What is a payday loan? | How do payday loans work?

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A Payday Loan is a simple and convenient method to borrow money without needing a credit check if you need financial assistance. The application procedure for payday loans is straightforward, and there are a few prerequisites to meet. Payday loan companies demand borrowers to submit proof of income, most commonly in the form of pay stubs from employment.

The most common requirements for loan approval are a checking or savings account at a bank or credit union, a prepaid card account, and employment or another verified source of income. RixLoans offers a straightforward application to simplify the process. Online Payday Loan or In-Store Loan associates are ready to give fast approval. The lender provides a loan for a portion of the money in exchange for a loan payment. Borrowers must repay the loan quickly, within the next month or less.

How Do Payday Loans Work?

Payday loans work by requiring proof of income and identification from applicants, authorizing the lender to cash postdated checks on the next paycheck date, and providing a loan amount as a percentage of the regular income, which must be repaid within a short period with interest and fees, with some lenders allowing renewal by paying only the interest due. Listed below is the procedure for how they work.

  1. Application. Applicants must provide proof of income and identification to apply for a payday loan. Provide postdated checks, authorizing the lender to cash the check on the next paycheck date.
  2. Approval. The lender provides applicants with the loan amount after approval. Its amount is a percentage of the regular income and ranges from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
  3. Repayment. The lender charges the borrowers for fees or interest if they fail to repay the loan on time. The repayment terms for payday loans are short, ranging from a few days to a few weeks. The loan amount, interest, and fees are due on the next paycheck date.
  4. Renewal. Some payday lenders allow borrowers to renew their loans by paying only the interest due on the loan. It means that the borrower extends the loan term, but owes the original loan amount, interest, and fees.

What Are The Benefits And Risks Of A Payday Loan?

The benefits of  Payday Loans include Fast Approval, Easy to Qualify, and Convenient. Payday loans provide temporary financial relief for unforeseen costs. The advances are modest amounts and are due the following paycheck. Payday loans are helpful, but they carry risks like High-interest rates, Short repayment terms, a Cycle of debt, Predatory lending practices, and a Negative impact on credit scores.


  • Fast approval – Fast approval benefits borrowers who need money quickly, like in emergencies or to take advantage of time-sensitive opportunities. Lenders use automated systems to evaluate loan applications based on criteria like credit score, income, and debt-to-income ratio. Using online applications and electronic signatures helps speed up the approval process.
  • Easy to qualify – It is a process by which a borrower quickly and efficiently meets the eligibility requirements to obtain a loan or credit. It involves minimal documentation or requirements, like a low credit score, limited credit history, or a lower income.
  • Convenient – Convenience is for borrowers who need money quickly or have limited time or resources to spend on the loan application process. Lenders offer convenient loan options through online applications, mobile apps, or other digital platforms accessible from anywhere at any time.


  • High-interest rates – Payday loans have high rates, making them very expensive to repay.
  • Short repayment term – A short repayment term refers to when a borrower must repay a loan or debt in full. It makes it difficult for borrowers to have funds to repay the loan on time.
  • The cycle of debt – Many people who get payday loans find themselves in a cycle of debt, where they continually obtain new loans to pay off old ones.
  • Predatory lending practices – Some payday lenders engage in predatory lending practices, like charging excessive fees or using aggressive collection tactics.
  • Negative impact on credit scores – Failing to repay a payday loan leads to negative marks on a borrower’s credit report, which makes it harder to qualify for loans in the future.

What are the alternatives for Payday Loans?

Alternatives to Payday Loans include Personal Loans, Credit Cards, and Family or Friends. Payday loans are simple to get but are expensive. Alternatives to Payday Loans give much-needed respite from the almost 400% annual percentage rates (APR) that payday lenders demand. A more extended repayment period offered by different loan types helps pay off debt while making small monthly installments. It is best to explore all alternative possibilities before resorting to a payday loan, regardless of the state of the credit history.

Personal Loans

Personal Loans are cash borrowed from a lender for almost any reason, like paying off debt, financing a large purchase like a car or boat, or defraying a significant expenditure like a wedding or vacation. Online lenders deal with consumers with good or bad credit. Lenders assess the borrower’s creditworthiness and ability to repay the loan by checking their credit score, income, and other financial information. Some of the benefits of personal loans include lower interest rates than credit cards, no collateral requirement, and the ability to consolidate high-interest debts into one manageable payment.

Credit Cards

Credit cards are plastic or metal cards used to pay with credit for goods or services. Credit cards are distributed by retailers, banks, and other financial institutions, with perks including convenience, rewards programs, and the ability to build or improve a credit score. Debit and secured credit cards are solutions for poor or no credit.

Family or Friends

Borrowing money from friends and family strains relationships. It’s the most practical way to avoid expensive loans in some circumstances. Put the loans in writing, including the duration of the repayment term, and include an interest-bearing offer. It supports ensuring dependability and confidence. Family and friends assist in the form of free child care, shared meals, or other services if unable to give financially.

What Are Payday Loans APRs?

Payday Loans APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is high, reaching triple digits. It was common for the Annual Percentage Rate on a payday loan to exceed 400%, which is higher than the APR on other types of loans like credit cards, personal loans, or auto loans. The exact APR on a payday loan varies depending on the lender, the amount borrowed, the fees charged, and the repayment term.

Here is a table for Loans’ Annual Percentage Rate (APR), according to CFBC.

ScenarioLoan TypeAmount BorrowedFees ChargedRepayment TermSimple Interest RateAPR
1Payday$500$752 weeks15%391%
2Credit card$500N/A1 year15%15%
3Installment loan$500$506 months5%16%

Explanation of Scenarios:

Scenario 1. It is a payday loan scenario where a borrower borrows $500 for two weeks with a fee of $75. It shows how the APR on a payday loan is much higher than the simple interest rate. The simple interest rate is 15%, but due to the short repayment term, the APR is 391%.

Scenario 2. The scenario shows the cost of borrowing the same amount of $500 on a credit card with a 15% APR. The APR is 15%, much lower than the payday loan APR of 391%. There are no fees charged, and the repayment term is one year.

Scenario 3. Its scenario shows an installment loan where a borrower borrows $500 for six months with a fee of $50. The simple interest rate is 5%, and the APR is 16%. The scenario demonstrates that even with a longer repayment term, the APR on an installment loan is lower than on a payday loan.

How To Choose The Right Payday Loans?

Choosing the right payday loan is difficult because there are so many lenders to choose from, and each has different requirements. Borrowers must research multiple licensed and reputable lenders in choosing the right payday loan. Compare their fees and interest rates, and know the loan term is reasonable. Review repayment options, read the loan agreements, and look for alternative options with lower rates and fees.

  1. Research multiple lenders. Look for lenders that are licensed and reputable. Check their reviews and ratings online to know their customer service and reliability.
  2. Compare fees and interest rates. Compare different lenders’ fees and interest rates. The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is a good indicator of the cost of the loan.
  3. Check the loan term. Check the loan term to know that it is reasonably affordable to repay the loan within the given timeframe.
  4. Review the repayment options. Check if the lender offers repayment options that suit the needs. Some lenders allow borrowers to repay the loan in installments.
  5. Read the Terms and conditions. Know the terms and conditions of the loan agreement before signing. Look for any hidden fees or penalties that apply.
  6. Look for alternative options. Personal loans, credit cards, and borrowing from friends and family are alternatives. The rates and costs associated with the alternatives must be more manageable for the budget than payday loans.

What are the eligibility requirements to qualify for Payday Loans?

The eligibility requirements for payday loans vary depending on the lender and the state where borrowers reside. Borrowers need to be at least 19 years of age and have a steady source of income. The income comes from a job, self-employment, or government benefits. Borrowers need to provide proof of income, like pay stubs or bank statements, and have an active checking account.

  • Be at least 19 years of age.
  • Have a valid and verifiable source of income.
  • Have a valid and active checking account.
  • Have a valid government-issued ID.
  • Provide proof of residency.
  • Acknowledge that they did not use the payday loan to pay off other payday loans.

What are the Payday Loans regulations?

Payday Loans in the United States are subject to federal and state regulations designed to protect borrowers from predatory lending practices. Payday Loans laws include limits on interest rates and fees, restrictions on loan amounts, and requirements for repayment plans. Federal law requires lenders to disclose loan terms and regulates collection practices while limiting lending to active-duty military members and their dependents.

What happens if Payday Loan customers can’t pay?

There are consequences when a borrower is unable to pay off a payday loan. The lender applies late fees and other interest for each day the loan needs on-time repayment. Contact the borrower through calls, emails, or letters to request repayment. It negatively impacts their credit score, and the lender takes legal action against them if the borrower fails to repay the loan, which results in wage garnishment, liens on property, or even seizure of assets.

Author: Kimberly Chantal Parkes

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Kimberly Chantal Parkes is a former contributor to Rixloans. Kimberly Chantal is a freelance copy editor and writer with a specialization in personal financial planning. After having graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor's degree in journalism, she began her career in media wearing many hats for community newspapers within the Kansas City area: writer as well as copy editor, photographer and coffee runner among other things.

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