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Payday Loans vs Installment Loans, Which to Choose?

There are lots of different types of loans for borrowers to take out. Mortgages, car loans, payday loans, personal loans, consolidated loans, and loans from insurance policies are all examples. Many of these loans are considered installment loans because the borrower pays the lender back in scheduled monthly payments. A payday loan is usually due in one lump sum. That’s the primary difference between any type of installment loan and a payday loan. But is one better than, or worse than the other?

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan is usually conducted at a loan agency and there are many of them located around cities everywhere. The last few years there has also been a rise in the number of online payday loans available to the public. The fees and interest is usually very high, and there is no collateral. However, your next paycheck acts as security for the loan. The lender offers you the money you request and then you pay it all back with your next paycheck. That’s plus interest and fees of course.

Advantages of Payday Loans

There are a lot of advantages of payday loans like:

  • Very easy to obtain – just about anyone with a stable job can apply for and receive a payday loan.
  • Very fast – You basically fill out an application and in a matter of minutes you will be approved and have cash in hand, or in your bank account if you take out a payday loan online.
  • Very convenient – Payday loan agencies are located throughout most cities and easy to find, and there are many now online payday loan services. This means when you are ready, there is going to be one available somewhere near you.
  • Extra option – Sometimes a payday loan is perfect for someone who just doesn’t have another source for a loan. Payday loan terms are relatively lenient, so they will provide cash when other options are not available.

Disadvantages of Payday Loans

There are a few disadvantages that are worth considering before taking out a payday loan, like:

  • More expensive option – the interest rates on payday loans are known to be some of the highest. For many the convenience and quickness of being able to obtain money when it’s needed balances out.
  • Scam lenders – as with almost any agency that deals with money, there are some scam lenders and it is important to know you are dealing with a qualified and legitimate lender before taking out the loan.
  • Can become cyclical – it’s easy to get behind when you use your next paycheck to pay back a payday loan. It can mean you are starting out behind with every single paycheck. Careful planning can help prevent that from happening.

What are installment loans?

An installment loan is a short-term, unsecured loan extended to borrowers. The interest rates are still relatively high, but not as high as most payday loans. The repayment is carried out over a predetermined amount of time and the loan is paid back in a series of payments, or installments that go toward the loan. Most loans fall into this category including car loans and mortgages. Recently installment loans have been broadened to include unsecured loans, meaning there’s no collateral like a car or house to secure the loan. You can borrow money similar to a payday loan, but pay it back in payments over time. There are many installment loan agents found online today.

Advantages of Installment Loans

  • Predictable payments on a monthly basis – there is a fixed interest rate when you take out an installment loan. Your payments will be set up at the time you take out the loan so your payment will always be the same. You will know exactly how much to pay out of each paycheck.
  • Longer terms – installment loans are usually longer since it takes time to make the monthly payments.
  • Fast and easy – It doesn’t take that long to get the money when you take out an installment loan. You can usually get the money deposited directly into your account in just a couple of days after being approved, or you can get cash.

Disadvantages of Installment Loans

  • High Interest – the APR on an installment loan is still going to be high, but not as high as a payday loan. However, you may end up paying more than you would with a payday loan after making the payments in full.
  • Penalties are accessed for missed payments – it can cost you a lot more if you fail to make your payments on time.
  • Secured by personal property – some types of installment loans require you to provide security – it’s in case you fail to pay.

Difference Between Installment Loans and Payday Loans

Installment loans and payday loans are considered to be “high-cost, small-dollar” loans. They usually come with high interest rates and are extended to those who do not have perfect credit scores or are of a specific income level. Even though the two types of loans are similar, there can be some big differences too.

  • Payday loans range from $100 to $1500; installments loans range from $150 to thousands of dollars.
  • Payday loans are short-term and paid back in 30 days usually, Installment loans are paid back over a few months
  • Payday loans are repaid through a post-dated check; installment loans are directly withdrawn or paid using a check each month
  • APR on a payday loan can be as much as 390%; APR on an installment loan ranges from 25 to 100%
  • Payday loans are unsecured; installment loans are typically secured but can be unsecured
  • Payday loans can be rolled over when it’s due (plus new fees); installment loans can be renewed every few months (with additional fees and interest)

Which loan is right for you?

There are lots of things to think about when trying to determine which loan type is right for you. Here are some things to look at:

  • How much cash do you need and how long will you need it? If it’s a smaller amount or just for a quick, small expenditure you might consider a payday loan. Larger amounts are more difficult to pay back so you might opt for an installment loan.
  • How is your credit rating? It really won’t matter if you want a payday loan, but it might if you want an installment loan.
  • How will you make repayment? If you are borrowing a small amount and can pay it all back at once, payday loans may be perfect; but if it’s too much to pay back within a single pay period, installment loans with manageable payments might be the better option.
  • How will it affect your credit score? If you fail to pay back either loan in a timely fashion, they can hurt your credit score. Paying off a payday loan will not necessarily help your score, but making your installments on time every time can help provide a positive influence on your credit score.

The type of loan you decide you need has to be what works for you. Take your time and determine which is the best decision for you and your present financial situation.

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