It seems like a quick answer to an unexpected bill, but payday loans can end up costing you much more than you set out to borrow. In 2012 alone, the payday loan industry made more than 48 billion dollars in short-term loans. That's up more than 10% from the previous year! Suzanne Klenk from the Washington State Employees Credit Union is here to talk more about payday lending, and offer and affordable alternative.
For more informtaion about WSECU visit their website at www.WSECU.com
And to reach Suzanne with a question or to schedule a FREE financial seminar for your business or organization, email her at SKlenk@wsecu.org
Here are more of Suzanne's notes:
Very few things in the financial world are more controversial than Payday Lending. In 2012, the payday loan industry generated $48 billion in short-term, payday loans. That is up 10% increase from 2011! There are many misconceptions about those that use this service and why. Suzanne Klenk from WSECU sheds some light on Payday Lending and also talk about affordable alternatives for those that are users.
So let’s start out with the basics. What is a Payday Loan?
Suzanne: Payday Loans are a form of “short term” lending. Usually 2 weeks or to the borrower’s next payday.
Who uses Payday Loans? It appears there is a typical stereotype that we tend to think of when Payday Loans are discussed.
Suzanne: The demographic and income range of the “typical” Payday Loan user is wide and varied, so stereotyping would be a mistake. Paydays loan are used for a wide variety of reasons from ordinary living expenses to an unexpected emergency. There could be a reason that someone is unable to use a traditional lending process, like a recent death, in the middle of a divorce process, etc. It is also important to note that, a good portion of borrows fall into the $25K to $50K per year income level. The spectrum is vast and therefore it is important not to come to a conclusion about someone based on their use of a specific financial product.
You just hear so much about payday lending being predatory and how people get caught up in a debt cycle that they are unable to get out of. There just seems to be a need for a better way.
Suzanne: There are a lot of disturbing reports out there. Over 12 Million American adults use payday loans annually in this country. That is quite a demand and for a long time there was little regulation of the service that is being provided. WSECU, along with other Credit Unions recognized the need to provide an affordable alternative to traditional payday lending.
What does that look like?
Suzanne: In 2004, WSECU created Q-Cash and more recently Q-Cash Plus. Q-Cash and Q-Cash Plus are short term lending programs that provide the convenience of a Payday loan with lower rates and longer terms. And, the most important component is that we also provide financial education as well. Many folks come to this program to get relief from a payday lending cycle that has trapped them. WSECU’s program helps them restructure their debt obligations in a manner where it can be satisfied in a few short months. We encourage sound financial decisions and work with members individually to get them to a place where they feel in control of their finances.
Is WSECU the only Credit Union that offers Q-Cash?
Suzanne: Yes and no. Q-Cash is a WSECU product. We also partner with other credit unions so they too can offer Q-Cash to their membership. You can check with your credit union to see what they have to offer. We do this because we are owned by our members. It is our directive and our mission to serve those owner/members in a way that facilitates financial stability and wellness. Providing a service that members demand in a financially sound manner is the Credit Union Difference!
It is important to be an educated borrower. Short Term Lending by nature is more expensive than a traditional loan. These financial services are tools to help get folks back on track and the decision to use them should not to be taken lightly. Ask your credit union to help you seek options that will work best for you.