Some tax return preparers offer what they may call ‘instant’, ‘express’ or ‘fast money’ refunds. These refunds are actually loans borrowed against the amount of your anticipated refund. These loans often include extremely high interest rates and high fees. They must be repaid even if you don’t get your refund or it is smaller than anticipated. To avoid the temptation of getting a Refund Anticipation Loan:
The basic loan process involves a lender providing a short-term unsecured loan to be repaid at the borrower's next payday. Typically, some verification of employment or income is involved (via pay stubs and bank statements), although according to one source, some payday lenders do not verify income or run credit checks. Individual companies and franchises have their own underwriting criteria.
Adam West is the Managing Editor for BadCredit.org, where he regularly coordinates with financial experts and industry movers and shakers to report the latest information, news, and advice on topics related to helping subprime borrowers achieve greater financial literacy and improved credit scores. Adam has more than a dozen years of editing, writing, and graphic design experience for award-winning print and online publications, and specializes in the areas of credit scores, subprime financial products and services, and financial education.
With overdraft payment programs, also called ‘courtesy’ overdraft protection or bounce coverage, the bank pays any checks that you write, debit purchases or ATM withdrawals that are for more money than you have in your account. The decision to make this payment is at the sole discretion of the bank. The bank will charge a fee for each transaction and some banks will also charge a daily fee until the account has a positive balance. Some banks will charge loan fees, sometimes twice in a billing period. In order to avoid the imposition of additional charges, the customer must repay the bank the amount that it covered plus any accumulated fees.
A lender or debt collector can only garnish your wages if it has obtained a court judgment. A court judgment could be the result of you failing to repay the loan and then disputing the lender or collector after you’ve been sued to collect the losses. If someone is threatening to garnish your wages and you’re unsure if they can, seek the advice of a lawyer or nonprofit credit counselor.
To prevent usury (unreasonable and excessive rates of interest), some jurisdictions limit the annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge. Some jurisdictions outlaw payday lending entirely, and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders. In the United States, the rates of these loans were formerly restricted in most states by the Uniform Small Loan Laws (USLL), with 36%-40% APR generally the norm.