Payday loan rates vary from state to state. In states like California and Alabama, where there are legal limits, CashNetUSA charges the maximum amount allowed. Some states, such as Wisconsin, have no limit on payday loan rates. The highest rate we saw CashNetUSA charge was $25 per $100 borrowed, which is standard, though other lenders charged as much as $30. The lowest amount we saw from CashNetUSA was $9 per $100 borrowed, which is one of the lowest amounts.
But Peterson went beyond just his own personal experience: “Around 2006, I searched clerks’ online dockets to determine whether a large brick & mortar payday lender ever sued anyone. I searched the records for several counties in central Florida and found approximately five lawsuits during a period of five to seven years. It made me wonder what was unique about those five borrowers that motivated the payday lender to file suit. I have read that there are payday lenders in Ohio who actually sue sometimes. I am not observing this in Florida nor have I ever heard that it’s a national problem.”
Though regulated at the state and federal level, there are still payday lenders that attempt to skirt the rules. Some are online-only lenders based in other countries. Other lenders work around state laws by operating out of Native American reservations. Be wary of brokers that offer to connect you with lending partners – this can result in a lot of calls and emails about offers.
If your employer works with any of these companies, it’s a good option to take advantage of their services since they are less expensive in the long term than a payday loan. Still, if you find yourself taking advantage of these services regularly or your employer doesn’t offer them, you may want to look at your finances, make a budget or look for additional ways to earn income.
In the more recent innovation of online payday loans, consumers complete the loan application online (or in some instances via fax, especially where documentation is required). The funds are then transferred by direct deposit to the borrower's account, and the loan repayment and/or the finance charge is electronically withdrawn on the borrower's next payday.
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