What to Know Before You Visit a Payday Lender

Before you visit a payday lender, read this:

PaydayLoan-Lenders.com, a website that publishes a list of alternatives to payday lending, cites credit unions as a good, lower-cost alternative.

That’s because credit unions, like Hopewell Federal Credit Union, don’t charge exorbitant interest rates. We offer short-term signature loans, low-cost cash advances, and tie our programs to wealth-building loans that put part of the funds into a savings account. We also offer financial counseling.

The site lists tips for consumers:

* Look for a local credit union. Your credit union is an inexpensive way to borrow extra money, particularly if you have a poor credit rating.

* Use a low-cost credit card. Credit union credit card rates can be one to three percentage points lower than bank rates.

* Negotiate with creditors. Speak with your creditors as soon as possible to request an extension to pay. Don’t be afraid to negotiate any fees that might apply for late payments.

*Research extra protections for military personnel. If you’re in the military, find out what other borrowing options are available by contacting the Department of Defense at 800-342-9647, or visit http://www.militaryonesource.com.

* Ask friends, family, or employers for help. Consider approaching friends or family for a short-term loan. Your employer also might be willing to give you an advance on your salary.

Visit the Consumer Federation of America’s http://www.paydayloaninfo.org website to see how much payday loans really cost.