Payday loans are a reasonable way for you to get cash quick. Whether its car repairs, a utility bill or some other emergency, sometimes you just need money fast. The question isn’t whether you need cash fast – you know that you do. The question is how fast you can realistically pay it back.
The idea behind a payday loan, of course, is that you pay it back within a couple of weeks. You take a loan until payday – hence, the name. In concept, that’s not a bad idea. In practice, however, it’s usually a bit stickier.
You see, when payday comes, you are indeed going to have some money. However, you’re also going to have the bills you normally have due on that payday, as well. So, you will often have to re-up on your payday loan, paying yet another fee.
The thing you need to ask yourself when taking out a payday loan, then, is how fast you can repay it. Will it take you two pay periods to have enough extra money in your budget to cover the loan? Three? Even more? If so, you should consider other options.
A credit card cash advance can be another good option, if you can’t repay the payday loan quickly. By paying your credit card off over time, you can pay less in interest.
Be careful here, though. If you only pay the minimum amount on your credit card cash advance, it can take a long time – much longer than the two or three pay periods you were planning on – to pay off the loan. If you do that, you’re going to accrue plenty of interest charges, and you’re going to wind up paying more in interest.
Another question you need to ask is what other options you might have. For example, taking a loan from a friend or family member will have significantly lower interest charges. Of course, in some cases it can lead to problems with your relationship with that person, at least if you have trouble paying the loan back.
You might be able to take out a personal loan from your bank, but the amounts of personal loans tend to be much higher than the small amounts of cash that people usually take out in a payday loan.
Ultimately, whether or not you take out a payday loan depends on your situation. In some cases, it makes good sense, but in other cases you’ve got better options to consider.