It’s hard to budget for the unexpected, not just because you don’t know when you might need emergency funds, but you also don’t know how much you may need. If you find yourself caught short when an unexpected expense crops up, it’s essential to consider all your options, and one of these is a fast cash online loan.
⚠️ Warning: be cautious with short-term loans
If you're experiencing financial hardship and would like to speak to someone for free financial counselling, you can call the MoneyTalks helpline operated by FinCap on 0800 345 123. It is open from 8:00am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 2pm Saturday. When comparing short term loans, ensure you take into consideration any fees, charges and rates you may be charged.
Alternatives to short-term loans
Consider these alternatives before applying for a payday loan:
Use online Government resources. The Commerce Commission New Zealand website explains how loans works and what to be aware of when borrowing from a lender.
Payment plans. Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan or receive an extension on your due date if you’re behind on payments.
Contact your creditors. Speak with creditors about extending the due date of your payment, or working out a new payment plan that works for both of you.
Seek personal loans elsewhere. Consider a small personal loan from a bank or a credit union. You may qualify for a loan with much lower interest rates than those offered by payday loan companies.
Pay with credit card. Consider paying with your credit card to cover your emergency bills or payments. This is not a long term solution, as you’ll need to pay off the balance as soon as possible, but it’s an alternative to a short term loan with high – and immediate – interest rates.
How to compare cash loans online
Here are some loans to consider.
Fast cash online. Is it right for you?
Fast cash online is a type of finance for people who need quick access to additional money. These loans suit someone that: can’t wait a week to take out a personal loan from the bank; doesn’t have a credit card (or it is maxed out); is looking to borrow a small amount; is on a low income or receiving Work and Income payments or has a bad credit history.
How does a fast cash lender work?
You can apply for fast cash online in a few minutes. You need your personal details; information regarding your income and employment (or Work and Income payments) and the last 90 days of your banking history, which the loan provider can usually access securely using your Internet bank logins.
After verifying your details, the lender notifies you for how much you qualify; the terms of the loan and how soon you can access the cash. With many cash lenders, they will transfer your funds straight into your bank account within a few hours.
What should you check before applying?
There is a wide range of lenders that offer these loans, which gives you more options when it comes to finding the right lender. However, you do need to compare your options and avoid less reputable lenders. Here are some points to bear in mind when you compare lenders offering online cash loans:
Compare the loan term and amount. The fast loans that online lenders provide are usually for smaller amounts, say under $1,500. Although some lenders may offer up to $5,000 or more, depending on the type of loan you require. The term of these loans can be quite short, and with specific providers, it is a minimum of two days.
Compare the interest rate on offer. When it comes to the interest rate, make sure you compare your choices and that it is is competitive.
Compare the fees the loan provider charge. Fast online cash loans come with fees, so take a look at the charges before you apply and see how much it will cost. The lenders should outline the cost of the loan clearly in its product disclosure statement (PDS).
Make sure you understand the repayment terms. The repayment terms the lender provides can severely impact your ability to repay the loan, so you want to ensure the lender allows you to pay it in a way that suits your budget. Some small lenders send SMS updates to remind you about repayment dates, but all lenders should set out these out these dates in your loan contract.
Research the lender with whom you wish to apply. It can seem harder to judge an online lender’s reputation than lenders who have physical branches, but it’s still an important point to consider, and there are a few ways to determine your lender’s reputation. Take a look at some third-party customer reviews (if they’re available), see how easy they are to contact and how upfront they are with information regarding fees and charges.
So, is this a cash advance?
The term “cash advance” is generally for money withdrawn on a credit card, not taken from a payday lender. However, some payday loan brands have taken to using this phrase when transferring money to the borrower.
It’s important to understand the difference between the two. Cash advances (eg from a credit card), instantly attract interest and usually don’t have to be paid back within a specific timeframe. Cash loans are typically taken over a set period (generally until the next payday) and don’t accrue such high interest.
The good and the not so good of receiving fast cash online
You get convenience. Fast cash loans provide a convenient option for people looking for finance, with many providers able to offer an online application, instant approval and automatic direct debits for repayments.
A fast turn-around time. As the name suggests, fast cash online can offer you a quick turn-around time for your loan, with some lenders able to transfer the loan amount within the hour or the next business day.
Relatively easy online application process. The way the lenders operate online makes the application process quick and simple.
The not so good
The risk factor. These loans do involve a certain amount of risk, with disreputable lenders preying on borrowers.
The cost of credit is higher. Fast online loans come with a substantially higher interest rate, which can negate some of the loan’s benefits.
Samantha needs some help to get a new job
Samantha has just dropped her kids at school when she gets the call. She has an interview for one of the jobs she applied for. The interview is on Saturday, meaning she will need a babysitter for her kids, and will also need petrol for the car, as it is a fair drive. Samantha starts to worry because her bank account balance is extremely low and her Work and Income payment doesn’t come through until the following Monday.
The babysitter will cost $100 for the day, plus $40 expenses for the kids and she also needs about $50 for petrol. Samantha looks at her choices for a $200 cash loan. It is Thursday, so she needs the money in her account by tomorrow. Comparing her options online, Samantha sees she is eligible with a couple of lenders, so she chooses one and receives a response a few minutes after submitting her application.
As Samantha receives fortnightly Work and Income payments, her loan repayment is due in full with her next payment in two weeks, and she will owe a total of $248.
“I want to apply. Is there anything I should avoid?”
Lenders who don’t give you sufficient time to repay. Repayment terms vary, so make sure you choose one that will give you sufficient time to repay. However, you can usually repay a loan early without penalty.
Paying the loan late. To avoid hefty fees such as default fees; late payment letter send-out costs and collection fees, budget to repay your loan on time.
Questions you may have about fast cash online
The majority of online lenders can directly debit the money from your account on the day it is due. If you have a number of repayment dates, then it is vital you make sure the cash is available in your account on the given day. You may be able to pay back your loan via a bank transfer, but you need to discuss this with your lender.
If you have defaults on your credit file or didn’t pay a phone bill on time a few years ago, you may be eligible for a cash loan. The majority of short-term lenders look at your current financial situation and not your past. You may still undergo a credit check, but there should be lenders available to help you get a loan.
You may be eligible to borrow up to $2,000 depending on your financial situation, although it’s essential not to borrow outside your means. You can use the calculator below to get an idea of what your repayments might be, based on how much you want. The first time you borrow with a provider, they may only lend you a specific amount to establish a line of credit and trust.
This calculator is designed to provide you with an estimate based on the numbers you enter. Your personal details are not taken into account and all calculations are based off the calculation model. This calculator is not intended to be the sole source of your information when making a decision regarding your loan, and this calculator also does not guarantee your eligibility. The calculator works off the following assumptions: fees do not change for the life of the loan, your lender will charge a 20% establishment fee and a monthly fee that is 4% of your principal loan amount. You may want to seek advice from a financial professional before signing up for a loan.
Sometimes lenders will request this, but you can now upload your files directly to the company and let the lender check out a “read-only” view of your bank statements, which allows it to see your income, expenditure and whether you can afford to pay back the loan. Lenders may still need to verify this by calling your employer.
When you are comparing and applying for fast cash online, you have to give the lender an idea of what you intend to use the money for. These could include buying items on sale; buying concert tickets; paying rent or covering a temporary cash shortfall. It’s important to note; you shouldn’t take out one loan to pay for another, as this can lead to an unhealthy debt spiral and financial trouble in the future.
Circumstances can change, and you can’t afford the repayments for the agreed loan term! If this sounds like your situation, then it’s vital you contact the lender immediately. While it may charge you a small fee, your bank account may not end up in the negative. This process is different for each lender, so it’s recommended that you research your options.
Each loan you compare will have income and employment requirements. Make sure you research each loan and the conditions before applying, as each inquiry and application will go on your credit file. Too many requests and you may not receive approval.
If you are a business owner and need access to cash fast, you should consider comparing a range of loans that providers design for businesses. These will give you access to equity in property or invoices. If you need more information on loans for your business, check out this guide.
Matt Corke is Finder's head of publishing for rest of world and New Zealand. He previously worked as the publisher for credit cards, home loans, personal loans and credit scores. Matt built his first website in 1999 and has been building computers since he was in his early teens. In that time, he has survived the dot-com crash and countless Google algorithm updates.
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