First Financial Payday Loans

Why do Pawn Shops Pay Pennies for Your Treasures?

woman handling family heirloom pearls


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An Atlantic article in May, 2016 caused quite a bit of buzz by claiming: “Nearly half of Americans would have a hard time finding $400 to pay for an emergency.” The article, entitled, “The Secret Shame of the Middle Class” went on to explain that The Federal Reserve Board, in its annual survey of the financial condition of the American populace, found:
“ . . . 47 percent of respondents said that either they would cover [a $400 emergency] expense by borrowing or selling something, or they would not be able to come up with the $400 at all.”

Many turn to pawn shops when they have a financial emergency. The number of U.S. pawn shops has grown from 6,400 in 2007, at the start of the Great Recession, to more than 10,000 today. Before trading in your treasures or family heirlooms, consider that pawn shops may not be your best option.

Getting a Loan from a Pawn Shop

Of course, there’s also the option of giving your valuables to the pawnbroker for a loan. Typically, people come in at the end of the month, once their paycheck hasn’t stretched far enough and they need to buy food or pay the gas bill. The pawn shop manager makes a loan against the item and puts the it in storage. Many come back at the beginning of the month, once they’ve gotten their paycheck to get the item. Still, they have to turn over the legally-capped 22 percent interest rate in addition to the monies borrowed. So if the pawn shop values your diamond necklace at $500, you can get it back, but pay $610 (500 + 110) for the privilege. If you don’t come back that month or the next, the pawn shop manager is legally entitled to sell the necklace. A third way is to “roll over” the loan, where you pay just the interest or $110 and leave the necklace at the shop. The next month, you’ll have to pay $720 to get the necklace back.

Keep in mind that pawn shops make their bread and butter from “repeat” customers who come in every month and pay only the interest.

Pawn Shops Have the Power
The desperate need on the individual seller’s side means that pawn shops make very low offers. Generally, pawn shops have strict pricing rules dictating that they won’t pay more than half of what they think they can get for an item. One exception is higher priced guns and jewelry, which provide them more profit. With sales goals they need to meet every month, pawn shop managers know they need to keep cost of goods low in order to keep their jobs or even win a bonus. When they negotiate price with you, they’re considering their own survival. It’s not unusual to get $5 for a chainsaw, $50 for a bicycle or $25 for an SLR camera . . . and all must be in good working condition.

Your Treasures’ Value Are Subject to the Whim of the Markets

Like real estate and stocks, jewelry, gadgets and old silver fall victim to market gyrations. For example, the value of pearl necklaces and earrings has plummeted because suppliers have flooded the market. No matter how lustrous and lovely the piece, its value on the market is constantly checked by pawn brokers. Similarly, diamond shapes go in and out of fashion. Where ten years ago, the marquis cut was all the rage, now the pear-shaped diamond wins the highest prices. Buyers consider the marquis cut out-of-date.

Instead of selling something that may not be all the rage right now, why not wait until its value returns? A cash advance on your paycheck keeps your valuables at home until market conditions return to your favor.

When a Cash Advance Is a Better Option

The cash advance, money fronted to you based on the value of your paycheck, works differently from the sale to or loan from the pawn shop. First, cash advances typically stick to $500 or $1000, based on your proven income. The cash advance lender doesn’t negotiate with you on the value of your paycheck. It is what it is.

The advantage here is that the $500 you get for your diamond necklace can end up costing you. If you first look at eBay and see that similar necklaces are getting $2,000 and the pawn broker only offers $500, time pressure could push you into selling it for $1,500 less than you could get if you just had more time. In addition, you end up paying that $110 in interest. Your eventual money loss amounts to $1,610 just because you had to have $500 in a day or two.
The cash advance, on the other hand, gives you the time to find a better buyer on any number of websites or local estate jewelry shops.

100 dollar bills in cash

First Financial Offers the Cash Advances that Keep Your Treasures at Home

When you need to:

• avoid getting low offers for your heirlooms
• avoid bounced checks or credit impacts due to non-payment
• keep cars and computers running so you can get to work
• avoid expensive late fees

. . . turn to Better Business Bureau A+ rated First Financial for a cash advance. America’s leading source of short-term personal loans for people with low or bad credit scores, First Financial makes sure customers can transact all cash advances from the comfort of home. Just upload some documentation and once you’ve filled out the final page of the form and submitted, you’re cash lands in your bank account that evening. Apply here to find out how much you qualify for!

The Intricate Workings Behind the Cash Advance or Loan Offer Scam

We will never ask you to send us money upfront for any reason.

*We do not have foreign call centers or automated phone dialers. We do not do direct mail, email or phone solicitation for any service we offer.

*All applications must be completed online at our website. Do not send money or give anyone your banking information over the phone, thru email or on a paper application you received. Our applications online are the safest and most secure way to submit your application.  

Every day in the United States, hundreds of people turn over the last of their hard-earned money to scam artists. According to the FBI, scams related to cash advances and loan offers add up to millions each year.

How can so many be defrauded so easily? Careful criminal planning.

American and overseas operations start by creating websites that resemble those of a government agency or a familiar banking institution like Citibank, Money Mutual or First Financial. They advertise loan offers at very low rates on these websites, but they never make a single loan. They simply collect your personal data including bank account numbers, social security numbers and more. They deny every applicant, BUT the information they’ve collected is a gold mine.

They sell it to a second operation. Using a familiar bank name and the target’s personal information, this second company has little problem convincing unsuspecting consumers that it’s legitimate. Often, it explains that it has “more flexible” loan requirements because it is larger or more efficient or specializes in a certain area. The borrower need only prove they can make the first payment to win the loan. Here’s where alarm bells should go off. The “loan agent” then asks the borrower to put the first payment on a Walmart Green Dot or other cash card or wire the money electronically.

When the loan amount doesn’t arrive in the borrower’s bank account, the “loan agent” explains that another sum is needed for insurance. This technicality can be taken care of, again, by putting the amount on a cash card and providing the cash card numbers to the “loan agent” . . . as soon as possible, of course. To learn more signs of certain fraud, read the Beware Common Cash Advance and Loan Scams: Clear Signals of Fraud page in our consumer notices section.

Cash Advance and Loan Fraud Will Always Be with Us

Most of us can’t comprehend taking someone else’s money let alone spending months constructing elaborate schemes, telephone scripts and letters to defraud people in sometimes desperate situations. Our own rejection of such malicious acts sets us up to believe the friendly “loan agent” at the other end of the line really does have our best interests at heart. When a loan proves to be fraud, many prefer to keep the incident to themselves. If you’re in this situation, please don’t let embarrassment paralyze you. These criminals worked hard to concoct the perfect fraud. You didn’t stand a chance. BUT by reporting everything you know to the proper authorities, you can help keep more people from becoming victims. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the FBI both work hard to find and shut these scams down. If you or a loved one has become a victim of fraud, report the crime to the FBI at https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx. If an illegitimate “loan agent” uses the name First Financial, please call us right away at 800-315-7791 so we can report it to the state attorney general’s office.

Report a crime: FBI – https://www.ic3.gov / Federal Trade Commission – https://www.ftc.gov

A+ Rated First Financial Gets Money to You Fast . . . and Ethically

First Financial proudly adheres to strict ethical standards set by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If you need funds for medical bills, car or computer repair or anything, fill out one of our easy loan applications. With automated services and low overhead (no physical buildings to staff and power), we can charge lower rates and fees than neighborhood banks. Stay connected to First Financial’s offers through our Facebook.

3 Ways Online Banks Keep Cash Advances & PayDay Loans Safe & Secure

Offline banking

blank We bet that, ten years ago, you had at least 3 friends who proudly refused to submit their credit card numbers to online stores like Amazon.com. YOU may have been among them!

We also bet that—today—these same people order all kinds of clothes, books and electronics online. That fact that, back then, they were too careful, too “smart,” to shop with credit online is a distant memory. They may not even admit to being so short-sighted!

These days, people willingly upload all kinds of personal information. The magic of ever-improving “encryption” and other tools enable one consumer to interact with a store on a one-to-one basis, just as if they were standing right at the Macy’s counter. These days, more and more people, too, are turning to cost-effective, convenient online banking for their financial well-being.

Online Banking for Cash Advances and PayDay Loans is Just as Secure as Offline Banking

Because some are still a bit leery of banking over the internet, we’d like to reassure you that even for cash advances and payday loans, banks utilize extensive protections to keep your banking and personal information safe. The following four measures keep critical details private.

Read these to ease your mind about the safety and security of obtaining a cash advance online through your computer or even your smart phone using a cash advance app.

  1. Encryption: turns the written information coming from you (the browser software installed on your computer) into a code that only our online banking technology can crack. The minute you sign on to our financial institution, the software on our end prompts your browser software to establish a “secure session.” Our Cash Advance App uses “banking level encryption” which just means the code is much more difficult to decipher than most. In fact, our 128-bit encryption is at the highest level of security currently allowed by U.S. law.
  2. You stay in control because you can monitor whether or not security measures are working while you’re interacting with the site. Your browser tells you information is being encrypted with either a closed padlock or a key symbol. These symbols generally appear on the bottom of your browser screen.
  3. Online banks have whole teams of internet security professionals running audits to ensure encryption is functioning every hour of the day.

When all you need is a checking account, an email address, an internet connection via smartphone or computer, why not transact your cash advances and payday loans online? Once you are approved, you can handle the details of your cash advance or payday loan from the comfort of your home or office, where you have time to think and review your financial documents if need be.  Online banking is open 24/7, too, making it convenient for you to get cash when you need it and set up the next day for success!

3 Common Situations When a Cash Advance is a Good Idea

woman with money problems

blank When an unanticipated expense hits, financial institutions exist to make sure that families limit their losses. Cash advance and payday loans, which are short term, unsecured (no car or home collateral needed) and fast, keep people solvent until unsettling times pass.

Unexpected financial glitches happen to all of us. Stress and shame send some into freeze mode, but denial only causes late fees and creditor phone calls to mount. The cash advance option or easier cash advance app makes sense in several situations.

  1. You’re trying to avoid a credit check that impacts your credit score. When bills are due but funds are insufficient, some turn to the new credit card offers that come in the mail regularly. If you’re working to build your credit, however, you know that every credit inquiry lowers your score. A cash advance or payday loan doesn’t require a credit check. The requirements do include:
    • proof of employment
    • employment income of $800 per month
    • U.S. Citizenship
    • proof of a checking account
    • a short telephone call

This is gathered in a short, online application you can easily fill out on your phone anywhere. Once the lender gets that information, it’s typically a matter of hours before you’re approved. The lender knows you’re probably in a dicey situation and works hard to provide an answer as soon as possible.

2.     Late payment penalties are more than the cost of the payday loan.  If your mortgage is $2,000 and you have a 5% late payment penalty, you’ll be out $100 if you don’t pay the loan on time. Many fees for non-payment are higher than the charges that come with a payday loan or cash advance.

3.     The loan is required for you to earn an income.  A broken down car or crucial computer malfunction can interrupt your earning hours dramatically. To keep income steady, getting both into working order is crucial. The payday loan or cash advance helps get you back to work fast.

Payday Loan Cash Advance Information

While home and car loans are amortized over years, typically the cash advance loan is repaid within a month, when a consumer’s next paycheck is deposited.   After you fill out the application and sign forms, the money arrives in your checking account within one to two days. Similarly, the money plus the loan fees are then withdrawn at the end of the month when you are paid. It is also possible to extend the loan for another month if you need to. It’s smart, however, to have a plan to pay off the loan when it is due.

First Financial: Your Source for Fast, Trustworthy Emergency Credit

First Financial is a nationwide retailer of financial services. We provide home, auto and personal loans to applicants from every state. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, you can be confident that your transactions are safe every step of the way. Our system relies on trusted names like to get you money quickly with no glitches. Interested in checking us out for a while? Feel free to follow our Facebook page where we relate daily modern money tips.

 

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.

7 Life-Saving Tips That’ll Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

Do you want to raise your credit score quickly? If you follow these tips, you'll see improvement in your score in no time.

7 Life-Saving Tips That’ll Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

16% of Americans have a credit score of below 579. This is the lowest level of the FICO score and is categorized as “very poor”.

A poor credit score can have a serious impact on your personal life and can affect your business negatively as well.

While no one can guarantee that you will hit an exceptional score, there are steps you can take to improve your credit score.

Here are seven tips to raise your credit score quickly.

1. Check Your Report for Errors and Omissions

The very first step to take is to get a copy of your credit card report. This is the only way to know where you stand before you figure out the specific actions to take to make things better.

This is, however, not all you will be doing with your report. Go through it carefully, checking for any error and omissions.

Look for things like a repaid debt that’s been listed as a default or a loan you repaid on time that is not listed.

If you identify any of these issues, move to have them corrected. This action in itself can add a few points to your rating.

2. Negotiate on Outstanding Balances

You will be surprised at how helpful your creditors can be. Unfortunately, if you never ask, you will never find out.

If you are having trouble making payments, make contact with your credit card issuer and communicate this with them.

Most providers have temporary hardship programs you can take advantage of. The benefit of this is that you can have your repayment amounts reduced until you get back on your feet.

Smaller, more manageable installments mean you can pay a lot more comfortably. This is better than skipping payments and having a creditor send a negative report that sheds a few points off your score.

3. Get Added as an Authorized User

This is a great way of giving your credit score an immediate boost. This works particularly well if you are just starting out and have little information on your credit rating.

You do this by getting someone with a high credit card limit and an even greater repayment history. Their card issuer sends them a card with your name on it.

Legally, you are not obligated to make payments on any debt accrued on the card. But its usage reflects positively on your credit score.

The key is finding someone with above board transactions. In a sense, you inherit the person’s positive credit history.

However, not all credit card companies report authorized users. Before you get on it, do your research and find out if it will be reported.

4. Ask Creditors to Delete Late Payments

It’s not uncommon to fall behind on payments from time to time. However, these small mistakes lower your credit score.

If you are in good standing with your creditors, it does not hurt to request them to delete some of the reported late payments. Financial institutions regularly communicate with Credit Referencing Bureaus, and all it would take is a quick phone call on your behalf.

If the request goes through, then you will have fewer negative reports, which will add some points to your credit rating. Nevertheless, try and restrict your late payments to 30 days. Creditors will not report late dues failing in this time frame.

If your issue is forgetfulness, rather than availability of funds, you can have your banker or employer make direct payments if this facility is available. If not, there are numerous software tools you can use to remind you when your payments are due.

5. Old Debts Can Raise Your Credit Score Quickly

You might be eager to forget about your car loan or student loan debts once you make the final payment.

However, as long as you completed your payments promptly, those records may help your scoring. The same is true for credit card debt.

All you need to do is keep these debts on your record. If they were entirely left out, then provide all the information to the credit Reference Bureau so they can use it to calculate your credit score.

Bad payment histories are deleted with time. However, bankruptcies stay on your report for 10 years and late payments for seven years. You don’t have much leeway with these.

6. Watch Your Credit Utilization Rate

Credit utilization is the amount of credit card balance you have compared to your credit limit.

This is the second largest factor affecting your credit score. The first is your credit repayment history.

The more credit you use on your credit card, the further down your credit rating drops. This trend indicates you are spending a significant portion of your income to repay debt, which makes you likelier to default on payments.

The best credit utilization is 0, which means your credit card limit is untouched. This defeats the purpose of applying for a credit card in the first place.

As a rule of thumb, keep your credit utilization ratio at 30%. This means using less than 30% of the credit limit availed to you. Anything above this can cause your rating to drop.

Under the FICO system, people with the highest scores have a utilization rate of 7%. The lower your utilization, the better.

7. Jump on Score Boosting programs

The average age and number of accounts you have held are an important consideration in evaluating how you handle debt.

This tends to disadvantage people with a limited credit history.

UltraFico and Experian Boost allow people with limited credit histories to puff it up using other information.

Experian requires access to your online banking data and allows Credit Referencing Bureaus to add utility payments to your history.

In the same way, UltraFico allows you to give permissions for savings and checking accounts to be used alongside your report when calculating your credit score.

Consistency Is Key

All in all, while it is possible to raise your credit score quickly, expect a few bumps along the way and allow yourself some time.

At First Financial, we understand that while you work on your credit rating you might still need help from time to time. No matter your credit score, we have a financing solution for you. Contact us today for more information.

First Financial

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