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CNN came out with a report last year, which mentions the steep rise in the costs of raising a child. According to this report, the estimated expense on each child between birth and 18 years of age now stands at $227,000. This is 40 percent more than what it was a decade back. Of course, not just the cost of raising a child, the costs of almost everything has gone up steeply in the last few years. You are in trouble if your salary of earning hasn’t increased by this much at least.

Unfortunately, that has not happened with a lot of Americans. They are thus very close to the poverty line, trying desperately to make the ends meet. They desperately look for money at the end of the month to pay off the bills and meet other commitments. Many don’t have a credit card, or even a bank account. Rarely will they get a loan, except for a payday cash advance. Payday loans are small-dollar loans, which they can repay next month, so it’s not a problem. They would be in real trouble without this help. read more

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Many of us have to take a loan from time to time when there is a need for some extra cash. It could be a big amount for a new home or car, or just a little to pay off the utility bills, make urgent car repairs, or something like this. For big sums, the best places to approach are the banks. For small dollar loans, millions across the United States, approach payday loan companies.

Unfortunately, however, sometimes we are unable to pay back the loan on time. This happens to the most honest individuals as well, people with the best intentions. There can be unforeseen circumstances, sudden developments that necessitate a delay.

If you miss a payment for whatever reason, debt collectors will probably come knocking. Many creditors or debt collection agencies will first give you a call, and then begin to repeatedly come knocking till the time you settle the debt. That is a huge hassle and an embarrassment. It is thus good to know your rights and obligations before you deal with these debt collectors. It will be wise to know the federal laws and your state rights about collections. This will surely prepare you better. read more

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The memoir of J.D. Vance “Hillbilly Elegy” was a huge success last year. It was one of the most acclaimed and talked-about of the summer. The story of Vance, his troubled childhood, days spent in abject poverty, and how he fought out of it, is very inspiring. All readers and even the critics praised how Vance was able to portray the hardships he faced so frankly. But his story is not the only one. Millions of Americans are fighting the odds to stay afloat and make their lives a little better.

Hillbilly Elegy has been recommended because it helps us understand the many facets of American culture and society. Robert Pondiscio from the U.S. News, Helen Andrews from National Review, Clarence Page from the Chicago Tribune and many others have said it is a must read. Clarence says, “Vance helps us to understand how shrinking opportunities for low-income whites helped to fuel the rise of Trump”.

There are other reasons as well why you must read this book, if you haven’t done so already. The book shows that too often, lawmakers and government officials come up with regulations and restrictions that are not in the best interest of the very people they are expected to help and support. There is a huge disconnect between what they perceive to be good, and the actual realities. read more

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Nobody likes to stay in debt. It’s a bad feeling, and a financial state that is likely to affect the way you lead your lifestyle. For instance, if you have taken a home loan or a car loan, which are usually for the long-term, then most people will always want to pay back the month’s due before anything else. It’s a top priority. Everything else has to wait.

But what about short-term loans, like a payday cash advance, for example? These are small dollar loans where the loan is offered for a couple of weeks till the next pay day. The amount is also usually between $500 and $2000, and as such, a high majority of people can pay back their debt on time without a problem. It is not a problem usually. But sometimes, unforeseen things happen. That’s life. You may suddenly face a situation where you had to spend more than anticipated, and at the beginning of the next month, you simply don’t have the money to repay the creditor.

Harassment by Debt Collectors a Real Problem

If you are in debt, and can’t repay, many debt collectors will keep calling you, making embarrassing calls, sometimes several times in a day. Suddenly, you will see many of them turn aggressive, though there are many ethical and legal payday lenders who will give you a second chance to repay. But these are exceptions. Usually, you will be in a lot of trouble from these creditors. It is not uncommon to feel like running away. read more

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Payday lending businesses across the country has been lambasted by a lot of critics in recent times for charging high interests. The general public has been made to believe that you should stay miles away from them because taking a short-term loan from them could land you in trouble, as you are likely to fall into a debt trap. Millions of people across the United States, though, continue to approach these businesses when they are a little short of cash, and need funding for the last few days of the month.

There have been voices of dissent also as some critics, accountants, former bankers, and lawmakers have pointed out that there is a real requirement in the market for payday loans. A large section of the population, particularly those who don’t have a perfect credit score have nowhere else to go. But these voices have been aberrations. Most critics still make us believe that payday loans are bad.

A few alternatives to payday loans have come up now and then, but none of them have worked. For all practical purposes, there is simply no alternative to payday lending anywhere in the United States at this time. read more

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Lawmakers across many states in the US have passed a number of regulations over the last few years severely limiting or preventing payday loans. Sometimes also referred to as quick cash loans or installment loans, there has been serious repercussions as a result. Quite a few states have completely banned these loans, saying that this leads to debt trap, though many analysts and experts aren’t quite sure about this conclusion. In many places where severe limitations have been placed, the number of payday lenders has come down drastically.

However, in spite of all these measures, payday loans have remained popular for years, revealing a fundamental need for these cash advances for lower income group people, and their popularity among the masses. For instance, in Alabama, people took more than 2 million such loans in 2015, with the average loan in the state being $326. 246,824 borrowers in the state approached lending agencies for money. These loans remain popular all along the Mississippi Delta. read more

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A man from San Diego, Doug Farry, has been meeting human resource managers, chambers of commerce, and city councils relentlessly for almost two years now, explaining to them what he knows from his experience as a former banker – many workers are forced to live from one pay check to another, and often face acute financial troubles in between. Doug runs a start-up that offers payday loans to employees with a steady job and salary, but people who could do with some additional funding in times of need or when they face an emergency.

Doug Farry has worked in a bank at Minnesota for many years and explains how the conventional banking system falls short of offering a real and practical solution to people who are just a little bit short of cash. Banks and other conventional lending agencies are simply not good enough, he says.

They are not interested in issuing a $1000 loan for a couple of weeks. The earning is too less, and the processing costs are too high for the banks. There is a real demand in the market for these types of loans, but the conventional lenders don’t offer a solution. read more

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The economy works on credit. In other words, you need good credit for virtually everything – a student loan for paying the college fees, mortgage loan for the house, a car loan for that new automobile. Good credit will be the make-or-break difference.

How the Credit Score Affects Our Lives

All of us have a credit score, which determines our “creditworthiness”. There are credit rating agencies that evaluate and come out with these scores. It is a three-digit score that is used to determine whether your loan applications are going to be approved or rejected. But creditworthiness can sometimes go even beyond that. For instance, the credit score is used to decide how much you pay towards insurance, whether you can rent that nice apartment, and even whether you will get that job or not. Yes, employers, landlords, and insurers can all access your credit score before deciding.

A good credit score can thus make a huge difference, even if you are not actively seeking a loan at this time. Bad credit will indicate that you are a risky bet. Good credit, on the other hand, is an indicator that your life is on the right track. It’s that important. read more

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There are two clear viewpoints on payday loans. Many individuals are convinced that these short-term loans are the way to go because it helps them stay liquid when they are running a little short of cash. Plus, they can always turn to these cash-advances in an emergency such as the car breaking down, sudden house repairs, or medical bills. There are millions of such people across the United States who is approaching payday loan companies for these short-term cash advances.

Then there are the critics who believe payday loans are a debt trap as a large section of the population are not able to pay back on time. The statistics, though, tell a different story. These loans are not a problem for a large majority of people, as they always pay back on the due date. But having said this, there are always a few individuals who cannot repay the loan on payday, mainly because of financial mismanagement. But that happens with any type of loan, and not just payday.

However, we will still like to work with those who might face problems in repaying the loan in time. So here’s a guide that should help them. read more

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Statistics of the present banking system in the United States will shock most people.

Twenty-seven percent of American homes, which come to one in four, don’t have access to the complete range of banking services. 7 percent of all people in the US are “un-banked”, which means that they do not have access to insured bank accounts, or any banking services. Plus, about 20 percent of homes in the United States, are “under-banked”, which means these people have an account at the bank, but don’t use banking systems for transactions or their credit needs.

Leading Presidential Candidates Raise Financial Inclusion Issues

The issue was raised briefly during the recent Presidential election, with both the leading candidates promising swift action to rectify the situation. But the situation is nothing new. Experts had pointed this out even after the economic turmoil of 2008 and asked the administration to prioritize financial inclusion.

But nothing much has changed, though almost a decade has passed since then. Payday loans or quick cash loans have remained the best bet for a large section of these un-banked or under-banked Americans who need credit. Yes, a few alternatives have been launched from time to time, but nothing has worked. For a large section of the population, payday loans remain the only viable and practical option. read more

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