If you are having trouble paying your bills, you might want to consider a payday loan. But be careful! Even with some recent reforms, many of these loans still come with high fees and very high interest rates. The good news is that there are alternatives, and as Consumer Reports explains, you just have to know where to look.
The pandemic has really exacerbated the problems with payday lenders, especially for low-income people and black communities. So there has been a push to provide them with better and fairer banking services.
What can you do now if you need urgent cash quickly? First, find a community development financial institution near you. They are financial service providers, like a bank or a credit union, whose mission is to bring financial services to low-income communities, places that many traditional banks have largely excluded.
And joining a CDFI can be affordable. They offer free or low cost banking services with an initial deposit as small as $ 25.
Another avenue that you can take is to find a nonprofit organization with a payment relief program. For example, Exodus Lending is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people get out of payday loan debt. These groups consolidate your loans without fees and interest.
If you end up going to a payday lender, CR says it’s important that you know the laws in your state. USA.gov has a directory of state consumer protection offices, where you can get help if you have a problem with a lender.