Monday, 13 June 2016

All about payday loans

An in depth look into payday loans

A payday loan (also called a payday advance, salary loan, payroll loan, small dollar loan, short term, or cash advance loan) is a small, short-term unsecured loan, regardless of whether repayment of loans is linked to a borrower's payday. The loans are also sometimes referred to as "cash advances," though that term can also refer to cash provided against a prearranged line of credit such as a credit card. Payday advance loans rely on the consumer having previous payroll and employment records. Legislation regarding payday loans varies widely between different countries, and in federal systems, between different states or provinces.

To prevent usury (unreasonable and excessive rates of interest), some jurisdictions limit the annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge. Some jurisdictions outlaw payday lending entirely, and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders. In the United States, the rates of these loans used to be restricted in most states by the Uniform Small Loan Laws (USLL) with 36%-40% APR generally the norm.

There are many different ways to calculate annual percentage rate of a loan. Depending on which method is used, the rate calculated may differ dramatically, e.g., for a $15 charge on a $100 14-day payday loan, it could be (from the borrower's perspective) anywhere from 391% to 3733%.


Although some have noted that these loans appear to carry substantial risk to the lender, it has been shown that these loans carry no more long term risk for the lender than other forms of credit. These studies seem to be confirmed by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission filings of at least one lender, who notes a charge-off rate of 3.2%.

The loan process

The basic loan process involves a lender providing a short-term unsecured loan to be repaid at the borrower's next payday. Typically, some verification of employment or income is involved (via pay stubs and bank statements), although according to one source, some payday lenders do not verify income or run credit checks. Individual companies and franchises have their own underwriting criteria.

In the traditional retail model, borrowers visit a payday lending store and secure a small cash loan, with payment due in full at the borrower's next paycheck. The borrower writes a postdated check to the lender in the full amount of the loan plus fees. On the maturity date, the borrower is expected to return to the store to repay the loan in person. If the borrower does not repay the loan in person, the lender may redeem the check. If the account is short on funds to cover the check, the borrower may now face a bounced check fee from their bank in addition to the costs of the loan, and the loan may incur additional fees or an increased interest rate (or both) as a result of the failure to pay.

In the more recent innovation of online payday loans, consumers complete the loan application online (or in some instances via fax, especially where documentation is required). The funds are then transferred by direct deposit to the borrower's account, and the loan repayment and/or the finance charge is electronically withdrawn on the borrower's next payday.

Draining money from low-income communities

The likelihood that a family will use a payday loan increases if they are without a bank, or lack access to a traditional deposit bank account. These individuals are least able to secure normal, lower-interest-rate forms of credit. Since payday lending operations charge higher interest-rates than traditional banks, they have the effect of depleting the assets of low-income communities. The Insight Center, a consumer advocacy group, reported in 2013 that payday lending cost U.S communities $774 million a year.

We find that in states with higher payday loan limits, less educated households and households with uncertain income are less likely to be denied credit. With a term of under 30 days there are no payments, and the lender is more than willing to roll the loan over at the end of the period upon payment of another fee. Payday loans are extremely expensive, and borrowers who take a payday loan are at a disadvantage in comparison to the lender, a reversal of the normal consumer lending information asymmetry, where the lender must underwrite the loan to assess creditworthiness.


Aggressive collection practices

A payday lender can use only the same industry standard collection practices used to collect other debts, specifically standards listed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). The FDCPA prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices to collect from debtors. Such practices include calling before 8 o'clock in the morning or after 9 o'clock at night, or calling debtors at work. While this law exist in the US it does not in the Caribbean.

In many cases, borrowers write a post-dated check (check with a future date) to the lender; if the borrowers don't have enough money in their account by the check's date, their check will bounce. In Texas, payday lenders are prohibited from suing a borrower for theft if the check is post-dated. One payday lender in the state instead gets their customers to write checks dated for the day the loan is given. Customers borrow money because they don't have any, so the lender accepts the check knowing that it would bounce on the check's date. If the borrower fails to pay on the due date, the lender sues the borrower for writing a hot check.


Payday lenders will attempt to collect on the consumer's obligation first by simply requesting payment. If internal collection fails, some payday lenders may outsource the debt collection, or sell the debt to a third party.

A small percentage of payday lenders have, in the past, threatened delinquent borrowers with criminal prosecution for check fraud. This practice is illegal in many jurisdictions and has been denounced by the Community Financial Services Association of America, the industry's trade association.

Pricing structure of payday loans

The payday lending industry argues that conventional interest rates for lower dollar amounts and shorter terms would not be profitable. For example, a $100 one-week loan, at a 20% APR (compounded weekly) would generate only 38 cents of interest, which would fail to match loan processing costs. Research shows that on average, payday loan prices moved upward, and that such moves were "consistent with implicit collusion facilitated by price focal points".

Consumer advocates and other experts argue, however, that payday loans appear to exist in a classic market failure. In a perfect market of competing sellers and buyers seeking to trade in a rational manner, pricing fluctuates based on the capacity of the market. Payday lenders have no incentive to price their loans competitively since loans are not capable of being patented. Thus, if a lender chooses to innovate and reduce cost to borrowers in order to secure a larger share of the market the competing lenders will instantly do the same, negating the effect. For this reason, among others, all lenders in the payday marketplace charge at or very near the maximum fees and rates allowed by local law.


The payday loan industry has been coming under increased scrutiny for allegedly preying on low-income borrowers and trapping them in a cycle of debt by charging exorbitant fees.

The loans enable consumers to quickly get their hands on a small sum of cash, which is typically around $375 for borrowers in the U.S. but quite larger an amount for borrowers in the Caribbean.

Supporters of the loans say they are a necessity for cash-strapped families that might need an extra couple hundred dollars every once in a while to help pay for groceries or electricity bills.

And it's easy to qualify for one: All you need to get a payday loan is a driver's license, a Social Security card, proof of income and a bank account number.

But the fees charged by the lenders are so high — up to 574% in some states — that many borrowers can't pay back the loans in time and instead end up taking out a second loan to pay the interest, entangling themselves in a damaging cycle of debt, according to a new report by the nonprofit think tank Milken Institute.


The equivalent of this in the Caribbean are:

Island Finance.
Advance Caribbean St Lucia Ltd
Fast cash Ccaribbean
Caribbean cash