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Frequently asked questions about short-term loans
Quick answers to 15+ questions you might have about payday loans.
With high APRs and unclear rules and regulations, short-term loans can spell trouble if you’re not careful. When you need money fast, it’s easy to overlook important details about repayment and requirements. But doing so could cost you more than you can afford.
We’ve received hundreds of comments on our payday and short-term loan reviews and articles. Here’s our collection of answers to your questions on how these loans work.
What is a short-term loan?
Short-term loans are typically for amounts less than $1,000 with quick turnarounds — generally less than 90 days. Regulations vary by state, with some banning the practice outright because of the high interest rate. However, many people turn to them because of their convenience and because they cater to people with poor credit.
Payday loans are the most commonly offered option, but you’ll also find many lenders that offer installment loans and auto title loans. Different lenders have different eligibility criteria, so check with yours to make sure you qualify before applying. And if you’re interested in borrowing, read through these frequently asked questions then check out our guide to short-term loans to learn more information.
Can I still get a loan if I don’t have a bank account?
Yes, but you’ll typically only have two options:
- Prepaid debit cards. Load funds to a prepaid card that you can use whenever you need. Lenders like Speedy Cash offer prepaid cards that you can refill with your loan funds or even your own cash.
- In-store cash pickup. If you live near a store location, you could apply and receive cash for your loan. Processing may take a bit longer, but you likely won’t need a bank account to qualify.
For more information, read our page on getting a loan without a bank account.
I get my paycheck on a prepaid card. Will lenders transfer funds to it?
Possibly. You could find lenders willing to transfer your loan onto a prepaid card, especially if you don’t have a bank account or don’t want to provide one. Lenders may charge a fee for this transaction, however. And as with all short-term loans, be prepared to handle high interest rates on your repayments.
I receive Social Security. What are my options for a loan?
If you receive welfare benefits, you may still qualify for a loan. If you can afford to borrow while on welfare — and your state laws allow it — you could be eligible for a loan. A lender like CashNetUSA will consider your application even if you receive welfare benefits.
If you’re not working, you can browse our list of lenders willing to extend funds to unemployed borrowers. Keep in mind that without a regular source of income, lenders are much less likely to consider you for a loan. And you’ll want to be sure that your budget can handle the extra debt.
Can my spouse and I be approved for separate loans?
Yes. Each short-term loan is assessed individually. Lenders consider your income, and some may require you to provide details on your personal take-home income rather than the income of both you and your spouse when considering you for a loan. You and your spouse can take out separate loans, but remember: Interest rates are high, and you risk falling into deeper debt when handling multiple loans.
How do I know if it’s safe to enter my personal information online?
A key rule of thumb when entering your info online is to check that you’re on an encrypted page. Look for a padlock to the left of your page’s URL, which itself should start with “https,” indicating a secure site. If you don’t see either, take caution.
If you’re looking at a lender we haven’t reviewed, confirm that it advertises at least 128-bit or 256-bit SSL safeguards on the information you enter. SSL encrypts your data, keeping it safe while you make online transactions and submit information.
If you have any doubts about the security of a website, read our guide on how to find a legit lender.
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