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Cash Loans: Are They Worth the Cost?

Written By adi mulias on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 | 3:27 PM

It is a fact that sometimes, money is tight. Everyone will be in this situation at some stage in their life. They are in urgent need of funds to avoid bouncing checks or missing important payments. If you have a steady source of income, and you need money for only a short period of time, a cash loan, or paycheck advance may seem like an attractive option. But take care, as they are often a lot less attractive than they seem.

Cash loans are for relatively small amounts and are very fast and easy to arrange. They are for very short periods but the rates of interest charged can be very hefty indeed. The whole loan can be arranged in minutes and typically involves presenting your paycheck or other security such as a car title. If the loan is approved you can walk out with a check or a transfer can be made instantly to your account.

However, they are extremely expensive forms of credit. While most credit cards offer a grace period during which you can pay your bill and avoid interest charges, cash loans usually start charging interest immediately. There may also be a fee for arranging the loan and other charges. If you add this up, the interest rate will usually be shocking. Indeed, even the high rates of interest charged by credit card companies for taking out a cash advance may turn out to be significantly cheaper than cash loans.

Luckily, there are alternatives to these cash loans. One such option is an overdraft on your current account. This will be provided by your bank and will have associated fees, but it means that you can spend up to an agreed amount more than you have in your account. While the charges and interest rates vary, they should work out cheaper than cash loans.

Another option is to contact your creditors and try to negotiate an extension or rearrange your repayment schedule. Many lenders will be willing to work with you if you are having trouble keeping up with repayments. For example they may be willing to extend the period of the loan so that your monthly repayments are lower.

Finally, if you do need to go for the cash loan, try to take out the bare minimum necessary to tie you over till your next pay check. Then, when you have the money, pay back the loan immediately. It is tempting to extend the cash loan but in the long run, the cost of this is not worth it.

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