A payday loan is a very short-term loan. That’s short-term, as in no more than a few weeks. They’re usually available through payday lenders operating out of storefronts, but some are now also operating online. They work best for people who need cash in a hurry. That’s because the entire application process can be completed in a matter of minutes.
Payday lenders will verify your income and a bank checking account. They verify the income to determine your ability to repay. But the bank account has a more specific purpose.
When your loan is approved, the funds are deposited into the verified bank account. But even more important, the lender will require that you write a postdated check in payment of both the loan amount and the interest charged on it.
For example, let’s say that you’re granted a $500 loan on October 16. Since the loan will require repayment within two weeks, you will write a check back to the lender that’s dated for October 30. The check will be for $575 – $500 for their loan repayment, plus $75 for interest.
The postdated check ensures that the lender will be paid back by the scheduled date, and that they won’t have to chase you to get it. Borrowers tolerate the postdated check arrangement because the other major component that lenders normally look at – credit history – is ignored by payday lenders.
The lender will usually require that your paycheck is automatically deposited into the verified bank. The postdated check will then be set to coincide with the payroll deposit, ensuring that the post-dated check will clear the account. That’s why they’re called payday loans.