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Cash Advance Loan Primer




































Cash Advance Loans

A cash advance or payday loan is basically a short-term personal loan provided by an institution to an individual, with the stipulation that the individual pay back the loan or the interest within a specified period of time. A cash advance loan is generally for a small amount ($100 – $500) and is normally paid back within a few days or weeks. While most payday loan companies have physical locations where customers can apply in person, many offer online services, including depositing loan money directly into an individual’s checking account. Most companies require that information such as checking accounts, employment verification, and proof of citizenship and age be faxed to them to expedite loans, as well as to avoid losing money to people who would attempt to falsify information with the intent of not paying back their loan. Cash advance loan fees generally run from 5%-25% interest on the amount borrowed, but are normally less expensive then writing a hot check or paying late fees for your rent, and certainly more convenient than having your utilities cut off.

Minimum Requirements
Cash advance loan companies require that their customers meet or exceed certain conditions in order to be pre-approved for a loan. A pre-approval is a set of minimum requirements whereby a lender deems the individual applying for the loan to be a “safe” or “secure” customer — someone who is very likely to pay back their loan. Because most payday loan companies provide hundreds and thousands of loans each day, they are usually unable to look at the loan needs of their potential customers on an individual, case-by-case basis, at least not until they have paid back their initial loan. Thus, cash advance loan lenders require a limited number of minimum requirements to ensure that they can continue business operations. Almost all cash advance loan companies require one or more of the following stipulations. The individual applying for the loan must:

  • Be currently employed, or be receiving a recurring income of some sort.
  • Have been employed at their current job for at least 3 months (many companies only require that you be employed).
  • Be making between $800-$1200 a month at their place of employment, or from recurring income.
  • Be living at the same address for at least 3 months (once again, many companies waive this requirement).
  • Have an active checking account, including personalized checks, as well as direct deposit activity or capability.
  • Have had their checking account for at least 3 months (many companies do not require a set period of time).
  • Access to a fax machine (although some companies now accept applications completely online).
  • Be a citizen of the United States, or a legal resident of the U. S.
  • At least 18 years of age.

Once an individual has been pre-approved for a cash advance loan, many companies require that additional information be faxed to them.  Many, but not all, require some or all of the following in order to complete the loan process:

  • A complete bank statement.
  • A recent employment pay stub.
  • A copy of state-issued legal identification (usually requiring a picture).
  • A voided personal check.
  • A recent utility bill (usually a telephone or cable bill).
  • A signed copy of the loan agreement (if the application was filled online).

Membership Has It’s Privileges
Although the first time an individual applies for a cash advance loan it might seem a little more complicated than they had expected, once the initial loan is paid (or at least the recurring interest), the company providing the loan usually considers the individual someone who can be trusted, and any loan thereafter is almost always pre-approved as well as processed rapidly, and without the need for faxes and forms. Also, some cash advance loan companies offer their trusted customers better interest and/or grace periods on their subsequent loans. Individuals who apply for and who promptly pay back their payday loans can also use this information to help them when they later apply for credit cards, auto loans, or home loans, with good effect. In fact, many individuals with bad credit ratings have been able, as a first step, to re-establish their credit to a certain extent just by applying for and paying off a number of payday loans. Because a cash advance loan is not unlike a credit card, where one borrows money to buy things, but needs to pay part of the principal or the interest at a later date, many institutions are liable to take a positive view of an individual who promptly pays their loans.

Credit Checks
Contrary to popular opinion, most cash advance loan companies do not perform credit checks of their potential customers. Since they largely serve those with little credit, no credit, or bad credit, companies know that credit checks would be a horrible waste of time and money, as well as being a bar to serving their business needs. Most payday loan companies do, however, perform a check to see if an individual has any outstanding cash advance loans.  This is called TeleCheck, a database of consumer’s check writing history. An unpaid outstanding cash advance loan will more than likely disqualify someone looking to apply for another loan.

Paying Back Your Loan
Most cash advance loan companies require that their customers pay back their first loan completely in the allotted time, although some require just a minimum payment per time period, like a credit card. With subsequent loans, lenders become more lenient to the individual customer. Many cash advance loan companies require that you pay back your initial loan on your next payday (usually within 2-4 weeks), plus an interest charge of anywhere from $5-$25 per $100 loaned (ie. $25-$100 per $500 loan). Obviously, those who have already paid in full their initial loan will be deemed trustworthy enough to qualify for minimal interest and longer time periods in which to pay back their subsequent loans. Cash advance loan companies usually withdraw any loan principal plus interest directly from an individual’s checking account, but usually give their customers a chance to make sure they have enough money in their account before attempting to extract money which is not available, and thereby incurring an NSF charge to their clients. If you are not sure you will have enough money to cover the loan on the allotted date of withdrawal, make sure to contact the loan company, either by phone, email, or in person, so that you don’t lose more money on a bank charge, as well as incur a blight to you lending history.

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