Payday loans and long-term loans: a comparison

One of the most common questions that arises when payday loans are mentioned in an conversation is how they compare to long-term loans. Other questions such as “Why take a payday loan when conventional long-term loans are available?” come up as well. So why indeed? Let us take a look at both kinds of loans and do a brief comparison to answer these questions.

Long-term loans are usually offered by conventional financial institutions. There are also other newcomers to the industry that specialise in long-term loans and are not part of the high street banks. Long-term loans can fall under so many different categories. Some of them are secured while others are unsecured. The former simply means that the borrower has to put up some sort of collateral to ensure that if something goes awry with the payment, the lender has a form of security by which they can get their investment back (investment being the money that they lent the borrower). Collateral can come in various forms, the most common of which would be a piece of land, a house, or a car.

On the other hand, the latter means that the borrower does not have to have collateral to borrow money. What are the implications of this fact? One big consideration is that the interest rates applied to unsecured loans are generally higher than those applied to secured loans. The higher interest rate is the way by which lenders can ensure that they make money off the transaction.

So how do payday loans differ from these conventional loans? After all, in a sense, you can consider a payday loan to be unsecured as you do not have to lay down your property on the line. However, it can also be viewed as secured if you consider the next paycheck as the collateral.

The biggest difference, perhaps, between traditional long-term loans and payday loans lie in the difference in tags. Long-term loans obviously are paid over a long period of time – months to years. Payday loans, on the other hand, are paid over a short period of time – weeks to months. More than this, the time required to receive money from a payday loan is much shorter than the time required for long-term loans. Processing times differ from lender to lender but in general, you can expect to acquire your cash from a payday loan within a day or two of approval. The approval can happen within one day as well. Compare this to long-term loans, which can take anywhere from weeks to months to be approved and then the same for the cash to be released.

It seems, then, that payday loans are so much better than long-term conventional loans. However, I do have to point out that the speed and convenience of payday loans come at a price. The charges and fees associated with payday loans are generally higher than those associated with long-term conventional loans. Do ask anyone who has had experience both, however, and you will probably hear something to the effect that it is a small price to pay for the convenience and ease of payday loans.

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