Compare Payday Loans and Alternatives in Washington State

Payday loansIf you are dealing with a financial emergency or unexpected expense that requires quick cash, you may be considering a payday loan. Payday loans are small flexible loans designed to act as a bridging loan to help with financial short falls, covering you until your next pay.

There are numerous lenders throughout Washington State that specialize in these loans; as specialists their fees and cost structures tend to be different to general loans from banks or credit unions. Many payday lenders may have more flexible application criteria, offering loans to those with bad or no credit and in some case don’t require a credit check.

Things To Compare and Consider With Payday Loans
- What are the costs? If considering a loan, ask for total costs in dollar figures and not percentages
- Can you really afford the loan? Just because you may be approved doesn’t mean you can actually afford the loan and you could be putting yourself in a worst financial position
- Short repayment terms which are strict – should you find yourself in a position where you can’t make the repayment, you will receive a high penalty fee and possibly a knock to your credit score…ouch

Washington State has many local and statewide payday loan providers. Picking the right lender depends on your personal circumstances as everyone’s financial situations and backgrounds are different. Below is a checklist on how to get the best payday loan for you – if you are set on borrowing with one.

- Always check reviews and complaints
- Verify their license with the Department of Financial Institutions
- Compare at least 3 different lenders and make sure they quote total costs in dollar amounts and not percentages.
- Consider loans in larger neighboring cities, larger population equals more competition and possibly lower prices.

Cities Across Washington With Numerous Payday Loan Options
Seattle – Tacoma – Spokane – Vancouver – Everett – Bellevue – Kent – Renton – Federal Way – Kirkland – Bellingham – Kennewick – Auburn – Pasco – Marysville – Lakewood – Redmond – Shoreline – Burien – Olympia – Lacey – Edmonds – Bremerton – Lynwood – Bothell – Wenatchee – Walla Walla

Most cities in Washington will have payday loan providers; the above just represents some of the larger cities throughout the state.

General Eligibility Requirements For Payday Loan Applications
Qualification for payday loans can vary from different providers in their application and approval criteria. In most cases it is a very quick process with loans provide in as little as 1 hour. General eligibility requirements include:

- 18 years of age
- Proof of income
- Must have a checking or savings account (1 month minimum history)
- Valid SSI or taxpayer (ITIN) number
- Must be a resident of the state of the loan
- Must not be active military member (for most lenders)

Cheaper Alternative Loan Options to Compare With
Depending on your need and urgency for money, there are many different alternative loan options available. In many cases, you may even find that a loan isn’t needed as you can establish new repayment terms with most creditors if you are borrowing to pay down debt. Whatever your reason for cash, below are different borrowing options.

- Most banks actually provide their own version of a payday loan; simply ask for a checking or savings account advance.
- Some employers will provide a salary advance, giving you access to some or all of your next paycheck
- Government benefits are another possibility to help with certain household bills such as utilities. If you are borrowing money to pay the electric, water or gas bill…benefits may be a better option.
- Speaking with a free financial counselor may be a great way to get financial assistance in the form of a loan as well as professional advice on how to control and manage money.

In addition, there are specialized loan services for Seniors, Disabled and Social Security recipients. Often times these groups are unsure of where they can get financial aid and help from. There are different community and non-profit organizations that can help.

Dealing With Problems With Payday Loans In Washington
Over the years there have been some horrific stories about payday lending and different unethical practices some lenders took part in. Because of this there have been different national and state based laws created to protect consumers. Below are your rights as a borrower in the state of Washington along with some key facts about payday loans.

- At no time may lenders harass, threaten or intimidate you when colleting a loan. If you are, file a complaint with the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI)
- You have a 24 hour cooling off period, meaning you can change your mind about the loan in one day
- A payday lender cannot allow you to borrow another amount from them to pay off a previous loan with them.
- You are only allowed up to 8 payday loans a year
- You can only borrow a total of $700 or 30% of your gross income…whichever is less
- If you are unable to make your contracted repayment, you can contact the lender to organize a new repayment schedule (must be done prior to the actual due date), request an installment plan. By law they must allow you at least 90 days to repay amounts under $400 and at least 180 days for amounts over.

For more information, or to file complaints, contact the Department of Financial Institutions. You can also learn about additional financial assistance programs and options for Washington State here.