The Dirt on Georiga Payday Loans
With about 23,000 Cash Loan stores located across the country, Americans clearly have a strong appetite for short - term cash advance loans. Each year, millions of Americans take out payday loans, creating an industry that loans out billions of dollars.
Fast cash loans are in demand because they offer a quick infusion of cash that can be a useful stopgap in tough financial situations. Borrowers also are attracted to the speed, convenience, and simplicity of the lending process.
Here's how payday lending works:
- The borrower gives the lender a post - dated check for the total loan amount and interest charges and service fees. The check acts as collateral for the quick cash loans.
- The lender gives the borrower instant cash or an instant bank deposit for the loan amount.
- On the borrower's subsequent payday, the lender cashes the check.
Payday loans typically range from about $100 to $500. Larger amounts are prohibited in most states for these short - term loans.
While payday loans do offer fast access to cash, borrowers need to understand that these loans come with high interest rates. The APR on a payday loan can easily exceed 400% in many cases. That's why these loans are typically only recommended as a last resort.
Georgia Payday Loan Laws
Each state has its own special set of laws that govern payday lending. In Georgia, however, these laws are pretty different than in most states. Traditional payday loans are currently prohibited in the state of Georgia. In 2004 legislation was passed and payday lending officially became a felony.
Now, anyone that makes Georgia fast cash loans at illegal interest rates can be charged with a felony and racketeering charges, with penalties that include fines up to $25,000 and a jail sentence of up to 25 years.
After this law was passed, many payday lenders tried to sue the Attorney General and Secretary of State to keep this law from going into effect. However, the payday lenders lost the lawsuit and a subsequent appeal was dismissed.
As a result of these laws, dozens of payday lending stores had to shut down all across the state. According to industry professionals, thousands of Georgians now leave the state to take out payday loans.
Other important things to know about payday loans in Georgia include:
- The Georgia Industrial Loan Act regulates any loan of less than $3,000.
- Any lender making loans with an interest rate of more than 8% must be licensed by the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance unless otherwise exempt.
- Online payday loans are also illegal in Georgia.
- For any type of loan you take out, the lender must provide in writing the following details: the dollar amount of finance charges and the annual percentage rate (APR).
Explore Your Alternatives
Because payday loans are illegal in Georgia, you need to explore your alternatives if you find yourself in a situation where you need cash quickly. Some of these alternatives may include:
- Borrowing money from a friend or family member
- Taking out a short - term loan from your bank or credit union
- Working with your creditors to negotiate new payment options
- Taking out a cash advance on your credit card
- Seeking credit counseling help
No matter what you choose to do, make sure you arm yourself with plenty of information so you can make a smart choice.
Stay Updated on Georgia Payday Loan Laws
Ever since FAST CASH lending got shut down in Georgia, there have been those from the industry fighting to get it reinstated. To date, quick cash Georgia loans are still prohibited. However, this is always subject to change.