Payday Loans

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Payday Loans Explained

What are Payday loans?

Payday loans are a short-term, high-cost source of finance for people in urgent need of cash before their next payday.

Unlike unsecured and homeowner loans, which are often paid off over a number of years, payday loans are usually made available for a maximum term of 30 days.

Applications for these loans are normally processed quickly, and can be deposited into a borrower’s account on the same day. One lender claims to deliver cash into your bank account within 15 minutes of approval.

Who do they benefit?

Payday loans can benefit people who need to find a way to bridge the gap until payday in the event of unexpected costs or emergencies.

They can also benefit those who would otherwise struggle to obtain credit through mainstream banks, including those with a poor credit history / CCJ’s.

Not all lenders use Credit Reference Agencies, and most believe that lending over a short-term period should be assessed on present circumstances rather than past circumstances.

Lending criteria.

Firms will generally stipulate that borrowers should be over 18 and either in employment or self-employed.


Borrowers are normally required to have their own bank account. Repayments are often preferred by direct debit.


Some lenders will require a minimum monthly income – perhaps £750 or £1,000 – to accept a loan application.

Extending Payday loans.

Payday lenders are not averse to extending the durations of their loans. At rates of interest exceeding 1,000%, firms derive plenty of extra income if they choose to ‘roll-over’ loans for an extended period.

Some lenders have set a maximum number of ‘roll-overs’, but they will expect all interest to be paid. This practice is currently under review by the Office of Fair Trading.

Failure to repay.

Borrowers who fail to make agreed repayments by the due date will almost invariably incur a missed payment penalty.

Most payday lenders will also use the Continuous Payment Authority, which allows them to make repeated attempts to collect overdue funds from your account.

They will not hesitate to make repeated efforts to contact the borrower, and to involve debt collection agencies if necessary. A borrower’s credit score may also be negatively affected.

What to consider:

Are there other sources of finance available? Rates on poor credit history cards are still far more affordable over a longer period.

If you are struggling to repay, make contact with the lender as soon as possible. Rolling over loans encourages debts to mount at a high rate of interest.

Read conditions carefully for the details of charges and fines imposed if loans are not repaid on time. Be aware that firms entitled to use the Continuous Payment Authority will make repeated attempts to retrieve money from your account.

Taking out payday loans – even if paid off successfully – may negatively impact your ability to secure a mortgage in the future.