There is an endless number of reasons why you might need cash right now — whether you have a broken refrigerator or need a textbook for a class. You might think that your only option is to take a quick high-interest loan. Easy loans (sometimes called cash advances or payday loans) can get you money without a long wait — but at a high interest rate. In fact, you may not realize how truly costly these loans are until it’s too late.
Make sure you consider all of your options before you take out an easy loan. We’ll go over the true cost of these loans as well as what to look for in an alternative. Finally, we’ll show you how you can get up to $250 deposited instantly in your account with MoneyLion’s Instacash or a low APR loan with MoneyLion’s Credit Builder Plus.
Overview: What are Easy Loans?
An easy loan is a type of loan that has a very short term, a high interest rate and multiple fees. Easy loans refer to a specific type of personal loan called a payday loan. Though there is no universal definition of a payday loan, financial experts agree that most payday loans share a few common characteristics:
- The lender expects the loan paid in a single lump sum instead of installments.
- The lender doesn’t seem to care about your income or ability to pay the loan back.
- The lender charges exorbitant fees and interest.
- The lender may or may not allow you to rollover your loan on the due date (you’ll only pay interest and fees that have accrued).
Most payday loans come from independent payday loan centers. These payday loan centers often also offer other financial services, including pawn brokering and check cashing. You usually cannot get a payday loan from a traditional bank or credit union.
High-cost payday lending is legal in 32 states but most states have laws in place that limit these types of loans. You may face limits on the amount of money that you can borrow, your loan’s term and the number of times that you can roll your loan over. Some states ban payday loans altogether under excessive usury laws. Online payday loans are subject to the jurisdiction of the state you live in.
Payday loans are appealing to consumers because they offer a fast and simple way to get money quickly. You usually only need a working bank account and the time to fill out a quick application to get an easy loan. There are also no limits to how you can use the money from a payday loan. Unlike an auto loan or a mortgage loan, you don’t need to tell the lender how you plan to use the money. These factors lead you to take out an easy loan — only to find that you’re unable to pay the loan back later on.
How Do Easy Loans Work?
First, you’ll first need to find a lender that specializes in short-term loans. Visit the lender and request a loan for the amount of money you need. Depending on your state, there may be a limitation on how much money you can get for a payday loan. Your lender will then draw up a contract with the terms of your loan. Your contract will include information on:
- How much money you’re taking out in a loan
- Your annual percentage rate (APR), or the amount of interest you pay each year on your loan
- Any flat-rate fees you must pay in addition to your interest
- Information on your rollover options if you can’t pay your loan
- Information on what happens if you default on your loan
- Where and how to pay back your loan
- The loan due date
To agree to the loan, you’ll sign the contract and the lender will give you the money you need. You’ll also need to write your lender a check or offer authorization to take money from your bank account if you don’t pay back your loan. When you return to pay your loan, your lender will release the hold on your bank account or return your check to you.
Most financial experts don’t recommend taking out an easy loan because they often charge very high interest rates. You might pay anywhere from 300% to 780% APR to take out a payday loan. This can cause interest to compound faster than you can pay it. For example, you might borrow $500 for two weeks at 500% APR and will owe your lender a total of $596 when you pay the loan back — $500 in principal and $96 in interest. Data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that 80% of people who take out a payday loan re-borrow or rollover their loan at least once. One in every five borrowers defaults on a payday loan and more than 50% of people who take out an online easy loan default.
Things to Look for in an Easy Loan Alternative
As you can see, these “easy” loans aren’t so easy on your wallet. Thankfully, there are plenty of other easy loan alternatives that you can use to get the money you need. Here are a few things to look for when you consider easy loan alternatives.
No Impact On Your Credit
Easy loans can be appealing because they don’t require credit checks before you get a loan. Do you have bad credit or no credit? Look for a lender that offers loans without a hard check on your credit report. A hard check means your lender pulls your credit report to look at your past credit usage and credit score. Hard checks hang around on your credit report for a short period of time and temporarily lower your score. This can be frustrating if you’re working to improve your credit. Look for a lender like MoneyLion that doesn’t require credit checks as a condition of your loan when you look for an easy loan alternative.
Chances are that you don’t have time to schedule a trip to the bank to get a loan. Look for a lender that offers online loans and makes applying for an account or loan simple.
One of the most appealing things about easy loans is that you don’t need to wait days or weeks to get your money. Look for a lender like MoneyLion that offers instant deposits as soon as you get loan approval.
A high interest rate can make it feel impossible to pay your loan back on time. Remember to read the loan’s terms and analyze the APR. Do the math and figure out how much money you’ll owe by the time your loan is due — and don’t be afraid to compare lenders before you make a commitment. MoneyLion offers 0% APR Instacash advances and low APR credit builder loans with Credit Builder Plus.
Like high APRs, high fees can make it difficult to pay back your loan on time. Fees are another crucial reason to read through all of your loan’s terms before you agree to them. Search for a lender that offers loans with minimal fees to save as much money as possible.
Meet the Easy Loan Alternative: Instacash from MoneyLion
Know that easy loans aren’t for you but can’t seem to find the best alternative? Consider Instacash from MoneyLion. Instacash is the safe, simple and easy way to get up to $250 instantly deposited into your account when you need it.
We know that bills sometimes pile up faster than your paycheck comes in. Instacash gives you early access to your next check without high fees or credit checks. Just open up the app, choose how much money you need, confirm your transaction and see the money in your account. Instacash has 0% APR and you don’t need to pay back what you owe until your next payday. Fast and convenient, Instacash is here for you when you need money quickly.
Download The MoneyLion App
Download the MoneyLion app onto your phone or tablet to get started. You can find the MoneyLion app on both the Apple App and the Google Play store. Visit the Finances tab and tap the Instacash button. There’s no credit check to qualify for Instacash advances.
Select How Much Money You Need
Depending on how much money you have coming in on each paycheck, you can get up to $250 immediately with Instacash. Select the amount of money you need and confirm your transaction.
Enjoy Your Instacash Advances
As soon as you confirm your transaction, you’ll see your Instacash in your MoneyLion account. You can use the money you get from Instacash for anything that you need, including repair bills, fines, credit card payments and college textbook expenses. You’ll pay back what you borrowed when your next paycheck arrives — with no interest.
MoneyLion Checking Account provided by, and MoneyLion Visa® Debit Card issued by, Lincoln Savings Bank, Member FDIC. Terms and conditions apply.
Investment advisory services provided by ML Wealth, LLC. Investment Accounts Are Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • Investments May Lose Value. For important information and disclaimers relating to the MoneyLion Investment Account, see Investment Account FAQs and FORM ADV. Broker-Dealer may charge a $0.25 withdrawal fee, among other fees. Funded accounts are subject to administrative fee of $1 per quarter.
Current Credit Builder Plus membership required for Credit Builder Plus loan eligibility; the $19.99 monthly fee will be withdrawn from your linked bank account. All Credit Builder Plus loans are made by either exempt or state-licensed subsidiaries of MoneyLion Inc. The Credit Builder Plus loan may, at lender’s discretion, require a portion of the loan proceeds to be deposited into a reserve account managed by ML Wealth, LLC and held by Drivewealth LLC, member SIPC and FINRA. The funds in this account will be placed into a money market cash management or FDIC bank sweep vehicle, and may generate interest at prevailing market rates. You will not be able to access the portion of your loan proceeds held in the credit reserve account until you have paid off your loan, and so long as your Credit Builder Plus membership payments are current. If you default on your loan, your credit reserve account may be liquidated by the lender to partially or fully satisfy your outstanding indebtedness. May not be available in all states.Credit Reserve Accounts Are Not FDIC Insured • No Bank Guarantee • Investments May Lose Value. For important information and disclaimers relating to the MoneyLion Credit Reserve Account, see Investment Account FAQs and FORM ADV.
A Credit Builder Plus loan may or may not improve your credit score. Credit scores are the result of your personal credit practices.
Cash advance requires current membership in Credit Builder Plus ($19.99 monthly fee) or Instacash with Banking ($9.99 monthly fee) membership programs. Instacash with Banking monthly fee is waived for members who connect and maintain recurring eligible direct deposits into their MoneyLion Checking Accounts. All Credit Builder Plus and Instacash with Banking members are automatically eligible to access either $25 or $50 of cash advance, depending on creditworthiness. Members can increase their cash advance limit to up to $250 by connecting and maintaining recurring eligible direct deposits into their MoneyLion Checking Accounts and after up to three consecutive direct deposits have cleared, or at MoneyLion’s discretion. See Membership Agreement and Cash Advance FAQs for more information.