Payday Loans: How To Use Them Responsibly

If your car engine needs some work and there is not enough money on hand to cover the repair costs, don't feel alone. Many other people find themselves in need of some quick cash before the next paycheck shows up. That is where the idea of a payday loan comes into play. This source of short-term funding has become so popular that the Community Financial Services Association of America estimates that 19 million households make use of this type of loan when and as needed.

Using this type of loan does have its advantages.  The application process is more forgiving than more traditional loans and it is possible to have the money in hand in as little as a half-hour. While this sounds great, the consumer would do well to make sure the loan is used responsibly.  Here are some tips that will help.

Never Borrow More Than You Need

Many cash advance lenders are happy to approve loans for up to a certain amount.  The amount is typically based on the information provided about income levels and possibly the value of the vehicle owned by the applicant. Unless that maximum amount is what you need to cover the immediate need, ask for a lesser amount.  You'll have less to repay in terms of the principal and the interest that the lender applies to the loan.  In short, you'll be able to keep more of your next paycheck after you settle the loan in full.

Read the Contract Carefully

How often have you signed an agreement based on a general discussion about the terms of a deal?  If you are like most people, that has happened at one time or another.  Now is not the time to take that approach. 

Before you sign the loan contract, read it from start to finish.  You'll find that reputable lenders offering payday loans in any area of the country want their customers to read the contracts first.  If anything is not clear, ask questions and listen closely to the answers. Only sign the contract after you are sure that there is no question about what you are agreeing to do in exchange for the money.

Use the Money for the Intended Purpose

This seems like a no brainer, but once people have the money in their hands, it is tempting to cut corners and use some of the funds for something else.  If you secured the loan to pay for a new transmission, stick with the plan.  Don't start dreaming about how you could buy a new pair of shoes by finding and purchasing a used instead. Since used transmissions are not likely to come with guarantees or warranties, you could find yourself stranded by the side of the road before you pay off the loan.

Settle the Loan Early If You Can

While it is true that payday loan lenders do not provide breaks on interest for early repayment, settling a loan before the due date does establish an excellent track record with the lender.  It also means that the check you left with the lender will be returned to your hot little hand instead of being sent to the bank on the agreed upon date. Should you need another loan in the future, you'll find that the lender will be more than happy to oblige.

Loans of this type can be helpful, but you must use them responsibly. Borrow only what you need and make sure you can honor the terms without fail. Doing so will result in taking care of the emergency and creating access to a resource that could come in handy in the future. You can also check out sites like for more info.