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Know Everything on Alaska Payday Loans

While Alaska's economy has recently improved and unemployment rates have begun to drop, the fact still remains that many people throughout the state are struggling financially. In some parts of the state (Aleutians East Borough), the unemployment rate is nearly 30%!

Not surprisingly, the payday loan industry is thriving in Alaska. In 2012, 16,416 Alaskans received payday loans totaling $36,793,159.65. The average payday loan was for $403.72, and on average, each borrower took out 5.5 payday loans totaling $2,241.30.

Payday loans-also known as cash advance loans, fast cash loans, or deferred deposit advances-are temporary loans with a very limited term in which the borrower is expected to pay back the loan on their next payday. The way it works is the person taking out the loan writes a post-dated check to the lender for the loan amount and any finance charges, and they receive money from the lender in exchange in the form of cash on the spot or an electronic deposit into the borrower's bank account.

On the next payday, the borrower must repay the loan. The consumer can either have the lender deposit the original check or pay the loan off with cash. Another option is that the individual can pay off the finance charge and extend the loan for another term.

Key Things to Know about Alaska Payday Loan Laws

In Alaska, the state governs the payday loan industry with a set of laws designed to protect consumers. The state tells borrowers to be smart when applying for payday loans as they often carry large interest rates and charges, so it's important that you educate yourself about how the process works and what laws the state has put in place to govern the process.

Some important points you should know about Alaska fast cash laws are as follows:

  • Alaska's Division of Banking and Securities is responsible for licensing and regulating payday loan companies.
  • The Division of Banking and Securities must license all cash advance lenders that issue short-term loans in the state.
  • The maximum payday loan amount is $500.
  • The minimum loan term is 14 days.
  • The maximum finance rate and fees charged by a payday lender in Alaska is $5 + up to 15% of the loan amount. For example, a $100 payday loan would have a maximum fee of $20 ($5 + 15% of $100= 5+15=$20).
  • The annual percentage rate (APR) of a 14-day payday loan at maximum finance rates and fees is 520%.
  • Borrowers are allowed to rollover a payday loan up to two times.
  • Borrowers must pay the loan and the finance charge back in one lump sum.
  • The collection limit on unpaid payday loans for lenders is a $30 NSF fee and court costs of up to $700 over the amount of the payment.
  • Criminal action against borrowers for unpaid loans is prohibited unless checks are returned due to a closed account.
Be an Informed Consumer

Make no mistake-there are benefits and drawbacks to payday loans. A payday loan can prove very helpful for individuals who find themselves in a financial emergency in which they need cash fast. However, with high interest rates and fees, it's important that borrowers understand the terms of their loans and use care when deciding to take out a cash advance loan. Keep in mind that the amount you can borrow through a fast cash Alaska lender can vary.

By making yourself knowledgeable about the payday loan process, local laws and regulations, and the advantages and drawbacks of payday loans, you can stay protected and get the most out of these short-term loans.