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  • Writer's pictureSANJANA JEVRANI

What Are Payday Loans?

payday loans

Payday loans are short-term, high-interest loans typically due on the borrower's next payday. They're often used for immediate financial needs but can trap borrowers in a cycle of debt due to their high fees and interest rates.

What are payday loans?

Payday loans are short-term loans designed to provide quick cash to borrowers facing immediate financial needs. They're typically for small amounts, with repayment due on the borrower's next payday. These loans are often accessible without stringent credit checks, making them appealing to individuals with poor credit histories. However, they come with extremely high fees and interest rates, sometimes exceeding 400% APR.

How do payday loans work?

  1. Borrower applies for a payday loan, providing proof of income and a post-dated check for the loan amount plus fees, or authorize electronic debit from their bank account.

  2. Lender approves the loan quickly, often within minutes, without extensive credit checks.

  3. Borrower receives cash or funds deposited into their bank account, typically from $100 to $1,000, to cover immediate expenses.

  4. The loan term is short, usually until the borrower's next payday, typically ranging from a few days to a month.

  5. The borrower must repay the loan amount plus fees in full on the due date.

  6. If the borrower can't repay the loan, they may extend the term by paying additional fees, leading to a cycle of debt.

  7. Payday loans come with high fees and interest rates, often exceeding 400% APR, making them expensive options for borrowing money.


What are the requirements for getting a payday loan?

The essential requirements for getting a payday loan typically include:

  1. Proof of income: Demonstrating a steady income source, often through pay stubs or bank statements.

  2. Valid identification: Providing a government-issued ID to verify identity.

  3. Active bank account: An active checking account for loan disbursement and repayment.

  4. Minimum age: Being at least 18 years old.

  5. Ability to repay: Showing the capacity to repay the loan, usually assessed based on income and financial stability.


What is the average interest rate on a payday loan?

The average interest rate on a payday loan can vary widely depending on several factors, including the lender, the borrower's credit history, and the laws and regulations in the jurisdiction where the loan is issued. However, it's common for payday loan interest rates to be extremely high, often reaching triple digits when expressed as an annual percentage rate (APR).

In some cases, APRs on payday loans can exceed 400% or even 1,000%. These high-interest rates are one of the reasons why payday loans are often considered a form of predatory lending and can lead borrowers into cycles of debt.

Is payday loans legal in India?

No, traditional payday loans are not legal in India. However, there are alternative forms of short-term lending available, such as microfinance institutions and digital lending platforms, which offer small loans to individuals, often with more reasonable terms and interest rates regulated by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other financial regulatory bodies.


What is the difference between a cash advance and a payday loan?


Cash Advance

Payday Loan

Source of Funds

Credit card issuers

Specialized lenders


Part of credit card bill, high rates/fees

Next payday, full payment, high rates/fees


Credit cardholders

Any individual

Interest Rates

High rates, additional fees

High rates, sometimes >400% APR


Credit card terms, and regulations

Payday lending regulations


Payday loans, while offering quick cash, often ensnare borrowers in cycles of debt due to exorbitant fees and interest rates. They can provide temporary relief, but careful consideration and exploration of alternative options are crucial to avoid long-term financial hardship.

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