10 Questions to Ask Before Getting a Payday Loan

By Caitlin in Loans
10 Questions to Ask Before Getting a Payday Loan

While a payday loan might seem like a fast way to get the cash you need, there are a lot of risks associated with these types of loans. Your goal might be to borrow a set amount of money and then return the exact amount by the specified date, but unfortunately it almost never works out that way. There are extremely high fees associated with this type of loan and if you fall behind even once you can become trapped in the payday loan cycle which in return could take you months if not years to get out of. Payday lenders are predators looking for desperate people in desperate situations. Before taking out a payday loan, ask these key questions to ensure you have all the facts:

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Getting a Payday Loan

Am I already dealing with financial issues?

If you find that you struggle to pay your bills on a monthly basis then a payday loan will only make your current situation worse. Most payday loan companies are predatory lenders that will quickly double your debt and garnish your wages. Look in to working with a credit counsellor, they can help you with debt management and offer ways to get you on a budget.

Do I really need this money right now?

One of the reasons why this is such an important question to ask yourself is because of the hidden charges and high interest fees associated with payday loans. It might seem like you’ve found a great solution for your financial issues but in reality a payday loan costs more than double what you think.

Can I manage until my next payday?

Some people can find resourceful ways to get extra money through yard sales, selling extra clothes and electronics on sites like EBay or by asking friends or family members for a small loan. Any of these options are better than choosing a payday loan, especially if you only have a few days until your next paycheque.

Are there cheaper alternatives I haven’t thought of?

If you don’t want to ask your friends or family members for help then you need to consider other cheaper alternatives. A small short term personal loan can help you cover your expenses and won’t cost anywhere near as much as a payday loan.

Will I be able to pay the loan back on time?

If you answer no to this question then getting any type of loan, let alone a payday loan should not be an option for you right now. Not paying back a loan on time is one of the worst things you can do for your credit score and could cause serious financial issues for you in the future.

Will paying off a payday loan make me fall behind on my other bills?

If you decide to take out a payday loan and then devote all your income to paying it back you’ll probably have to neglect all your other bills, this will make your financial situation even worse.

Can I ask for additional hours at my job?

If it’s a possibility for you to ask for more hours to make more money than you need to do so right away, this could help you make the extra cash you need and keep you from taking out a payday loan.

Questions to Ask Your Payday Lender

How much will this payday loan cost me in the end?

Before you sign anything you need to ask your payday lender about repayment, fees and interest. This is because you’ll want to know how much this payday loan is actually going to cost you. You want to know exactly what you’ll be charged for each payment and you’ll also want to get it all in writing. This is where it can sometimes get tricky because if they don’t tell you upfront about the hidden fees, you may be hit with charges you really can’t afford.

What happens if I can’t pay the loan off on time?

Next find out exactly what the steps are in the event you miss one payment. You want to find out what the extra charges are that you will be hit with. Then ask what happens if you miss the deadline for all payments so you know how much additional money you will have to pay back. Some provinces will have a maximum cap on what they can charge, so be sure to confirm this in the event you live in a province or territory where there is no cap.

Can I cancel the loan or back out early?

If you have concerns after you take out a payday loan, you may have a grace period that will give you a day to cancel it (depending on what province you live in). Check out your province’s regulations in advance so you know all the facts ahead of time. Another great pointer that can help you is to read the reviews on the payday lender you’ve chosen. The horror stories that you find should help you decide that a payday loan isn’t something you want to deal with.

Don’t Make Matters Worse

Payday loans often make financial issues worse, this is why you absolutely need to make sure that you find another options. It might feel like a payday lender is the only lender willing to work with you but this is not the case. There are many private lenders who specialize in working with people who have bad credit or who are in desperate need of a quick loan. Ask for help from your friends and do some research online, we know you’ll be able to find an alternative solution for your money problems.


All consultations and conversations with Loans Canada and its partners are confidential and risk-free. Speak with a trusted specialist today and see how we can help you achieve your financial goals faster.

Loans Canada and its partners will never ask you for an upfront deposit, upfront fees or upfront insurance payments on a loan. To protect yourself, read more on this topic here.