Everyone is looking for a deal. You want to get a deal on cheap groceries. You want to pay less for cheap gas. You don’t want to pay too much for anything, not because you’re cheap in general, but because you don’t want to waste money that you may or may not even have in the first place.
You even hope to find something cheap when it comes time to borrow money. Yet, you still find yourself inside the payday loan store getting ready to pay as much as 400 percent or more in interest on a couple hundred dollar loan.
Fortunately, there are alternatives. There are ways to get money cheap without having to resort to the payday loan trap. Here are some ways to try to get the cash that you need before you walk through the payday lender’s doors:
Ask for money from friends or family. It can be humiliating, to be sure. But is it 400 percent interest humiliating? Probably not. Consider drawing up a written loan agreement to help avoid problems down the road.
Ask for money from your bank or credit union. Many banks, and many more credit unions, may be willing to make smaller dollar loans. If you don’t ask, you’ll never know.
Consider a credit card. Credit card interest rates are lower than payday loan rates, and you have longer to pay them off. If you can avoid taking an actual cash advance from your credit card, do so, because the fees and rates that come with a cash advance are much higher than those for purchases. Just about everyone takes credit cards now.
Look into overdraft protection. Now, this can get quite expensive, too. Check with your bank to see if you can get overdraft protection, and then make sure you only overdraft once – so that you’re not paying the overdraft fee over and over again.
Wait for it. Sometimes, you just need to hold off on a purchase. No, that doesn’t get you money cheap, but it does save you that huge amount of interest you’d pay if you can just maintain a little patience.