How to Find a Legal Loan Shark





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Published on Sep 10, 2008

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Looking for fast cash with no questions asked? There are legitimate ways to get it, if you're willing to pay the consequences.

Step 1: Consider a cash advance
If you have a low-interest credit card you haven't maxed out, consider taking a cash advance. But check your interest rate first -- some are as high as 33%.

Step 2: Get an advance on your tax refund
At tax time, you can get a "refund anticipation loan" from some tax preparers. Just realize you'll be forfeiting about 10% of your refund check just to get the cash a couple of weeks earlier.

Step 3: Use your car as collateral
Get what is known as a "car title pawn" -- if you can stomach an annual interest rate of up to 360%. The amount you can borrow is way less than the value of your car, but you get to keep driving it unless you miss a payment.

Step 4: Visit a licensed lender
Borrow money from a licensed small loan company, or head to a signature loan company, which won't require you to put up any collateral. Both could charge you up to about 48% in annual interest.

If you're a member of the military, don't resort to high-interest lenders before finding out if your branch of the armed services offers financial help.

Step 5: Secure a "payday loan"
Secure a "payday loan" — a cash advance against your paycheck. But check your local law at "www.paydayloaninfo.org":http:// before you do; some states limit the amount of interest that these lenders can charge, while others don't — which explains why the average annual interest rate on these loans is a whopping 460%.

Did You Know?
Seventy percent of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, making them vulnerable to predatory lenders.


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