We’ve previously discussed ways to determine if you’re being approached by a predatory lender. So where can we find these guys?

Short-term predatory loans are everywhere. They are easy to find, require very little to qualify and, almost across the board, incredibly dangerous to the average consumer. They target largely low-income customers who need a little extra to help make ends meet. Even though they may seem like a viable solution, many short-term loans come complete with astronomical interest rates and harsh, unforgiving timelines for repayment.

In short, be careful. Here are a few short-term loans that may fall into the realm of predatory lending.

“Cash Advance”

These loans target people who are a little short on funds and just a few days away from pay day. In this case, the lender takes your anticipated paycheck as collateral for a loan while charging you a high interest rate. If you have to take this type of loan, be absolutely sure you can repay it in a timely manner.

Also, it’s very easy to qualify for a cash advance loan. But just because you quality, that doesn’t mean you should accept.

RALs (Tax Refund Anticipation Loans)

Like a cash advance loan, RALs are offered to consumers who are expecting money that they have not yet received. They should be approached with the utmost caution, not taken lightly and only pursued in the most desperate circumstances.

These loans can come with interest rates as high as 700% APR. They are risky, and they often only speed up your refund by a matter of days. In this case, it’s often best just to wait until the cash is in your account, free and clear.

Smart consumers should also be aware of loans that borrow against something that is vital to your everyday life, like a car title loan. Take a look at your collateral and ask yourself: can I afford to lose this? Short terms loans can provide a tempting release, but the long-term consequences can be infinitely more devastating than the initial problem.

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