Saving Money: Quick Cash, High Cost

I didn't think it was possible. But it is. Folks, there is something worse out there than putting everyday expenses on a credit card, then carrying the balance. The guys I'm going to tell you about make the credit card people look downright benevolent. Meet your smiling neighborhood cash advance parlor.

These legal loan sharks go by names like EZ Money, Cash 'N Go, Red E Cash, Cash in a Flash, the Money Tree, and others.

Here's how it works. You want cash now. Payday isn't for another two weeks. So you head on down to the loan shop. Just show them your driver's license, bank statement and pay stub. Write a check dated two weeks from now for, say, $200. A minute later, you're back on the street, $170 making a comforting bulge in your wallet. Two weeks later, the loan shop deposits your check. Pretty cool, huh?

What's that? You say your check was for $200, not $170? Do you recall when they mentioned a "small convenience fee"? That's the missing $30.

What would you say if I told you that "small convenience fee" amounted to an annual interest rate of 416%?

How do these lenders get away with rates this high when the credit card companies are limited to 24% or less (cry me a river)? Because, technically, you don't pay any interest. Just that flat fee.

So what are the alternatives? Just try going into a bank and asking to borrow a couple hundred for a few days. I can still hear the loan officer giggling. Not a pretty sound.

One great alternative goes by many names. My bank calls it "Ready Reserve." It's a revolving line of credit tied to my checking account. If I write a check for more than my account balance, good ol' Ready Reserve transfers in money to cover the check. Next payday, I cover the reserve by telling the bank to apply part of my deposit to the reserve account. There's a small annual fee (around $10), plus credit card rates are applied to any standing balances.

If your need for cash is truly occasional, for unforeseen emergencies (are there foreseen emergencies?), try being your own quickie lender. Hold a garage sale, auction off some stuff, or take on part-time or temporary work in order to put a few hundred dollars in a war chest. Take the cash and buy traveler's checks. Put them away; just don't forget where. When you need the money, write out a check, put it in your stash, and take out the traveler's checks. Next payday, buy more traveler's checks and "redeem" your check. If you don't do it this way, most of you won't pay back the stash.

(Note: Some traveler's checks expire. Make sure you redeem them for new checks before the expiration date.)

If you find yourself short of money month after month, you need to make more money. Taking a $200 cash advance 10 times a year will cost you $300 a year or more.

John McCabe's Web Guides show you how to find more and better success in all facets of your life.

For more articles on living an abundant, vibrant, joyous life, come to

Free Quran in All Languages

Free Tafsir Books

How Does a Creditor Determine Whether to Grant You Credit?

Credit 101How does a creditor determine whether to grant you... Read More

SuperCharged Secret 3, Credit Card Utopia

TURBO-CHARGED KILLER RATE SAVING INFORMATION!Let's just take a brief moment... Read More

What is on Your Credit Report?

Your credit report is a very important piece of the... Read More

7 Consumer Credit Laws You Should Know if You are Trying to Repair Your Credit

There are seven consumer credit laws you should be aware... Read More

What Should I Do If I?ve Become a Victim of Identity Theft?

Identity thieves take advantage of everyday opportunities to discover your... Read More

Bad Credit? No Credit? Yeah, Its a Problem.

Many companies use the slogan "Bad Credit? No Credit? No... Read More

Credit Report Secrets: Do You Know What They Reveal?

If you've ever applied for a credit card or loan,... Read More

Inflexible Friends and Plastic Assets, Why Money isn?t Buying Love Anymore

Consumers reject financial advice in favour of financial frivolityIt would... Read More

Credit Report Disaster Through Mistaken Identity

I've got some very important info I want you to... Read More

How To Protect Yourself Against Credit Card Fraud

In the high tech world of today, credit card fraud... Read More

Identity Theft Exploding: Here?s How You Can Avoid Becoming A Victim

Americans are more concerned about identity theft than unemployment or... Read More

What You Should Know About Credit Counseling

Credit counseling is a free service that many people with... Read More

10 Ways To Protect Your Financial Identity Being Used For Someone Else?s Shopping Spree

Someone impersonating you could be spending your hard-earned money.Impossible! Not... Read More

Credit Cards or Store Cards - Which Is Better?

Introduction In this article, a presentation is made of the... Read More

Pitfalls of the Credit Industry

The credit industry if rife with pitfalls. If you have... Read More

Using Credit Cards Wisely

"I think money was stolen from my card" or "I... Read More

The Advantages of Credit Cards

There are many evils associated with credit cards, but there... Read More

Credit Trap: What They Dont Tell You About Credit Cards In College

In industrialized nations, going into debt starts early. It's easy... Read More

How To Prevent Fraudulent Credit Card Transactions

What Are Possible Signs of Fraudulent Transactions see at Web... Read More

Student Credit Cards 101

Almost all students have and use student credit cards. Some... Read More

Applying for Credit Cards Online

In the olden days, about 10 years ago, before the... Read More

Credit Cards - The Top 3 Things You Need To Know

Today there are so many different credit cards available, student... Read More

A No-Brainer Way Of Getting Credit And Credit Cards

What Is Your Credit Rating Now?If you have any charge... Read More

Choosing The Best Credit Card To Apply For

Always shop around to get the best deal when choosing... Read More

Credit Card Tips

Here are some useful credit card tips for you to... Read More