Money-flower“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” — William Shakespeare

The term “payday loan” has acquired somewhat of a poor reputation over the years, thanks to some predatory lenders using some unscrupulous business models. As a result, lenders have come up with many different variations on the term.

At their heart, all of these kinds of loans are similar. They are unsecured loans, intended to be short-term, with a higher APR than a bank, and terms not subject for renegotiation. Using different descriptions and titles can either be a way for businesses to distance themselves from the poor reputation of the payday loans industry, or a way to misrepresent what they really offer.

This is a list of all the different euphemisms and synonyms for payday loans.

Personal or Signature Loan

The most common type of unsecured loan, usually offered by a bank or credit union. Personal loans have higher interest rates than secured loans, but often have slightly lower rates than standard payday loans. There is a substantial approval process, and in recent years banks have shied away from any kind of unsecured loan.

Cash Advance

A different way of describing a payday loan.

Payday Advance

Another rephrasing of what a payday loan offers you.

Paycheck Loans or Paycheck Advance

Once again, this is a synonym for payday loan, and has no other substantial difference.

No Fax Loan

This title used to be more prevalent, back when fax machines were more heavily used. This promotes to customers they can apply entirely on-line without using a fax or paper documents at all. Most payday loans are now no-fax loans, but occasionally there will be a lender that still requires documents be faxed directly to the business.

Direct Deposit Advance

A program offered through Wells Fargo bank that works as a payday advance for customers who have direct deposit set up with their account. The bank will directly withdraw funds from your account as soon as your paycheck is deposited.

Tax Refund Anticipation Loan

Instead of borrowing against your next paycheck, these loans allow you to borrow against what you expect from your tax return. They charge a one-time fee. If your tax return is less than anticipated, there may be additional repayment fees.

There is nothing wrong with using any of these terms, but remember that a payday loan is a payday loan, regardless of what they call it. Before agreeing to any loan, make sure you read all the terms and disclosures, and be confident you understand all the fees and conditions involved.

For more information on how payday loans and same-day cash advances work, check out these step-by-step guides from National Payday, your trusted source for loans for 13 years and counting.

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