Through the years, you may have acquired some payday loans and lost track of them. To start paying off your debt, you will need to know its size. Continue reading to learn how to find out if you have outstanding payday loans.
What Is a Payday Loan?
A payday loan is a short-term loan offered by a payday lender to tide you over until your next paycheck. These loans have a high cost and a low amount, often between $300 and $400. You can get one even without a credit score. Payday loans go by several names, including deferred presentment, cash advance, credit access business, and deferred deposit.
You can apply for the loan digitally or in-person. The payday lender requests permission to withdraw from your bank account or acquire a post-dated check. The loan is due within two to four weeks. If you fail to repay on time, the payday lender withdraws money from your account or cashes the personal check.
From a storefront lender, the cost of a loan is about $15 for every $100. A two-week loan has a 391% annual percentage rate (APR). Online lenders charge higher rates and get exempt from rate caps. The median cost is $23.53 for every $100, making it a 613% APR.
If you do not repay your loan on the first payday, the lender adds a new finance charge and repeats the cycle. You can end up paying much more than you borrowed in fees if you get caught in this cycle.
How to Find Out If You Have Outstanding Payday Loans
To find out how much you owe in outstanding payday loan debt, you can contact a payday loan database or check your credit report.
Payday Loan Databases
At this time, 13 states passed legislation that requires a payday loan state-wide database. These databases contain all data concerning payday loans by licensed lenders.
Payday loan databases protect lenders from bankrupt borrowers while also protecting the payer from excessive debt. In states with database legislation, the borrower can’t apply for another loan until they pay their outstanding debt. The lender then verifies that the individual paid their previous loan to lower the exchange’s risk.
Legal lenders have compulsory obligations with these databases. They must enter data concerning the loan, such as the amount, the term, and the borrower’s information. Then, they add information about the loan payback time. Lenders need to check the database for data concerning their potential borrowers, and they also pay charges for extended payday loans.
Many payday lenders resist this legislation because they cannot take from individuals in debt. This ruling can significantly lower their income because they will be less likely to withdraw money, cash a check, or charge the borrower. People cannot get new loans to pay off their old ones, leaving them in less debt and lenders with less revenue.
One privately-held and government-collaborating database is Veritec Solutions. It gathers data on more than 20 million small consumer loans and loan products. They regularly compile the information and make it available around the clock. Each state has a different database, but they all gather their information from Veritec.
While you cannot get information about the number of outstanding loans on the website, you can call the database provider’s phone number to learn about your situation.
Another database that reports on payday loans is CoreLogic Teletrack. This credit agency collects data from many financiers, including credit cards, banks, and payday lenders. They also provide public court information in their records. CoreLogic issues a report about a potential borrower’s financial history to lenders to determine if they should give out the loan.
CoreLogic shares how many loans a borrower has taken out, how many they have paid off, how many were paid late, and whether they have filed for bankruptcy. You can find your information online, and you can apply for corrections if you notice the data is invalid. To get a copy of the report, you need to fill out a consumer report request and fax it to CoreLogic. From there, you can readily learn about your outstanding debt.
Another easy way to find your outstanding payday loans is through your credit report. Websites like CreditKarma and AnnualCreditReport will let you see how many loans you have for free. The websites report from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. You will need to create an account to do so, but it should tell you the lender’s name, how much you borrowed, how much you repaid, and how much you need to pay.
Check that the website you get your credit check from comes without hidden fees and does not damage your score.
Ways to Pay Down Outstanding Debt
To pay your debt, you can consider an extended payment plan or EPP. Many states require EPPs from payday lenders so you can repay your loan in four weekly payments. Lenders involved in the CFSA trade association must offer EPPs, but not all payday lenders do that.
Another option is to get a debt consolidation loan. You borrow money at a low-interest rate to repay your loan before your next payday without needing a high credit score. These loans let you repay all of your debt in full, including credit card balances. You can repay the personal loan in monthly payments that fit your budget.
Some credit unions created payday alternative loans with reasonable costs and more lenient repayment terms. The maximum interest equates to 28% APR, and you can pay it back over six months. You will need an open account at the credit union for 30 days to qualify and may need to pay an application fee.
If you cannot get another loan, you can pursue a debt management plan. A credit counselor will devise a budget and repayment schedule, and they can negotiate with payday lenders to accept lower amounts. You will have to close all of your credit accounts, and it can prevent you from borrowing money later as it negatively impacts your credit score.