Baltimore, MD Cash Advance Loans
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Advantages of Taking Out a Payday Loan in Baltimore
Residents can apply for a payday loan in Baltimore to help manage cash shortages between paydays. While short-term loans have been prohibited in the state of Baltimore since 2002 due to a 33% APR cap on small loans, residents can opt for a cash advance in the form of an installment loan. Unlike shorter-duration loans, installment loans are personal loans that can be paid back in increments over a specified period of time.
Consumers may choose to take out a personal loan to help with any number of monthly expenses or needs. These include:
- Medical expenses, including insurance co-pays and money for prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications
- Vacation expenses
- Home improvements
- Personal expenses
- Business opportunities
- Child-related expenses
- Educational costs
- Living expenses between paychecks
Applying for an Online Installment Loan
Baltimore residents can apply for an installment loan online, through a computer or a mobile phone with internet access. The application process can take as little as 15 minutes and applicants will often need to provide the following information:
- Proof of identity, age, and current address
- Social Security number
- Bank information or a loadable debit card
- Employer and income information or information about alternative income sources
Online lenders can often obtain all records and verifications electronically. Once applicants are approved, loans can be accessed within two to three business days, depending on the circumstances.
Lenders will consider an applicant’s credit score, credit history, and debt-to-income ratio when determining a potential borrower’s ability to meet loan terms. However, consumers with poor credit scores and histories are still eligible to apply.
Further, self-employment is often a barrier to getting a conventional loan from a bank or credit union because traditional lenders require years of banking records, tax returns, business plans, and the like. While installment loan lenders may require similar information, applicants who do not have access to a bank or are self-employed are also still eligible to apply.
Alternative forms of income may include:
- Government benefits, such as Social Security, disability, VA benefits, welfare, and other entitlements
- Royalties from intellectual property, such as trademarks, patents, and copyrights
- Income from investments
- Alimony and/or child support payments
- Structured payments from trust funds
Applicants who fall under any of the above categories may still be required to provide documentation of their income, including payment dates and amounts.
Loan Management Techniques
Meeting loan terms can prove difficult to consumers with poor personal finance management. Due to the high-interest rates and steep rollover fees that often come with short-term loans, borrowers can be at risk of falling into a debt trap. In fact, annual percentage rates can be as high as 400% for such loans, in some cases. And according to a 2016 report from the Center for Responsible Lending, payday interest rates in some states can cost as much as 662%, while the average APR for credit cards is only 17.55%.
Payday lending is prohibited in the state of Maryland to protect residents from such predatory lending practices. Maryland’s consumer loan act (Md. Code Com. Law § 12-101 et seq.) asserts that any lender practicing in the state that does not abide by the APR cap is in violation of the law and may be subject to criminal penalties. Baltimore residents should remain up to date on their state’s rules and regulations regarding short-term lending.
Before applying for a small installment loan, applicants need to assess their own ability to repay loan debts. Financial experts suggest the following best practices for determining loan affordability:
- Making a comprehensive list of debts, spending habits, and income
- Remembering to include living expenses between paydays
- Including out-of-pocket expenses for snacks, beverages, and small items for each member of the family
- Budgeting for special expenses that arise during the repayment period
- Cutting expenses if it is necessary to repay a payday loan
How to Cut Expenses Temporarily or Permanently
Having a savings account can provide financial security and give consumers cash buffers in the case of a monetary emergency. Despite the benefits of having a savings account, most Americans are not prepared for a financial emergency. In fact, only 40% of Americans are able to cover an unforeseen emergency expense of $1,000, according to a survey from Bankrate.
This is why some financial experts suggest following a 50/30/20 budgeting plan that recommends spending 50% of your income after tax on necessities, 30% on personal desires, and at least 20% on savings. Putting 20% of each monthly income provides a sense of security in the event of a financial emergency and can subsequently reduce monetary stress.
Cutting expenses can also be a viable way to better manage personal finances. Some expense-cutting and money-saving strategies include:
- Eating meals at home
- Giving up expensive snacks, beverages, and alcohol temporarily
- Borrowing media materials from the local library instead of buying or renting them
- Cutting down on recreation, entertainment, and exercise expenses by using Baltimore’s extensive free or low-cost community resources
Baltimore has a wide array of appealing entertainment and recreational resources. Harborplace and The Gallery are world-class developments with a number of inexpensive events. Residents can also explore The Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine, which can provide educational benefits for the family. Some additional recreation venues include Gwynn Falls Trail, the Walters Art Museum, and Artscape Arts Festival.
Getting an installment loan in Baltimore, MD can be a viable way to manage cash shortages and mitigate monthly expenses. Potential borrowers who are eligible and are able to properly manage a short-term loan could apply with an online lender to see if they approved.