Finding a payday loan store in Georgia may not be your best option to getting the money you need
Payday loans cost Georgia families hundreds of millions each year in fees and the state law against it seems to be powerless. I’ll show you how to find a payday loan store but also want to help you find other options that cost less and won’t trap you into a cycle of debt.
A new report by the Federal Reserve found that as many as 60 million Americans are locked out of the financial system for credit cards and loans. That number is twice as many as was previously estimated and the report noted most of this group is concentrated in the South and Southwest with as many as one-in-ten Georgians not able to get a loan.
Payday loan stores have wiggled in despite laws against high interest loans and most people don’t know the risks. I want to help you do three things with this article.
- Understand the differences between payday loans versus personal loans, and which is better for bad credit.
- Know how to get a lower rate personal loan before falling into the payday debt trap.
- As a last resort, help you find a payday loan in Georgia and use it without getting stuck with the problems.
Payday Loans vs Personal Loans and Which is Better for Bad Credit
There may not seem like much difference between payday loans and other types of quick cash. Payday loans and personal loans are both sources for small loans and can be used by people with bad credit. The only real difference is in how you get each loan and how long you have to pay it back.
You apply for a personal loan online or through a traditional bank. You fill out an application and the lender checks your credit for the interest rate. The money is usually deposited in your bank account within 24 – 48 hours and you make monthly payments until the loan is paid back. Interest rates range from 8% to 36% and you can borrow up to $35,000 on most personal loan sites.
A payday loan is usually made at a physical store and no credit check is required. You’re limited to borrowing $1,000 and must repay the money within two weeks or take out another loan. Payday lenders in Georgia charge a fee to get around the state’s interest rate laws but the fee can be as high as 400% interest a year.
In fact, payday lenders are illegal in Georgia under the Georgia Industrial Loan Act of 1955. The law made it illegal to charge more than 10% on loans under $3,000 but payday loan stores have found a way around it. Most Georgia payday lenders are owned by an out-of-state bank and limit the amount of loans they make in the state.
Understand that we’re talking about more than just ‘payday loan stores’ in this idea of predatory lenders. Many of the loan sharks and payday lenders like to disguise their practice by calling themselves pawn shops, cash advance loans and community loans. Don’t fall for the name change. A pig wearing lipstick still squeals as loud.
How to Get an Online Personal Loan in Georgia
Personal loans are almost as easy to get as payday loans. Yeah, I’m not going to lie and say they are ‘just as easy’. Payday lenders make it extremely easy to trap you into that cycle of debt by just accepting an ID and a post-dated check.
Give yourself a couple of days before you need the money and less than 10 minutes online though and you CAN get a personal loan. That 10 minutes is going to save you thousands in fees and keep you out of the payday lender trap.
To get a personal loan in Georgia, you’ll need:
- A bank account and job making at least $2,000 a month
- At least 18 years old and a US citizen, resident or on a work visa
- Credit score over 520 FICO
Most personal loan sites will let you borrow up to $35,000 and pay it back monthly over three to five years. That’s the big advantage of personal loans versus payday loans. Payday loans only let you borrow enough to get you to the next loan in two weeks. You never get enough to get out of the hole and you’re always paying new fees.
The trick to getting the best rate on a personal loan is to try a few different websites at the same time. It doesn’t affect your credit because the lender only does a soft-check of your credit to approve the loan. This means you can shop around for the best rate and pick the best deal.
I’ve included a table at the end of the article but wanted to highlight a few of the personal loan websites I’ve used and recommend.
PersonalLoans.com is the most often recommended by readers and I’ve used the site twice for debt consolidation and a home improvement loan. The site is a loan aggregator meaning it helps shop your loan around to different lenders to find the best rate.
BadCreditLoans.com is another popular site because they specialize in borrowers with very bad credit. Even if you get denied a loan on another site, you’ll usually get approved here.
How to Get a Peer-to-Peer Loan in Georgia
Similar to a personal loan is the peer-to-peer loan. Really these are no different from the borrower’s perspective, only from the lender’s viewpoint.
A peer-to-peer loan is made directly from investors instead of through a lender. On a p2p website like Lending Club, investors can sort for loan applications that meet their investing criteria and then put as little as $25 to fund the loan. Once enough investors have funded the loan, the money is disbursed to the borrower’s bank account.
From the borrower’s perspective, a p2p loan and personal loan work the same. You fill out an application and the money is deposited into your checking account. Credit standards tend to be a little higher on peer-to-peer lending sites with the minimum FICO being 640 on Lending Club but loan rates tend to be lower as well.
P2P loans are legal in Georgia and you can apply online. You generally need to be at least 18 years old and have a verifiable bank account. Check your rate on Upstart for a loan up to $50,000 – won’t affect your credit.
How to Find Nearby Payday Loan Stores in Georgia
As mentioned, payday loan companies are illegal in Georgia but lenders have found a way around the laws. That means any payday loan store you go to is in knowing violation of the law in order to collect ridiculously high interest rates.
Despite the prohibition on these predatory lenders, finding a payday loan in Georgia isn’t difficult. A Google search for payday loan stores in Atlanta alone results in four pages of check cashing places, mostly concentrated in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
If you do go with a quick payday loan, there are some things you can do to keep from falling into that debt trap.
- Borrow only as much as you can pay back in two weeks without another loan. The continuous refinancing and fees is how payday lenders hook borrowers.
- If it looks like you’ll need another loan, apply for a personal loan online that will give you enough to get out of the hole and that cycle of payday loans.
If you do need money and can wait the 24 hours to have it deposited directly into your checking account, I’ve included a table of legit personal loan sites I’ve used and reviewed. Some specialize in bad credit loans while others offer lower rates for good credit borrowers.
|Peer to Peer Lending Site||Loan Fees||Credit Score Needed||Loan Rates||Notes|
|5%||580||9.95% to 36.0%||Best p2p loan site for bad credit borrowers. Lower credit score and three options including peer loans, bank loans and personal loans.|
|No Fee||Not available but higher than most, around 680 FICO||5.99% to 16.49% (fixed rate)|
5.74% to 14.6% (variable rate)
|Special discounts for variable rate loans. Offering $100 cash back on peer loans.|
|1% to 6%||620||6.25% to 30.0%||Best peer loans for graduates and no credit history.|
|No Fees||520||Vary by State||No fees and lowest credit requirements for lenders|
|1% to 6%||640||6.95% to 35.89%||Low rates on p2p loans for good credit borrowers.|
Payday loans in Georgia have not decreased as the Act of 1955 hoped and the increase in fines to payday lenders by the 2004 law did little to stop them. These types of loans are the worst thing you can do to your financial health and trap most borrowers into a cycle of fees. If at all possible, use a personal loan or peer-to-peer loan to get the money you need.