DebtWave Credit Counseling Offers Alternatives to Payday Loans

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With a high percentage of Americans living paycheck-to-paycheck, many individuals have resorted to taking out extremely expensive payday loans. DebtWave Credit Counseling lists some less expensive options to bridging the gap between paychecks.

DebtWave Credit Counseling is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that provides personal-finance education and counseling nationwide. In a time when consumer debt is at an all-time high, it’s quite common for an individual without adequate savings and planning to run out of money before their next paycheck. Many of these individuals are lured by the catchy television and radio ads by companies claiming to help people bridge the gap between paychecks for a small fee. The truth is that these payday lenders can be the most expensive loans on the market, often charging fees that equate to 300-1000% annual percentage rates.

There are, however, a number of other options that are far less expensive:

*Create a Spending Plan or Budget

Make a realistic budget, and figure your daily and monthly expenditures. Keep a daily journal of your expenses. Many times this will uncover unnecessary purchases that can be very costly. Also, having an emergency fund or savings can help to avoid borrowing for unexpected expenses. For example, by putting the amount of the fee that would be paid on a typical $300 payday loan in a savings account for six months, you would have extra dollars. This can give you a buffer against financial emergencies and gaps between paychecks. Many non-profit credit counseling organization offer budgeting assistance at little or no cost.

*Advances from Employers

Some employers grant paycheck advances to employees. Because this is a true advance, and not a loan, there is no interest and the advance is therefore cheaper than a payday loan.

*Emergency Assistance Programs

Many faith-based groups and community organizations provide emergency assistance, either directly or through social services programs. For example, in partnership with state agencies, the federal Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program provides financial assistance to low-income households that are in a heating or cooling (weather) related emergency.

*Credit Union Loans

Many credit unions offer small, short-term loans to their members. For example, North Carolina State Employees' Credit Union offers members a salary advance loan at 11.75% annual interest -- 30 times cheaper than a typical payday loan. Some credit unions also offer free financial counseling and a savings plan to help members get back on their feet. Many other credit unions offer very low interest rate loans (prime to 18% annual interest) with quick approval on an emergency basis. Unlike payday loans, these loans give the borrowers a real chance to repay with longer payback periods and installment payments.

*Cash Advances on Credit Cards

Credit card cash advances, which are offered at about 30% APR, are much cheaper than getting a payday loan. Some credit card companies specialize in consumers with financial problems or poor credit histories. Consumers should shop around and not assume they do not qualify for a credit card.

*Military Loans

Several companies offer loans ranging from $500 to $10,000 to active duty and retired military personnel. Payday loans are 10 to 13 times more expensive than these small consumer loans. These loans cost less than payday loans because they have much lower APR, ranging from 33% to 34.99%.

*Small Consumer Loans

Small consumer finance companies offer small, short-term loans that cost up to 60% APR, usually in the range of 25-36% APR. These loans are also much cheaper than payday loans; a person can borrow $1000 from a finance company for a year, and pay less than a $200 or $300 payday loan over the same period.

“The individuals that I’ve spoken to over the years have had a bad experience with payday loans. For the most part payday loans charge very high interest rates,” said Rita Mayo, Senior Credit Advisor for DebtWave Credit Counseling. “It's very difficult to pay back this type of debt, and many people feel that they are caught in a vicious cycle.”

For additional information about this subject, contact Jason Cash or visit under the education tab.

About DebtWave Credit Counseling

DebtWave Credit Counseling is a 501(c) 3 Non profit organization committed to educating individuals on the proper use of credit through budget management, to offer sound counseling and to assist clients to reduce and eliminate debt. DebtWave is a member of the Better Business Bureau and the American Association of Debt Management Organizations.


Jason Cash, Director of Education

DebtWave Credit Counseling

(888) 285-7624 ext.150

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