In May 2008, the debt charity Credit Action made a complaint to the United Kingdom Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that payday lenders were placing advertising which violated advertising regulations on the social network website Facebook. The main complaint was that the APR was either not displayed at all or not displayed prominently enough, which is clearly required by UK advertising standards.
Unlike cash advance loans and credit card cash advances, an employer cash advance is not a loan. The money you receive is yours—it comes straight out of your next paycheck. Not all employers offer cash advances, and those that do may have strict policies that limit the number of times you can request an advance and reserve approval for true emergencies.
Many experts suggest that you contribute 10 percent to 15 percent of your income to a retirement plan. While that's not always realistic, successful savers know to contribute at least what their company will match. If your employer offers to match 3 percent of your income toward retirement savings, you should match that or risk leaving money on the table. Additionally, because contributions to your 401(k) are tax-free, contributing will reduce your overall taxable income. If your employer does not offer a retirement benefit or you're self-employed, consider a traditional IRA or Roth IRA. Research these options and chat with a financial planner about the best plan for you, your budget and your business.
When you receive a raise, it's tempting to spend more money on things and experiences that make you happy. However, the "hedonic treadmill" theory suggests that even though an income boost can make us feel like we've earned an uptick in spending, our newfound windfall will eventually leave us as unsatisfied as we were prior to the raise because our needs don't disappear – they just get grander. Savvy savers know to avoid lifestyle inflation during periods of income growth and invest in themselves instead. This can mean upping retirement contributions or diverting the difference into a savings account, emergency fund or toward some other financial goal.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) estimates that there are more than 50,000 credit firms that come under its widened remit, of which 200 are payday lenders. Payday loans in the United Kingdom are a rapidly growing industry, with four times as many people using such loans in 2009 compared to 2006 – in 2009 1.2 million people took out 4.1 million loans, with total lending amounting to £1.2 billion. In 2012, it is estimated that the market was worth £2.2 billion and that the average loan size was around £270. Two-thirds of borrowers have annual incomes below £25,000. There are no restrictions on the interest rates payday loan companies can charge, although they are required by law to state the effective annual percentage rate (APR). In the early 2010s there was much criticism in Parliament of payday lenders.
Here’s how they work: A borrower writes a personal check payable to the lender for the amount the person wants to borrow, plus the fee they must pay for borrowing. The company gives the borrower the amount of the check less the fee, and agrees to hold the check until the loan is due, usually the borrower’s next payday. Or, with the borrower’s permission, the company deposits the amount borrowed — less the fee — into the borrower’s checking account electronically. The loan amount is due to be debited the next payday. The fees on these loans can be a percentage of the face value of the check — or they can be based on increments of money borrowed: say, a fee for every $50 or $100 borrowed. The borrower is charged new fees each time the same loan is extended or “rolled over.”
Payday loans can be a good tool for quickly and easily borrowing cash during an emergency if you don’t have other financial options. For example, you might use a payday lender for an immediate and temporary financial need such as a medical bill, car repair or other one-time expense. Payday loans are helpful for people who don’t have credit cards or savings available. Because the loans do not require a traditional credit check, they are easy for people with financial problems to obtain.
For most people, a cash advance (also known as a payday advance) is something associated with a credit card or other line of credit. Many credit card companies make it easy for customers to receive cash advances nearby by using their credit card at a local ATM. The problem with such tactics is that the costs of the advance can add up quickly and you might not even realize what all those costs are. You'll likely pay an ATM fee charged by the bank that runs the machine, and you might also pay a fee to the credit card company for taking the advance, along with finance charges and interest if you don't pay the money back before your next billing cycle. Some credit card companies charge interest on cash advances that is higher than the interest charged on regular balances, which can make for surprising increases in your total balance.
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