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Australian Payday Loans - Are They Safe?

Written By renie kolo on Thursday, February 14, 2013 | 12:12 AM

With the proliferation of on line lenders springing up across the web offering an array of instant cash products it appears that fast money is easily accessible and cheap, but is it?

For many Australians the words instant cash loan or payday loan centre immediately conjure images of seedy back yard pawnbrokers operating out of shops with barred windows in the less desirable areas of town, charging ridiculously high interest rates and standing over you for payments. While in the past this may have been true, today's instant loan marketplace is much more dynamic, offering customers a wide range of instant cash and payday loan alternatives. While loan sharks still ply their trade on the naïve and desperate, there are a number of professional, well packaged, user friendly, online loan centres now operating in Australia. Or are there? Our findings suggest it is still very much a case of buyer bewares.

So what do you look for in a safe online loan ? When checking out potential online instant cash loan providers the key requirements should be loan convenience, loan transparency, fast cash delivery and fixed low rates.

Loan Convenience / Fast Cash Delivery

There are a number of online loan providers that claim to offer fast loans in under an hour. You have probably seen the paid ads all over the web, "first choice lender , $100 - $600 payday loans, instant cash now". Caution, make sure you read the loan application requirements because many lenders require you to fax through bank statements, rent receipts and a whole host of other documentation. Accessing this paperwork from the office or work site is often impossible, meaning your fast loan has just become a headache. I recommend looking for an online lender who offers paperless or faxless loan applications. Paperless loans are processed more efficiently, as they often only require a phone contact to verify your employment, meaning quicker payment for you, the client. In fact, in many cases the entire paperless or faxless loan application process can take less than 30 minutes depending on how easily your payroll can be contacted. For repeat customers the loan process is even quicker with the the application taking as little as 1 minute, with cash in your account literally within minutes. For fast loan service and convenience the first criteria you should always look for is no paperwork or faxless loans.

Transparency / Fixed Low Rates

The next criteria is loan transparency and fixed low rates. Always check to make sure you have read the loan conditions and most importantly make sure the loan provider offers a fixed cost for the loan. I recommend choosing a loan service provider who keeps you regularly updated with either sms messages, emails or both. An example of a loan with good transparency is one which guides you through the application process with SMS messages and emails alerting you of total loan cost, approval, when to sign your digital online contract and when your funds are transferred. A good check of loan transparency is to make sure your loan provider has an online client account login. That way after you've been paid you can login to see your contract, a breakdown of fees, check repayment details or even view previous loans. As an added extra some online payday cash lenders send out repayment reminders the day before a repayment is due. This is a great customer service and is designed to help you stay organised and keep up with your payments.

Worried about fees and charges ?

Well don't panic, if you follow my advice and only borrow from an online cash lender who offers a flat rate loan fee you will always know the total cost of the loan. If you really worried a number of online lenders provide instant loan calculators on their sites. These allow you to see instantly, exactly how much the cash loan will cost you. Often the payday loan calculator gives you a range of payment frequency options as well as allowing you to choose from a selection of payment plans. That means you can try a number of payment plan options and find the one which suits you best before completing your online payday loan application.

If you need fast cash and are thinking of applying for an instant online cash loan follow the guidelines.

1. Faxless or paperless loans only

2. Fixed low rate loan

3. Transparency.

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