WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE TYPICAL ONLINE PAYDAY LOAN PROCESS?
The world of online payday loans can be an intimidating and controversial one for consumers. With all of the negative hype and confusing misconceptions circulating, consumers often don't know whether an online payday loan is the right financial alternative for them and their situation.
The truth is that an online payday loan might just be the answer you're looking for! At the very least, the option of a payday loan is always something worth looking into, especially if you find yourself in need of immediate financial relief.
This article is intended to clear up some of the confusion and illustrate the typical payday loan process. Obviously, different companies will have different ways of conducting business. In no way does this article represent the full and exact process for each and every payday loan company that you find online. It is only intended as a general guide for the process and what you can expect from a typical, respectable payday loan company. Always fully research any company you plan to do business with prior to completing any transactions.
WHERE DO I GO?
First you will need to access the payday loan website. Typically, there are two kinds of payday loan sites on the internet.
1. A Payday Loan Lead Site.
Normally a customer will search for a payday loan site and come across a "Lead Site" thinking it is a payday loan company. "Lead sites" are hosted by companies whose main goal is to gather information from several potential customers, and then sell that information to companies that will further review it and potentially lend you the funds you are requesting. Lead sites are normally identified because they do not have a member log-in section on their homepage. Also look for a disclaimer somewhere on the website which states that their main purpose is to generate name leads for financial loan companies.
2. A Genuine Payday Loan Company Website
You can usually recognize genuine online payday loan sites by searching for a member's log-in area. These sites are direct lenders for customers who apply for a loan via the company's website. These companies are responsible for processing the applications in-house and depositing the funds into customer accounts once the loan is approved.
Customers should always research any company they are planning to do business with. After identifying the company you would like to use you will likely need to fill out a loan application. Online payday loan companies will have their own general pre-designated requirements in place that must be met in order to qualify for a loan. Examples of this may include the following:
- Active Direct Deposit
- An established checking and/or savings account that allows unlimited ACH deposits and withdrawals (Established for three months or more as a general rule)
- A minimum monthly take-home pay amount (Generally around $1000)
- An established employment history of 3 months or more
- US citizenship
- Applicant age of 18 years or older
Online payday loan companies tend to be very specific and forthright about all of the requirements in the loan application. Be sure to fully read and understand all of the terms prior to signing the agreement.
After you have fully and truthfully answered all of the questions on the application a determination will be made regarding the approval or denial for the loan. Different companies rely on different systems when researching applicants. Reasons for denial may include the following:
- Active "write-offs" or a bad payment history with other payday loan companies
- Non matching information on the application (i.e. - Social security number does not match name given on application)
- Lying on an application
- Applicants, spouses of applicants, or dependants of applicants who are on current active duty with any branch of the military (Federal law prohibits these individuals from doing business with payday loan organizations)
- Excessive loan inquiries with multiple payday loan organizations
- Recent poor checking or savings account history
- Excessive amount of current payday loans still outstanding
- False reference or employment contact information
Once the loan is approved, the funds will be scheduled to transfer into the customer's account. The customer will be notified of the date in which the loan will need to be paid in full. In the event that the customer is unable to pay off the payday loan debt on the agreed upon date, "extensions" can be requested. These extensions usually have a fee associated with them. The fee and a full explanation of the extension process should be explained in the original loan agreement. The purpose of an extension is to extend the amount of time before the full loan payment is due again. Customers are generally allotted a specific number of extensions that can be used during the life of a loan. Once this number is reached no further extensions can be requested and the full loan payment amount will be due.
Another fee which may occur, and should also be explained in the original loan agreement, is what is normally referred to as an "NSF Fee". This fee is charged when attempts to retrieve scheduled payments are made and the customer's bank rejects the attempted withdrawal due to Non-Sufficient Funds. Typical NSF Fees are around $20.
Note: Customers living in specific states may or may not be able to utilize the extension process, depending on state laws that govern acceptable payday loan processes. Other related state laws may exist and dictate different aspects of the payday loan service. Customers should always research their specific state payday loan laws and regulations before entering into an agreement online.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Online Payday Loans don't have to be an intimidating or confusing subject. Responsible customers often find them to be the perfect solution for a tough financial situation. The ball is often in the customer's court when utilizing this option since all of the terms, fees, and guidelines of the payday loan process are readily available prior to accepting any agreement. The key to any successful payday loan transaction is the customer's grasp in understanding the process and anticipating the way it will play out.
In addition, when doing business with an online payday loan company, customers should also look for an in-house Customer Service Department line. This service can act as a life-line for customers who become confused about any aspect of the process or who may have general questions.