Negative government reports, consumer advocate studies, and investigative journalists for newspapers and television, have all taken pay day and cash advance lenders to task for their so-called loan shark activities. These protectors of the common good do have their points, but they offer few alternatives. When folks are in desperate need of cash, when they need the money quickly, there are no viable alternatives. Credit card companies, banks, and other traditional financial institutions are not too interested in loaning $500 to $1,000 to folks in dire need and often with less than stellar credit ratings.
Banning Pay Day or Cash Advance Loans
A market exists for lending money to people who need cash fast, and a legal market is the best answer. What would happen if pay day or cash advance lenders were banned? Law enforcement authorities would soon discover that back alley lenders, organized crime lenders, and other loan sharks will have stepped in to fill the void, exposing otherwise law-abiding citizens to the world of crime. And the enforcement wings of these loan sharks do not just break legs when a borrower cannot repay them on time. Whole families could be practically held hostage for a $500 loan.
Loans Are Interest Rate Heavy
Indeed, pay day and cash advance loans to carry substantial interest rates, far higher than those from traditional lenders with credit scores and collateral to underwrite the loans. But many of these folks do not have valuable property or acceptable credit histories. The fact is, the alternative to not being able to come up with cast in an expedient manner, could cause the borrower a lot more than just footing a high interest loan for a short period of time.
Interest Rates Vs. Financial Relief and Peace of Mind
Lack of cash can mean utility services being interrupted, going without medications or medical treatments, inability to purchase equipment for a business, job, or home necessity,and late payments along with further blemishes on credit reports. The interest rates, while high, are probably a small price to pay for financial relief and peace of mind. Because of the great risks a lender assumes offering these loans, the interest rates may be somewhat justified.
Perhaps the biggest problem, next to the high interest rates, is the short term requirements regarding repayment. Often, the very next pay check the borrower receives is eaten up by the repayment. One pay period is often not enough for a borrower to regain their financial bearings. They may have to keep extending the loan and that is where the real interest rates start to go into the loan shark realm. Often, a borrower can get so overwhelmed that they soon are making payments only on the interest.
Last Word on Pay Day or Cash Advance Loans
Many companies, in the onslaught of borrowers needing pay day or cash advance loans, are starting to change the terms of their loans so that they allow up to three months for repayment. They are responsibly addressing the needs of folks in these recessionary times. Three months is often long enough for people to get back on track financially. Unless someone can come up with a better legal alternative, a market exists for pay day and cash advance loans. That market, of course, should be carefully monitored.