Payday loans are a quick and easy way to get an advance on your next pay check. Follow the simple online application process with minimal requirements to get cash when you need it.

They are essentially a short term loan that offers you a small amount of money for a short period of time.

To be more specific, a payday loan will typically offer a borrower between $100 and $2,000 and can be repaid in loan terms from 16 days all the way to 6 months or less.

Payday Loan Charges, Interest and Fees

A payday loan will cost you 20% of the principal loan amount as an establishment fee and then an ongoing fee of 4% of the principal loan amount until you have paid it off completely for loans under $2,001.

For loans over $2,001 and under $5,000 you will pay a maximum establishment fee of $400 and a maximum annual interest rate of 48%.

Payday lenders may not charge an interest rate as opposed to the pre-determined fee as described above as of the 1st of February 2017.

Comparison Rates

Comparison rates used to be the rate that you could use to compare different loans from different lenders on an even playing field since they take into account the interest rate charged as well as any associated fees.

Since the new regulations came into force only personal loans and loans over $2,000 will have a comparison rate attached to it.

Other Costs to Consider

Now that the ASIC have changed their regulations and called many lenders who had broken the law to take responsibility for their actions by refunding customer there are not really any additional fees that you have to worry about as the limits described apply.

That being said you may want to check any government fees as these may vary from lender to lender and you will want to find out what the default fees are.

So why get a Payday Loan?

Payday loans are not ideal for long term use and are ideally used on the rare occasion to tide you over or cover emergency expenses during a particularly difficult month.

Payday Loans can be used:

  • To pay for car repairs
  • To pay overdue bills
  • To pay school and education related expenses
  • To pay for appliance, electrical or plumbing repairs
  • As travel money
  • To tide you over during a difficult month

All payday lenders in Australia are regulated by the ASIC and need to make reasonable inquiries to find out if a payday loan is suitable for you.

You should not be able to get a payday loan if:

  • If you’ve taken out 2 payday loans in the last 90 days
  • You're unemployed and cannot prove that you can make the necessary repayment
  • If you’re receiving centerlink payments and you owe more than 20% of your income towards loans

A Warning About Borrowing

If you are unemployed, have any other outstanding payday loan, cannot manage or cope with your debts or are looking to pay off another loan with a payday loan you should not apply for a payday loan.

These loans can be quite expensive and although they may be helpful every now and then they are not a solution to debt or money problems and will very likely only make your situation worse.

Documents that may be Required

  • 3 month bank statements
  • Payslips
  • Proof of address
  • A rental statement

How to Compare Payday Loans

Since there is cap on what a payday lender can charge for a loan, the best way to compare payday loans as of the 1st of February 2017 is to think about whether or not they meet your needs.

Here are a few questions to ask:

  • Can I apply online? Most payday lenders – even the ones with multiple branches will have an online loan application but, if they don’t you may want to look elsewhere.
  • Do they offer as much as I need? Payday loans are usually loans from $100 to $2,001 but some lenders offer a minimum of $300 and a smaller maximum loan amount – if a lender doesn’t meet your loan amount needs move on.
  • Are they reliable? The only way to know if a lender is reliable is to find out if they are registered but you can also check their website, see if they have a physical address listed, and inquire as to how long they’ve been around.
  • How quickly do they process loan applications and pay out? Most payday lenders will process an application in under an hour and have your loan paid out just as quickly. If any reviews state that they pay out in 24 hour or more than you may want to opt for a faster lender.

Alternatives to Payday Loans

  • Family and friends – one of the best places to get some extra cash when you’re really in a pickle is from family and friends, especially if it’s a small and manageable amount
  • Your employer – if you need a small sum of cash why not ask your employer for an advance on your next paycheck? If you explain your situation and do not make a habit of it, employers are almost always willing to be a little flexible and help their employees out
  • Credit cards and overdrafts – if you have a credit card or an overdraft it will usually be much cheaper to make use of it than to take out a payday loan
  • Personal loans – payday loans have higher rates and cost more overall so if you need money and have the time to go to your local credit union or bank (or apply via their website you can get a small advance with much better rates and longer loan terms that make it easier to afford
  • Peer-to-peer loans – these are loans that are obtained online on a marketplace lending platform. People looking for higher than average returns will then borrow money to people looking for credit
  • Pawn brokers – if you have an item of value to sell than you could get an instant loan from your local pawn broker. Although this may be one of the fastest ways you get cash it is also very expensive