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Payday loan alternatives in Missouri
Compare 3 federal credit unions that offer low-cost short-term loans.
Life doesn’t always happen according to plan — or budget. If you have an emergency and don’t have the cash to pay for it, you may consider taking out a payday loan if you don’t have the credit to qualify for a traditional personal loan. But payday loans are expensive — with APRs as high as 400% on average nationwide, though there’s pending legislation in Missouri to reduce the cap to 36%.
Fortunately, there are other options. Many credit unions in Missouri offer payday alternative loans (PALs). You may also qualify for government assistance to help pay for day-to-day expenses if you’re struggling to get by.
3 federal credit unions that offer payday loans in Missouri
Many federal credit unions have started offering PALs as a more cost-effective alternative to expensive short-term loans. The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) regulates these loans and sets limits on rates and terms. With most PALs, you can borrow up to $1,000 with terms of up to six months and APRs capped at 28%.
Below are three credit unions that offer some sort of alternative to payday loans in Missouri:
|Federal credit union||Locations||Loan amounts||APRs||Loan terms||Eligibility requirements|
|County Credit Union||Up to $500||Not stated||Not stated||Member for at least 6 months|
|Northeast Regional Credit Union||Not stated||Not stated||Not stated||Meet credit guidelines — though it doesn’t disclose what those are|
|St. Louis Community Credit Union||Up to $1,000||25% — plus a $25 application fee||Up to 12 months||Member with a checking account in good standing that’s been open for at least six months|
3 resources and programs for Missouri residents
If you’re struggling to make ends meet and pay for necessities like groceries or electricity, you may qualify for one or more government assistance programs. Some are federally funded, while others are specifically for Missouri residents.
- What it provides: Financial assistance for medical and healthcare needs
- Who’s eligible: Low-income women and families, people with a disability, women with breast or cervical cancer, children, seniors, pregnant women, unborn children, newborns
This federally funded program is offered through MO HealthNet in Missouri. Qualifying individuals and families can receive funds to access health and medical services.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
- What it provides: Financial assistance to pay for groceries
- Who’s eligible: Low-income families and individuals
The federal- and state-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program offers qualifying households financial assistance to pay for groceries. You’ll receive a Missouri Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card that’s automatically loaded with funds each month that you can use at participating grocery stores. How much you receive depends on your income and household size.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
- What it provides: Financial assistance for heat and electricity
- Who’s eligible: Low-income families and individuals
Missouri’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program helps low-income families and individuals with a one-time payment to your primary heating company November through March. It also has another program — Energy Crisis Intervention — that provides financial assistance to pay your fuel bill when your electricity is shut off or about to be shut off. How much you receive in either case is dependent on the amount you need to settle your account with the energy company.
Consider an installment loan instead
If you’ve decided to get a short-term loan, consider these installment loan providers that offer loans with longer repayment terms than a typical payday loan.
Before you take out a payday loan, consider stopping by your local credit union. More and more are starting to offer PALs to help members with less-than-ideal credit get access to funds without going deeper into debt. And if you’re tired of repeatedly borrowing simply to get by, consider applying for government assistance available to Missourians.
For more ways to avoid the high costs of typical short-term loans, check out our guide to payday loan alternatives.
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