What Are Payday Loans

Learn what payday loans are then apply online here with zaving today.

Last updated by Zaving Editorial Team, on April 26th, 2024

What are payday loans? Understanding payday loans and how they work is important. If you need some urgent cash to get you through a tight spot, you can turn to zaving to help you explore your options. Our online service makes applying for a loan quick, easy, and hassle-free. If your loan is approved, cash can land in your bank account straight away – it's as simple as that! Start the application process right here today with zaving.

What are payday loans and how do they work?

Payday loans, often marketed as payday advances, are short-term, high-interest loans designed to provide borrowers with quick access to cash until their next payday. These loans typically range from a few hundred dollars to $1,000 and are repaid in a single payment on the borrower's next payday. To obtain a payday loan, borrowers typically need to provide basic information such as their name, address, date of birth, phone number, and bank account details. Lenders will verify employment and income details to ensure repayment ability.

Payday loan costs are determined by factors such as the loan amount, interest rate, fees, and repayment period. Interest rates are often exorbitantly high, ranging from 300% to 400% APR. Additionally, various fees, such as application, origination, and late payment fees, can significantly increase the loan's overall cost.

How much do payday loans cost?

The costs of payday loans are determined by a combination of factors, including loan amount, interest rate, fees, and the repayment period.

  • Loan amount: A higher loan amount will naturally result in higher interest payments and fees, leading to a higher overall cost.
  • Interest rate: Payday loans are notorious for their excessively high interest rates, which can range anywhere from 300% to 400% APR. This means that the borrower could end up paying as much in interest as they borrowed in principal.
  • Fees: On top of interest, payday lenders charge a variety of fees, such as application fees, origination fees, and late payment fees. These fees can accumulate quickly and significantly increase the overall cost of the loan.
  • Repayment period: The length of the repayment period also plays a role in determining the overall cost of the loan. The shorter the repayment period, the higher the overall cost will be. This is because the borrower has less time to repay the loan, resulting in higher interest payments.

What are the pros and cons of payday loans?

There are a number of advantages and disadvantages to payday loans, including:


  1. Quick access to cash: Payday loans offer fast approval and funding, providing immediate financial assistance for urgent needs.
  2. Easier qualification: Payday lenders typically have less stringent qualifying criteria compared to traditional lenders, making them accessible to individuals with poor credit or no credit history.
  3. Convenient application process: Payday loan applications can be completed online or in person, offering a convenient means of obtaining the funds.


  1. Exorbitant interest rates: Payday loans are notorious for their excessively high interest rates, often ranging from 300% to 400% APR, significantly increasing the overall loan cost.
  2. Numerous fees: In addition to high interest rates, payday lenders charge various fees, such as application fees, origination fees, and late payment fees, further inflating the loan's cost.
  3. Debt trap potential: The high interest rates and fees associated with payday loans can quickly lead to a cycle of debt, making it difficult for borrowers to repay the loan on time and trapping them in a pattern of accumulating debt.

More of your frequently asked questions about payday loans

Are payday loans available in all U.S. states?

No, payday loans are not available in all U.S. states. As of 2023, 18 states and the District of Columbia have banned payday loans, while 32 states and Puerto Rico allow them with varying restrictions.

Can I get a payday loan with bad credit?

Yes, you may qualify for a payday loan despite having bad credit. Payday lenders typically consider your income and repayment potential more than your credit score. However, be aware that bad credit might result in higher costs associated with the loan.

What happens if I default on my payday loan?

Defaulting on a payday loan can lead to increased fees, credit score damage, and potential legal actions by the lender. These repercussions can severely affect your financial health and borrowing capabilities. Seeking guidance from credit counseling agencies or financial advisors when experiencing difficulties with repayment can offer strategies to address the issue and prevent further negative consequences.

What are some alternatives to payday loans?

Alternatives to payday loans include seeking small-dollar loans from credit unions or community banks, known for offering lower interest rates. Additionally, consider negotiating payment schedules with creditors, seeking guidance from non-profit credit counseling agencies, or exploring peer-to-peer lending as more favorable borrowing options.