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How to Get a Cash Advance on a Credit Card: 8 Tips You Should Know

How to Get a Cash Advance on a Credit Card: 8 Tips You Should Know

A credit card can be a great source of cash if you need it. Learn how to get a cash advance on a credit card and how to be smart with it here.

how to get a cash advance on a credit card

You use your credit card at the checkout and online, but did you know you can use it as a source of cash?

A credit card cash advance allows you to withdraw a percentage of your credit limit in cold, hard cash. You can get it from the teller at the bank that manages your credit card or request a PIN to hit the ATM.

However, getting a cash advance differs from swiping your credit card. If misused, it can transform your credit card from a helpful tool into a monthly nightmare.

Here’s what you need to know about how to get a cash advance on a credit card (and how to pay it back).

1. Read Your Agreement

Can you get a credit card cash advance? Your credit card agreement spells out the answer.

If you don’t have the original agreement, log-in to your online banking portal and download it a second time. Can’t find it? Request a new copy from your bank.

Under the credit line section, you’ll see two numbers: your total credit line and your cash advance credit line.

If you have a cash advance credit line available, it will be a fraction of the total credit line.

Your cash advance line is part of your total credit line–not an addition to it. If you have a $500 cash advance line, but only $300 available on your entire credit card line, then you can only take out $300 in cash.

2. Request Your PIN

To access your credit line, you need access to your PIN.

You may do this one of two ways depending on your card provider. Most banks now allow you to do this online. However, other banks may require you to call customer service to request your PIN. Either way, your PIN will arrive in the mail.

3. Pay Attention to the Access Fee

No matter what credit card you have, you need to know that your cash withdrawal differs substantially from a typical swipe transaction.

Credit card cash advances usually come with two fees: an upfront transaction fee and an interest rate.

Let’s start with the transaction fee.

For the privilege of taking out cash, you will either pay a percentage of the transaction or a flat fee. You need to know what this fee is and factor it into your withdrawal. Not only is it one more item to pay back, but it will remove the remaining credit you may count on to do things like pay bills.

Most companies charge around 5 percent of the transaction or a fee of $10. The greater of the two applies based on the size of your withdrawal.

So if you take out $50, then your fee would be $2.50. But if you ask for $500 in cash, your payment is $25.

4. Note the Higher Interest Rate

A credit card cash advance almost always comes with a higher interest rate than your total credit line. And if you are in an introductory period that offers a reduced or zero interest rate, then it likely doesn’t apply to your cash advance.

You might think that paying off the cash advance at the end of the month will save you the hassle of the higher APR. However, your credit card doesn’t work that way.

When you make a payment, you pay off the oldest balance first. To pay off your cash advance, you generally need to pay off your card balance in its entirety.

Plus, credit card companies typically start counting interest the day you take the cash out. If you take out a cash advance on the first day of your billing cycle, you will pay a month’s worth of interest if you don’t pay it off until your due date.

5. Factor in the ATM Fee

The final fee is the ATM fee.

If you use an American card, you already know that using an ATM outside your network comes with a fee between $2 and $10, depending on who owns the ATM.

If you use the ATM to withdraw your cash advance, keep the fee in mind when you calculate your balance and your budget.

6. Borrow Pocket Money–Not Hundreds

The combination of all the fees and the interest means that a cash advance works best when borrowing a quick $40. Borrowing hundreds of dollar quickly adds up and puts you at a disadvantage from the day you borrow.

As a result, the best and safest way to use a cash advance is only to borrow what you can pay back after your next paycheck.

7. Pay It Off Fast

A cash advance isn’t a long-term loan or credit option. You need to pay it off fast–as in days, not weeks or months.

Paying it off quickly is the best way to avoid the combined high-interest rates, which turn your one-time need into a month’s long battle.

If you can, don’t wait until your next due date to pay it off. Do it as soon as feasibly possible to avoid growing your balance.

8. Consider an Alternative to a Credit Card Cash Advance

In some cases, a personal bank loan or collateral loan are better alternatives. Both of these loans offer a higher limit and fairer interest applications, which means it will take less time to pay off and cost you less in the long run.

Keep in mind that both these loans also include fees. However, the fee tends to be lower than that of a cash advance once you reach the higher figures. You can also avoid the ATM fees, which saves you at least a bit of cash.

How to Get a Cash Advance on a Credit Card: The Takeaway

Now you know how to get a cash advance on a credit card, but remember, it’s best suited for those who need to borrow $100–not $1,000. Borrowing large lump sums becomes expensive very quickly because the interest rate is not only high but the bank applies it immediately.

Do you need cash quick? Click here to learn about our financial products for all credit types.

Payday Loans 101: How Do Payday Loans Work?

Payday Loans 101: How Do Payday Loans Work?

How to payday loans work? Learn everything you need to know about the precautions and benefits with our guide to understanding payday loans.

How Do Payday Loans Work?

Payday loans can be a real life-saver. Used wisely they are your knight in shining armor. They’re there to rescue you from financial ruin when all else has failed.

How do payday loans work? Find out how you could get yourself out of an impossible situation with a quick injection of much-needed cash.

Hard Times

Many people have moments in their lives when they’re short of cash. You may well have managed your finances well. But sometimes something unexpected comes up and your budget can be stretched to a breaking point.

Let’s say a heating system breaks down unexpectedly. It could be very cold, and there may be a few more weeks to go until your next paycheck. If you’re already stretched, there could just be no money left to pay for the repairs.

It could be that you don’t have time to apply for a bank overdraft. You may not even be confident that your application will be successful. Your credit cards may also be maxed out.

The Payday Loan Solution

It’s in these kinds of circumstances that a payday loan could be a solution. They’re a quick way to get the funds you need. They’re a stop-gap to enable you to keep your finances on track.

You’ll then repay the loan by the end of the month when you get paid. It’s a potentially life-saving choice for those who have poor credit or no credit history at all.

It’s often possible to get the cash you want on the same day if you can get an online application submitted early in the morning. You’ll need to be sure that you fill in any forms accurately.

How Do Payday Loans Work?

With these kinds of loans, lenders may keep a check from the borrower until their next payday. That would typically be when the loan and any finance charges would need to be paid back.

There are also lenders who offer longer-term installment loans. They’d require authorization to electronically withdraw multiple payments from your bank account. That would typically be on each pay date.

Payday loans are usually for amounts that range from one hundred to one thousand dollars. The maximum will depend on what is permitted in any given state as well as your monthly income. A normal loan term would be around two weeks.

The downside of payday loans is that the interest rates tend to be high. There could also be arrangement fees on top of this. Rates can be even higher in states which do not cap the maximum cost of the loan.

It’s important not to let a payday loan become a ‘debt trap.’ That can happen if you can’t afford the loan and the fees. You might end up repeatedly paying even more fees to delay having to pay back the loan. The debt can then spiral out of control.

Applying for a Payday Loan

Lenders will need your personal details. They will want to know how they can contact you. That usually means that you will need a phone that accepts calls and texts.

Lenders will also want information about your employment status and financial income. They may also want to see bank statements from the past few months. This is so that they can see evidence of the regularity and size of your paycheck.

Before you apply for a payday loan, gather together all this information. If you don’t do this, then you might slow down the whole process.

Lenders often will not carry out a full credit check or ask too many questions when deciding if a borrower can afford to repay a loan. Loans are usually granted based on the lender’s power to collect, rather than on the borrower’s capacity to repay.

Understand Your Credit Score

If you’ve just begun a college course, then you may find that you don’t have a credit history. Some lenders may still allow you to borrow in these circumstances. This will typically mean that the cash must be spent on books or college fees.

If your credit score is poor, you might still be able to get a payday loan. You must not be in a state of bankruptcy and you will require an active bank account. Lenders generally only let you borrow up to a smaller percentage of your income.

Limited Options

You should consider taking out a payday loan only in a time of real need. It shouldn’t be your first or ideal option. To an extent, it needs to be considered as a last resort.

That’s because there are real consequences if you fail to repay the loan. There will be a negative impact on your credit score. This will be a red flag for any future lenders.

Payday loans are not the right way to pay for luxuries you could do without. They’re there for necessities rather than something that you want.

You may want to go on a luxury vacation or buy a new and expensive computer. A payday loan would not be the most appropriate way to make the purchase.

The Costs Involved

It’s very important to read all the small print when taking out a payday loan. Check thoroughly so that you understand what the fees and charges are. You need to be aware of what you are getting into with payday loan.

The best advice is only to borrow the exact amount you’re going to need. It might be tempting to add on a little extra for the treat you think you deserve. This is never a good idea because of the fees you’re likely to have to pay.

Remember that the more you borrow, the more it will cost you to pay the loan back. That’s because you’ll be paying more interest and probably more in fees too.

When There’s an Emergency

How do payday loans work? They can be the lifeline you’re looking for when you have an unexpected expense and need a quick solution. You should always use them responsibly and with care.

Find out more about payday loans here and how online banks keep them safe and secure.

Personal Loans | First Financial

6 Advantages of Taking Out a Short-Term Personal Loan with Bad Credit

6 Advantages of Taking Out a Short-Term Personal Loan with Bad Credit

Believe it or not, there are ways that a short-term loan can help improve bad credit. Find out the advantages of taking out short-term personal loan here.

Over 43 million Americans have bad credit.

If you have bad credit, you might think you are stuck in a never-ending cycle. You need good credit to be approved for a loan, but you need to be approved for loans to build your credit.

If you can get approved for a loan, the terms are usually less than favorable.

Fortunately, there are ways to improve your credit quickly and easily. One option is to take out a short-term personal loan.

These types of loans come with many benefits and few disadvantages. They can help build your credit and don’t come with the tradeoffs that bad credit loans usually do.

Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of short-term personal loans.

1. They Improve Bad Credit

Short-term personal loans allow you to have your cake and eat it too.

Most loans that those with less than stellar credit are approved for aren’t worth taking. The cost is often too high to the borrower.

And that’s if you can even get improved.

So if your credit doesn’t qualify you for a loan, how do you build your credit? This is where short-term loans come into play.

Short-term loans are less risky for the lender and the lender can expect to be paid back more quickly than with long-term loans. Short-term personal loans are customizable by the borrower.

This means you can choose a loan that works for you. If you simply want to use this type of loan to improve your credit, you can take out a loan for a few months.

So long as you repay the loan within the agreed-upon time frame, your credit score will improve.

2. You’ll Save on Interest

For the most part, short-term loans will save you money.

When you have a long-term loan, you end up paying more interest. This is simply because you will be paying interest for such a long time.

With short-term loans, you pay back the loan in a much shorter amount of time. This means you’ll pay less interest.

Even if the interest rate for the short-term loan is higher because of your bad credit, the interest paid will be less in the big picture because of the shorter time paying interest.

The loan amount might also be smaller, meaning the interest paid will be less. Short-term personal loans usually have much lower interest rates than credit cards.

3. Ease of Access

If you need a loan quickly, a short-term personal loan is the loan for you.

They are similar to payday loans in the fact that they are usually approved within just hours. Waiting to find out whether you will qualify for a loan can be torture, especially if you aren’t sure if your credit score will measure up.

While it depends on your lender, in most cases you will receive your funds either the same day or the next business day. This offers a level of convenience that is unique to the type of loan.

Short-term personal loans offer convenience and flexibility to the borrower. As mentioned above, the loans can be customized to fit your individual needs.

Most lenders are online and you can access their website 24/7. This means you can apply for a loan at any time and from anywhere.

4. Reduced Stress

Short-term loans are significantly less stressful than long-term ones.

You will avoid the dread of viewing your statements and continuously accruing interest for years at a time. Instead, you’ll see your loan being paid off quickly, boosting your confidence and your credit score.

When you have a long-term loan, the end is often not in sight. It’s easy for the looming loan to cause emotional stress.

Watching the interest accrue month after month and year after year can be downright torture. Even if you are making the minimum payment each month, you are barely making a dent in the principle.

Short-term loans avoid this problem and instead offer satisfaction upon repayment.

5. Less Risk

With short-term personal loans, you’ll know exactly how much you owe each month and for how long you will need to make payments.

These loans are sometimes offered unsecured as well. This means that you won’t have to put up collateral.

Common forms of collateral include personal assets like your home or car. Instead, your credit history and credit score will be enough for your lender.

If you have bad credit, you might be required to put up collateral. However, short-term loans are much easier to manage.

There is less risk of things getting out of control and you not being able to pay back the loan. As mentioned above, it’s easier to keep interest in check with short-term loans.

Therefore, your assets are at less risk. If you do end up going with a secured loan, you will have access to more favorable terms and lower interest rates.

6. Flexibility

Short-term personal loans offer you more time to pay than other fast cash options.

Payday loans, for example, have much shorter payback time frames. With short-term loans, you can set the repayment time frame so that it works with your life’s schedule.

You will also have more flexibility when it comes to choosing the amount of the loan. Borrowing limits are often significantly higher than you could borrow using a credit card.

Apply for a Short-Term Personal Loan Today

If you are looking to secure a loan with bad credit or improve your credit score, considering applying for a short-term personal loan. Your loan will help you establish good financial habits.

Click here to start your application to see if you qualify.

7 Things You Should Know About Having a High Risk Merchant Account

7 Things You Should Know About Having a High Risk Merchant Account

Conceptual business illustration with the words merchant account
Having a high risk merchant account is a necessity for some businesses. Learn more about this type of account with these seven facts.

If you have an online business, accepting credit cards as a form of payment is absolutely critical to your success and your bottom line.

But if your business is considered high risk, finding the right match can be a daunting task.

So, what do you need to know about having a high risk merchant account before you begin looking for the right company to serve your needs? Here are nine things you should be aware of before you make a commitment.

1. Determine if Your Business is Considered High Risk

Before you select a merchant processor, you need to know if your business is even considered to be high risk. The criteria can vary widely between providers, but one of the first things they look at is if your industry typically has a high rate of fraud or chargebacks.

If you’re not operating from the United States, this is another potential indicator of high risk. Certain categories like firearms, drug paraphernalia, or even auction sites may also be considered high risk. Find out if you fall into this category first so you can be prepared for the next steps.

2. Prepare for Higher Fees and Longer Contract Terms

If you have a high risk merchant account, you can expect to pay more in processing charges and billed account fees. The reason is that your processor is taking you on as a risk, so they’re passing the cost of that risk on to you.

You’ll also likely have to keep your contract with the processor longer than you would if you were not a high-risk client. On average, high-risk accounts must stay with the same processor for three years or even longer.

An auto renewal clause is usually included which can force you to remain an ongoing customer for periods of a one-year minimum after each renewal. If you want to cancel, you’ll likely get hit with an early termination fee.

3. Check Available Plans for Your High Risk Merchant Account

Merchant processing plans can vary, so shop around until you find one that offers terms you can live with. Traditionally, these fees are charged on something called an interchange-plus pricing plan, although your rates will be higher than a low or no-risk account.

Find out if you can get a flat-rate pricing plan which will make billing a lot easier. If you discover that a merchant processor is charging extremely high per-transaction charges, you may want to steer clear. Compare rates and plans until you find one that’s within a reasonable amount.

4. Be Aware of Rolling Reserves

The term rolling reserves refers to money that is set aside from the proceeds of your sales in order to cover certain expenses. These reserves will help pay for things like chargebacks, and they’re put in place to protect the merchant processor.

Since many high-risk accounts tend to go out business, these reserves are there to cover any unexpected costs to the merchant processing company. If you’re new in business, you can almost guarantee that this is a requirement. However, as time goes on, the rolling reserves should decrease as long as your account remains in good standing.

5. Read the Fine Print

Any reputable merchant processor will give you a contract that spells out all of your fees and terms. Make sure you read this thoroughly before you make a commitment.

Look closely for different clauses that could cause you to pay even more than you expected. Some companies claim to specialize in high-risk accounts so they feel that they can charge their merchant accounts exorbitant fees. Do your homework and never sign anything until you’re completely comfortable with the terms and the cost.

If you’re ever in doubt about a potential merchant processor, ask your fellow business owners who they recommend. You can also read reviews online to find out which ones most high-risk customers are happy with, and which ones to avoid.

6. Security Measures will be Added

A quality payment processor will add some layers of additional security to your account. This can actually benefit you since it will help prevent fraudulent transactions and dishonest chargeback claims.

Requiring things like CVV2 verification is a good thing since it protects you and your processor from fraud. Ask your provider about what kinds of security measures they take to protect themselves and your business from unscrupulous transactions.

7. Develop a Good Track Record

If you really want to lower the costs associated with a high risk merchant account, work diligently to prove your salt. This could mean anything from reducing or completely eliminating chargebacks to consistently showing a profit for a long period of time.

The longer your business does well and maintains its reputation, the better off you’ll be in the eyes of the merchant processor. Some providers may even reward their high-risk accounts with lower rolling reserves over time or even reducing fees as time goes on.

Ask several potential merchant processors what kind of benefits they offer high-risk accounts if they do well. You might be surprised at the progress and positive benefits you can reap once the business is more established.

Success is Possible

Even if you operate a high-risk business, there’s no need to despair. With a few helpful bits of information and a little research, you can find a quality high risk merchant account that will serve your needs well.

Visit our website for more information about: High Risk Merchant Services.


First Financial

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Client Service Center:  Main: 1-800-315-7791  Fax: 1-800-215-0217 (Monday–Friday 5:00am–6:00pm Pacific or 8:00am–9:00pm Eastern)

Merchant Services / High Risk Merchant Accounts: Main 1-800-950-0212  Fax: 1-800-215-0217

 

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