What is a payday loan?

Payday loans have a bad reputation and for good reason. But for those who may not understand the pitfalls of a payday loan, they can be an appealing choice for individuals who need money fast.

Unlike an installment loan, which is a legitimate way of borrowing a specific amount of money and paying it back in a certain amount of time, payday loans are notorious for taking advantage of vulnerable people.

What is a payday loan?

A payday loan—also called a payday advance, cash advance, or check advance—is a type of short-term loan that charges extremely high-interest rates and fees based on a borrower’s income and credit profile. The loan’s principal is usually a portion of a borrower’s next paycheck.
Payday loans are considered predatory because they do not require any collateral and charge high levels of interest, this makes payday loans a type of unsecured personal loan. They often include hidden fees, use deceptive language, and are marketed toward populations of people who are economically challenged.

How do you get a payday loan?

You’ll usually find a payday loan business in a physical storefront, though there are some that are online as well.

When you fill out a payday loan application, you must provide current pay-stubs from your employer that prove your actual income. Payday lenders often base the principal amount of money you’ll be getting based on what they predict your short-term income will be. They might also use your work wages as collateral in some cases.

Other factors that payday loan lenders might consider are your credit score and credit history, which is obtained at the time of your application.

Criminally-high interest rates

Payday lenders are known to charge borrowers incredibly high-interest rates. Though most states have laws that limit interest charges to less than 35%, payday lenders often find loopholes that allow them to be exempt from these regulations. But it’s not just the high-interest rates you should watch out for. The finance charges associated with many payday loans can range up to around $18 per $100 of the loan.

Because payday loans are governed on an individual state level, some states in the U.S. have taken extra steps to ban payday loans of any kind. As of 2020, 12 states, along with Washington D.C., have outlawed them. The 12 states are Arkansas, Arizona, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Vermont, and West Virginia.

Watch out for those finance charges

Most payday loans are geared to meet short-term financial issues that some borrowers may face. The loan amounts typically range from $100 to $1,500 for 30 days or less. Many times these loans can be rolled over for additional finance charges, and many customers become repeat borrowers, which becomes a vicious cycle that only puts them more in debt.

Though the Truth in Lending Act does require payday lenders to disclose their finance charges, many borrowers overlook this information due to manipulative language, shady marketing practices, and the old “fine print” tactic, where the loan terms are typed in very small, hard-to-read print. Following the 2008 financial crisis, laws have been passed to create a more transparent lending market. Since then several court cases have been filed against predatory payday lenders that are violating these laws.

Instead of going through a payday lender, take advantage of what Leap Credit offers. We offer safe, secure loans online that can be transferred directly into your bank account within two business days in most cases. And we adhere to all state regulations where Leap Credit is available.

Best vacation loans

Top 12 Vacation Destinations for 2020 and How a Vacation Loan Can Help You Get There

As we get closer to summer and we see more states opening up for business once again, we thought now would be the perfect time for you to start planning your next big trip and how a vacation loan from Leap Credit could help your planning.

From a financial standpoint, it’s always best to put money away into a special savings account dedicated for travel. But if you’re financially unable to save for a vacation, you could look at taking out a vacation loan.

A vacation loan is usually an unsecured personal loan you choose to use exclusively for travel. Instead of car or home loans, vacation loans don’t require collateral and are approved based on your credit score and other factors.

Advantages of taking out a vacation loan are:

  • You repay the loan in fixed, monthly payments over a specified amount of time
  • Unlike credit cards, interest rates on vacation loans are often lower

So, once you’ve decided how you’ll plan financially for your vacation, where will you go? We’ve got some suggestions.

1. Puebla, Mexico

This city just southeast of Mexico City is known for its rich culinary history and colonial architecture. Though it’s Mexico’s fourth-largest city, you won’t see many tourists so you’re free to roam in the city without having to worry about large crowds of wandering visitors.

Points of Interest:

  • Puebla Cathedral
  • Downtown Puebla
  • Amparo Museum

2. Maui, Hawaii, United States

If you are into surfing, Maui boasts some of the largest waves in the world, as well as great windsurfing conditions. Its beaches are surrounded by majestic mountains and flora with every color in the rainbow. Visitors can also go on scuba excursions and scenic hikes, all while staying at one of Maui’s world-class resorts.

Points of Interest:

  • Maui Arts and Cultural Center
  • Lona Ridge
  • Haleakala National Park

3. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Known as the birthplace of the tango and Latin America’s shopping capital, Buenos Aires is bustling with energy, a romantic and diverse food scene, and historic neighborhoods. Be prepared to stay up all hours of the night as this city’s nightlife is legendary. Restaurants get busy at 9 p.m., bars at midnight and the clubs don’t start getting crowded until 2 a.m.

Points of Interest:

  • Cafe Tortoni
  • Teatro Colon
  • Lo de Joaquin Alberdi

4. Costa Rica

This land of wondrous rainforests is perfect for those looking for a little adventure. While riding a miles-long zip line, you’ll notice the abundant amount of wildlife here, with 52 species of hummingbirds, spider monkeys, and sloths. There’s also terrific white water rafting and more than 800 miles of scenic beaches, and plenty of bars and restaurants to enjoy cocktails and native cuisine.

Points of Interest:

  • Arenal Volcano
  • Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
  • Ruinas de Ujarras

5. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

Rio is called the Cidade Maravilhosa and there are plenty of reasons why. With scenic mountains, gorgeous beaches, and a string of small islands, outdoor adventures like rock climbing, hang gliding, and sailing await you. Its dazzling beaches offer unlimited enjoyment with all sorts of sports activities, snacking, and drinking. If you love music, this is the place to go, with dozens of live music venues, the legendary Carnival, and plenty of dancing.

Points of Interest:

  • Christ the Redeemer statue on Mount Corcovado
  • Copacabana Beach
  • Lapa neighborhoo

6. Yellowstone National Park

Spanning Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, Yellowstone is the world’s first national park, founded in 1872. It’s home to the largest free-roaming herd of bison in America and more than 150 species of birds. Formed on top of one of the world’s largest active volcanoes, visitors can hike, camp, bike or boat through more than 2 million-acre park.

Points of Interest:

  • Old Faithful
  • Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Tower Fall

7. San Francisco, USA

San Francisco has something for everyone. Featured in movies such as The Rock, Bullitt, and Big Trouble in Little China, this American city is famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Chinatown. But there’s more to San Francisco than its place in pop culture history. Tons of shopping, a diverse food scene and lots of live music venues make The City by the Bay a must visit.

Points of Interest:

  • Ghirardelli Square
  • Fillmore Street District
  • Pier 39

8. Machu Picchu, Peru

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World, this Incan citadel is steeped in legend, mysticism and folklore, and a must-see vacation destination for millions of people around the world. Thousands of years old, this ancient city was all but forgotten until it was rediscovered in the early 20th century. If you’re an archeology lover, you don’t have to be Indiana Jones to enjoy what Machu Picchu has to offer.

Points of Interest:

  • Hut of the Caretaker of the Funerary Rock
  • Intipunku
  • Ceremonial Baths

9. New York City, New York

If you’ve never been to the Big Apple, then you should definitely consider it. Made up of five boroughs, this humongous city overflows with drastically-diverse people, eateries and attractions. There is so much to do in New York City you’ll be overwhelmed by all of the choices. But it’s also just fun to walk around among the urban jungle of towering skyscrapers and take in its distinct vibe. The best thing about New York City is that it’s a trip that fits any budget.

Points of Interest:

  • Broadway
  • Freedom Tower
  • Katz’s Delicatessen

10. Grand Canyon National Park, United States

Stretching 277 miles along the Colorado River, this iconic symbol of America is an outdoor lover’s dream. Beauty surrounds you with landscapes that will take your breath away and plenty of hiking, biking, camping, and rafting. The park is open year-round and each season offers a variety of different scenery, all of them spectacular.

Points of Interest:

  • Grand Canyon Village
  • North Kaibab Trail
  • Grand Canyon Railway

11. Siesta Key, Florida

This under-the-radar beach is easily accessible by one of two bridges connecting to Sarasota. Siesta Key is an 8-mile long crescent-shaped barrier island with four main areas – Siesta Beach, Crescent Beach, Turtle Beach, and Siesta Key Village. Its beaches are composed of a mix of quartz and other minerals, making the sand cooler on your feet than other beaches. And, it’s silky smooth. If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, this is the place to go, with plenty of golf, boating, and fishing.

Points of Interest:

  • A Rodbender Fishing Charters
  • Captain Curt’s Crab & Oyster Bar
  • St. Armands Circle in nearby Sarasota

12. New Orleans, Louisiana

One of the More than 17 million people visit New Orleans every year. Known for its eclectic art scene, historic architecture, world-class cuisine, and limitless live music, the Crescent City is a mix of African-American, French, and Spanish influences that provide a rich, diverse cultural experience. Like Buenos Aires, New Orleans is known for its nightlife. But there’s still plenty of things to do during the day for pretty much anyone.

Points of Interest:

  • The New Orleans Jazz Market
  • French Quarter
  • Marie Laveau’s Tomb

If any of these destinations appeal to you, or if you have your own ideas on places you’d like to go, make sure you consider applying for a vacation loan from Leap Credit. Not only is the online process incredibly easy, but it’s super fast, with funds automatically transferred into your bank account within two business days after approval. If you have questions about our online loan process call (888) 532-7842 or email us at [email protected] and one of our friendly team members will be happy to chat with you.

What is an Online Installment Loan?

The most popular type of loan by far is an installment loan. Applying for one can seem overwhelming. With so many different choices, it can be hard to know which kind is right for you. And then there’s the loan application process, which can also be daunting.

But choosing an online installment loan can make the process much simpler and faster than it’s ever been before.

Online installment loan compared to a traditional installment loan?

An installment loan is simply a specific amount of money you borrow and then pay back within a certain time frame with a fixed payment every week, two weeks, or month. The timeframe and frequency of repayment are decided by you and your bank or lending company.

An online installment loan is essentially the same as a regular installment loan, but the application process and the time you receive your funds is much quicker and easier because it’s all done online. Online installment loans are often managed by specialized direct lenders, such as Leap Credit, rather than through a bank.

What types of online installment loans are there?

There are a variety of installment loans to choose from. The type of installment loan you get usually depends on the terms that are offered, which can range from as little as two weeks to as long as 30 years.

The most common types of installment loans are:

  • Home loans – Otherwise known as a mortgage, this kind of installment loan is used to buy a house and payback periods typically range from 15 to 30 years. You can usually get the choice of a fixed or adjustable interest rate.
  • Auto loans – Offered by banks, credit unions, and car dealerships, auto loans typically include interest rates from 3% to 15% and a payback period from 60 to 72 months.
  • Personal loans – These loans are offered by online lenders, banks, and credit unions and can be used for almost anything. Personal installment loans can be repaid in weekly, biweekly, and monthly installments and interest rates are generally from 6% up to 36%. Rates and terms can vary among lenders and usually, you can prequalify for a personal loan with a credit check that won’t affect your credit.

The Pros and Cons of online installment loans

There are several pros to taking out an online installment loan. Not only are they fast and convenient but you know exactly how much you need to repay each month because the interest rates are fixed, which means they won’t fluctuate depending on the stability of the market. Interest rates can be determined by your credit, however, even candidates with bad or little to no credit can sometimes qualify for an online installment loan. With online installment loans, you can borrow more money than what is typically allowed with credit cards or other types of revolving credit.

When it comes to online installment loans, practice caution when it comes to some lenders, as they often target borrowers with poor credit. These lenders include payday loans with high borrowing fees or hidden costs.

If you choose to take out an online installment loan through Leap Credit, you have the peace of mind knowing that:

  • There are no hidden fees
  • You pay simple interest, not compounding
  • The loan process is fully automated
  • You get faster access to your funds
  • We are state-licensed and are in compliance with state regulations

Is an online installment loan right for you?

When considering an online installment loan, educate yourself on how it will affect your budget and long-term credit. Make sure you’re realistic in how much you can afford to pay each month when paying back your loan. Your ability to pay back your online installment loan on time and in full, without penalties, will have a positive effect on your credit score. However, if you’re late on payments or you miss one ore more altogether, and your credit score will be impacted negatively, making it more difficult for you to get future loans.

For more information, Forbes has a great article on online installment loans and whether they are right for you.

If you’ve decided that an online installment loan is your best financial option, think about applying for a Leap Credit loan. The process is super easy and your funds will be directly transferred into your bank account in as little as two business days.