Get A Small Installment Loan Instead Of A Payday Loan

Get A Small Installment Loan Instead Of A Payday Loan

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated November 12, 2021

In our tough economy, it is rough for many families now. You may have emptied your emergency savings account and now are at the painful truth of having no other accessible cash. Having bills pile up may lead you to think that your only option out is to take out a payday loan. However, a small installment loan is the better way of covering your financial debt to help you come back out on top.

The Differences Between A Payday Loan And An Installment Loan

It’s important to understand that there is a difference between a payday loan and an installment loan. Do not get the two confused. Yes, they both are loans and must be paid back. However, there are key differences in interest, repayment term and loan amount. 

Repayment Term 

  • Payday loans are intended to be a short-term loan and generally should be paid back in full within 30 days. This includes the interest and any other fees
  • An installment loan allows borrowers to qualify for a larger loan amount and is intended to be paid back over a longer period of time, generally up to a year but often longer than that.

Loan Amount

  • A payday loan is intended to be a quick way to access a small amount of cash, usually between $50 – $1,500. 
  • An installment loan is a short-term loan that provides small loan amounts of $100 to $35,000. These numbers can easily be higher or lower depending on the lender you choose.


  • Paydays loans are the most expensive loan on the market. The APR falls well into the hundreds. On average a payday loan will have an APR of 400%. 
  • Installment loans are much cheaper in comparison with the APR ranging from 5% to 30%. 

When Should You Use An Installment Loan Over A Payday Loan? 

An installment loan can do everything a payday loan can do but better. It is not only cheaper, but it can also provide a longer repayment period making payments more affordable. Installment loans are also often much larger which means you can cover a larger expense. For example, an installment loan can help you: 

  • consolidate your debts
  • cover the cost of a large unexpected expense
  • pay for trips and other leisure expenses
  • cover home repairs
  • pay for medical expenses 

What Are The Requirements Of A Payday Loan?

A payday loan seems rather simple. You go into a payday loan store, request a loan for the amount you need, and you write them a cheque. You are to have a regular source of income and they will cash your check or electronically withdraw it on your next payday. Now, let’s discuss this check or automatic withdrawal process.

You are taking out a loan that must be paid back with interest. However, you need to realize that payday loans charge annual interest rates of 400 percent and higher. Therefore, when you look at it compounded daily, a $100 payday loan paid back within 15 days is approximately $115. You may think that’s not bad, but let’s look at the bigger picture.

First, most people are not going to walk into a payday loan store to borrow $100. This is rare. Second, most people are unable to pay their loan in full by the next cycle. In fact, the average payday loan is not paid in full until about 155 days.

The reason this loan turns from a short-term loan into a long-term loan is due to various reasons. One prime reason is the person is not able to afford paying the loan. This loan may have been only a temporary fix. Their debt situation still exists. If the money is not in the account, they are now faced with a bounced cheque. Not only do they owe the payday loan lender, they now owe their bank excessive overdraft fees. At this point, they have joined the payday loan trap.

You have another situation now where you need to cover your other outstanding bills, your payday loan, and cover your bank’s fees. Your only viable option is to take another payday loan. So there you have it. You are taking a payday loan to pay for your first payday loan. So now that that is mapped out for you, let’s discuss an installment loan.

How to Break The Payday Loan Cycle

What Are The Requirements Of An Installment Loan?

An installment loan is different and much simpler. You do need to go through an application process for an installment loan; however, you are looking at a much lower interest rate. There are no hidden fees and you know exactly what to expect to pay monthly before taking the loan out. You have an extended amount of time to pay your loan in full. You may qualify for much more financing with personal loans, meaning you have more options to consolidate your debt, pay medical bills, and have a cushion should an emergency arise.

Personal Loan Application Checklist

So Which Loan Is Better?

As you can see, a payday loan is a quick method of obtaining cash. However, it may not meet your financial needs. If you need to cover rent, utilities, and have extra gas money, you may find yourself taking multiple payday loans to cover the expenses. An installment loan has a lower interest rate, you are able to cover all your expenses, and as long as you have made your payments, your term will end upon the contract end date.

Pros Cons
An installment loan allows you to choose a repayment period and even repayment frequency (monthly, weekly, bi-weekly) that suits your financial situation. You can often get approved for larger amounts with an installment loan. Though that can be a positive factor, it also means you will be adding a larger amount of debt you must repay. 
Interest rates are lower than payday loans.Similar to a payday loan, some installment loans charge origination fees and additional fees.
Many alternative lenders that provide installment loans accept a wide variety of borrowers. As such, even those with bad credit are eligible.  

If you are facing a financial emergency, don’t get caught in the payday loan trap. Contact Loans Canada so they may help you with an affordable installment loan. Loans Canada has been helping people find financing at a far more reasonable rate.

Click here for another analysis on personal loans vs payday loans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the key differences between an installment loan and a payday loan?

The main difference between a payday loan and an installment loan is that an installment loan has 
  • lower rates
  • longer repayment periods
  • lets you borrow more

Can you get an installment loan with bad credit? 

Yes, there are many lenders who provide installment loans that specifically cater to borrowers with bad bad credit. In fact, the application process for an installment loan is just as fast and easy as a payday loan application. 

What type of loans are installment loans? 

Any lump-sum loan that requires you to repay over a series of periodic payments, is an installment loan. Some installment loans are car loans, mortgages, and personal loans. 

Rating of 5/5 based on 3 votes.

Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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