online payday loans will come with standard lender fees. However, it’s important to review your budget and make sure you can afford to pay back the loan. This can also keep you from overextending your budget.

What should I consider before getting an online payday loan?

Before applying for a payday loan, whether it’s online or in person, it’s important to weigh your options and make sure you’re making a sound financial decision. Here are some of the biggest things to consider before getting started with an application:

  • Loan fees: Most lenders charge fees — also called financing charges — on their payday loans. The maximum fee might vary by lender and state. However, typical fees range from $10 to $30 per $100 borrowed. In other words, if you take out a loan for $300, you’ll need to pay back between $330 and $390.
  • Loan amount: Certain states also put a cap on how much you can borrow from a payday lender, so check for any limits before applying.
  • Due date: Payday loans typically have a short repayment period, so it can be tricky to pay them back when they’re due. Double-check the loan’s due date before submitting an application. That way, you can make sure you’re able to pay it back on time. If you’re not, you may want to consider an alternative.
  • Options if you can’t pay it back: Sometimes, things happen that are beyond your control. Even if you were fully prepared to pay back the loan on time, you might find yourself in a position where you can’t. Don’t let yourself be blindsided. Instead, review the lender’s policies before applying so you know your options if you need to make a late payment.
  • Lender’s credibility: Some online payday loan lenders are “lead generators.” This essentially means that they take your information and share it with a larger network of lenders. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it could result in you receiving calls or emails from multiple lenders. Check your chosen lender’s credibility and reputation in this matter before sharing personal details.
  • Overall impact on your income and finances: Payday loans can be useful when you’re prepared for them. But if you can’t pay back what you owe on time, it could lead to more debt or financial difficulties later on. Make sure you can reliably pay back the loan before taking one on.
  • Impact on your credit: Taking out a payday loan won’t usually affect your credit score, unless you fail to pay it back. This also means it might not help you build credit — unless your lender reports to the credit bureaus.