It happens: you’re careful with your money, budgeting, and watching every penny, but sometimes there’s just a perfect storm of expenses all coming together. You need money quickly and don’t know where to turn. For a number of people, this means turning to a payday loan and getting on a never-ending treadmill of fees and high interest rates.
The payday loan industry is huge, with a massive marketing push. This means they’re the only option most people think of for short term loans. But there are other options available, all much healthier than a high-interest, severe penalty loan. But first, let’s look at what’s involved with a regular payday loan.
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Options For Payday Loans in Colorado
A payday loan is a short-term loan for small-ish amounts of money – usually $100 to $1000 – that you repay with your next paycheck. The only requirement for taking one out is a regular source of income and a bank account. As they target people who need money quickly (and usually have bad or no credit), the fees on payday loans are high.
To take out a payday loan, you need: valid identification showing you’re at least 18 years old, proof of income, and a bank, credit union, or prepaid card account. There is no credit requirement, so those with low or non-existent credit scores can take one out.
Most payday loan lenders will not check your credit (also known as pulling your credit). This means they don’t care about your credit score or record. Their only concern is getting you committed to their loan. With a bank loan, for example, the lender will usually perform a hard pull of your credit, something that affects your credit score.
The number of payday loans you can have varies by state. Most restrict you from getting more than one from the same lender. Colorado limits a consumer to no more than $500 from one lender, meaning it’s possible (but certainly not advised) to borrow more than $500 from multiple sources.
The maximum amount you can get in a payday loan varies by state as well, ranging from roughly $300 to $1000. Colorado limits it to $500 with the statute also saying “nor shall the amount financed exceed $500 at any time to a consumer.”
In Colorado, the maximum finance charge allowed is 20% for any loans up to $300. This can increase by 7.5% with each additional $100 loaned. While the allowed APR is 45%, the real APR (interest plus fees and extra charges) can reach over 200%. One non-sufficient fund (NSF) fee can be assessed that doesn’t exceed $25.
Luckily, some changes are happening with the industry in Colorado. A law was introduced in 2019 limiting APRs on payday loans at 36%.
Payday Loan Alternatives in Colorado
You can see how a simple, small loan can quickly blossom into a debt nightmare. If you’re already struggling to make ends meet, this could get you into much deeper trouble fast. Clearly some sort of alternative to a predatory payday loan is needed. No matter what state you live in, you have better options at hand. A number of cash advances in Colorado are available that can get you the money you need with less pain.
Instacash is a short-term online cash loan that’s a much safer alternative than your usual payday loan. You can get up to $250 with no interest. MoneyLion Instacash advances are available with an Instacash membership. Qualify for a painless, no credit check advance the same day you sign up.
To get Instacash, download the MoneyLion app. Then you can just tap “Instacash” to apply and get the money directly deposited into your account. The advance you get will be withdrawn from your bank account two weeks later for repayment. And all of it happens with zero interest.
Credit Builder Loans
A credit builder loan is just as its name implies: a loan that helps you build up your credit score and history. The lender reports on your payment on the loan directly to one or more of the three credit reporting bureaus, thus improving your credit reputation. It’s a way for the lender to directly vouch for your trustworthiness as far as your credit is concerned.
While usually limited in size, credit builder loans have reasonable interest rates and don’t require any collateral. All require some proof of income to prove that you are in a state to pay the loan back. Like any loan, the most important responsibility of the borrower is to make payments on time. Think of it as a sort of practice run for larger loans from other sources.
MoneyLion offers credit builder loans to their members. Download the MoneyLion app and create an account if you don’t already have one. As a Credit Builder Plus member, you can be instantly approved for a credit builder loan up to $1000. MoneyLion’s online services also enable you to schedule automatic payments to make sure you manage the loan responsibly.
Ask Your Boss
There’s an old-fashioned way of getting cash quick that doesn’t rely on your credit score or a complicated application process. It’s simply asking your boss for an advance. Not all workplaces allow for this; you’ll want to check your company’s policies before asking. But if the means are there to do so, make sure you keep some things in mind.
You don’t want this to be a recurring event for you. This is an emergency solution. Read the temperature of your boss and your company well. You’ll best make this request when they’re in a good mood and the company is doing well. Also, be clear regarding if this is an interest-free advance or a small loan you’ll be paying off with interest added.
Get the help you need without going into more debt
Everyone has those moments of being strapped for cash. If you find yourself in a financial bind, don’t limit yourself to a payday loan. A number of equally quick options are available to you that won’t bury you in fees and penalties. You can always check options at your workplace, but remember that MoneyLion offers services to help get you out of financial trouble without getting you into more of it.
Instacash is the perfect option if you have a regular income, and you just got caught between checks and need coverage. Credit Builder Loans are perfect if you’re just starting to establish credit and need a little help. Open a MoneyLion account and check out Instacash and Credit Builder Loans.