Don’t Know if You Have Outstanding Payday Loans? Here’s How to Find Out

If you’re juggling multiple debts including mortgages, auto loans, credit card bills and medical debt, it can be easy to lose track of whether you’ve repaid all of your payday loans, particularly since payday lenders prefer to automatically debit them from your bank account.

But if the payment fails to go through or you’re simply juggling multiple payday loan rollovers, you may worry about whether one fell through the cracks. Here’s how to figure out whether you have any unpaid payday loans.

Key points

  • The simplest way is to ask your payday lender
  • Though payday lenders don’t report loans to the three major credit bureaus, any delinquent loan will appear on your credit reports
  • Residents of participating states can search the Veritec payday loan database by using CoreLogic Teletrack
  • You can check with the non-traditional credit bureaus that focus on payday loans. These include FactorTrust, Clarity Services, and DataX
  • Other agencies that may be able to help include Certegy Check Services, ChexSystems and Innovis

Ask your payday lender

This is the simplest way to find out is to call your payday loan company and ask. You will need to provide your personal information. If your loan was through an online lender, you may be able to log into a portal and check. However, this will only work if you remember which lenders you’ve borrowed from. Plus, there’s always the possibility that your payday lender changed names or owners, or sold your debt to a debt collector.

Check your credit reports

Checking your credit report is also another way to discover if you have any outstanding loans. Although payday lenders don’t report to the “big three” credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion and Equifax) unless something is in default or collections, there are secondary third-party databases that you can check that provide non-traditional credit data. FactorTrust, Clarity Services and DataX are some companies that focus on payday loans.

Use the statewide database to search

Veritec is a database that provides this type of non-traditional credit data. They are a third-party database system used to determine loan eligibility. It helps lenders meet their state lending laws and protects consumers taking out loans. Thirteen states that participate in this statewide database maintained by Veritec.

Pro tip: The participating states are: Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

Only a legal payday lender has access to the Veritec database. However, you can contact the provider directly if you live in one of the 13 states.

How to access the database

While Veritec is only available to payday lenders, CoreLogic Teletrack allows borrowers to access the information compiled in their database. Teletrack is a consumer reporting agency that provides consumer reports to third parties for credit risk assessment and/or other purposes as permitted by law. It is a subsidiary of CoreLogic, a leading Specialty Consumer Reporting Agency (“CRA”) that provides non-traditional credit data and insights to the alternative financial services industry. In addition, a borrower can apply to have the information corrected if a loan application is denied based on incorrect information included in the database.

Read more  How to Refinance a Car into a Different Name (And Other Options)

Teletrack collects consumer information about and provides data to payday lenders, rent-to-own businesses, furniture stores that offer financing, auto finance and leasing companies, high-risk consumer finance businesses, subprime home lending businesses, subprime credit card issuers, banks, credit unions, cable/telecom companies and debt buyers/collectors.

You can request a report through CoreLogic Teletrack.

  • The company will provide one free report every 12 months if you request it.
  • The company will freeze your consumer report if you request it.
  • Requesting copies of your consumer reports does not hurt your credit scores.
  • Companies required to provide the information in your report for free annually upon request must do so within fifteen days of receiving your request.

Print out the report and review it.

Pro tip: What happens if you find information in your credit report that you believe is inaccurate or incomplete? In that case, you have the legal right to dispute the report’s content with the consumer reporting company and the company that shared the information with the reporting company, such as your lender. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, companies must conduct – free of charge – a reasonable investigation of your dispute.

The company that has provided the incorrect information must correct the error and notify all consumer reporting companies to whom it provided the inaccurate information.

Call the number below to report any errors.

  • Alabama 1-877-238-2262
  • Delaware 1-855-337-3501
  • Florida 1-877-352-3771
  • Illinois 1-877-457-3501
  • Indiana 1-877-469-3771
  • Kentucky 1-904-421-7160
  • Michigan 1-866-643-7701
  • North Dakota 1-877-633-7756
  • Oklahoma 1-877-655-6261
  • South Carolina 1-888-723-7701
  • Virginia 1-877-827-3501
  • Washington 1-877-925-6269
  • Wisconsin 1-877-943-7701

CoreLogic Teletrack will provide the following information:

  • The number of payday loans a borrower has applied for and paid off
  • Any and all late or defaulted payments
  • Charge-offs
  • Any records of bankruptcy filings

Want to know more about how to request your CoreLogic Teletrack report? Check out this video:

What to do if you don’t live in a state covered by the database

You’ll need to check your credit reports.

There are three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. There are also a number of smaller companies, including a few that focus on payday loans such as FactorTrust, Clarity Services, and DataX.

  • FactorTrust collects loan performance information on nonprime consumers to provide predictive credit data, analytics and risk-scoring solutions to short-term lenders, installment lenders, nonprime auto lenders, leasing companies, and other subprime credit providers. FactorTrust is owned by TransUnion.
  • Clarity Services is Experian’s real-time credit bureau that covers alternative financial services and buy now pay later products and data. They collect and provide information on payday loans, installment loans, auto loans (and leasing), check cashing services, rent-to-own transactions, telecommunication account openings, and financial services, emphasizing the lower-income and subprime consumer market segments.
  • DataX collects data on non-prime consumers and those with thin credit files. It was created to uncover creditworthy non-prime prospects by looking beyond traditional credit reporting. DataX uses alternative payment types (checks, cash, money orders, ACH, etc.), including full header, tradeline, performance and payment data. Equifax owns DataX.
Read more  How to increase your mortgage preapproval amount

Other agencies include Certegy Check Services, ChexSystems and Innovis.

  • Certegy Check Services collects check writing histories and provides check and ACH verification services for retail merchants and gaming establishments that accept checks as payment.
  • ChexSystems is a banking reporting agency that collects information about your previous problems with deposit accounts, including checking and savings accounts. They maintain a report of your banking activity, which banks and credit unions can use to determine eligibility for a new checking or savings account.
  • Innovis provides credit, identity, and authentication solutions designed to manage risk and empower consumers and customers to achieve their financial goals. They are a credit reporting division of CBC Companies and is considered the fourth largest consumer credit reporting agency in the United States, after Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

All of these agencies must adhere to Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) guidelines. All of the bureaus must provide a free copy of your credit report once a year. It’s essential to review them to ensure you have no outstanding loans you may have forgotten about.

How long does a payday loan stay in the system?

Payday loans don’t work the same way as traditional loans. If you have no delinquencies and are paid up in full, chances are there will be no record of the loan because payday lenders do not usually report to the credit bureaus, so they are unlikely to impact your credit scores.

But if you have an overdue installment loan, accounts considered “not paid” or “in collections” will get reported to the three credit bureaus and generally remain on your file for up to seven years.

Traditional loan records are usually kept for 6 to 10 years and are reported to the three major credit reporting bureaus.

READ MORE: How long do unpaid payday loans stay in the system?

What should I do if I have outstanding payday loans?

Pay them off as soon as you can. Because of the extremely high interest rates, the fees and interest can add up quickly. In general, prioritizing the debt with the highest interest rate will save you more money and allow you to redirect funds to other financial goals faster.

And since payday loans are short-term loans for a small amount — typically $500 or less — that’s meant to be repaid with the borrower’s next paycheck, it shouldn’t take as long to pay off, unlike credit card debt. Prioritize this type of loan, and pay it quickly. If you have to roll it over into a new loan, you’ll end up paying more each time and could end up trapped in a cycle of debt. More than 90% of payday loan borrowers regret their original loan, and payday lenders are so predatory that the loans are illegal in many states.

Read more  How to Get Rid of Sallie Mae Loans

If you have more than one loan to pay off, it’s important to develop a strategy, like paying the loans with the highest interest rates first. For example, paying off a payday loan with a 600% APR can save you quite a bit of money over paying off a personal loan with a low interest rate.

Other alternatives if you can’t pay

As in everything in life, there are choices. Here are a few sound choices to pick from before deciding not to pay off that expensive payday loan. We’ve even included more in-depth articles to help you decide which is the best fit for you.

  • Payday loan consolidation programs: These companies will help negotiate better repayment terms on your behalf. The way that it works is simple: you make the decision to stop paying your payday lenders and allow the professionals to negotiate for you.
  • Cash advance apps: These apps, like Dave and Brigit, will loan you small amounts of money until your next payday. They don’t charge interest but may charge a small monthly fee and request an optional tip.
  • Payday alternative loans: PALs are very similar to payday loans, but there’s one big difference — instead of payday lenders, PALs are given out through federal credit unions, making them much more affordable.
  • Credit counseling: Credit counseling agencies can help you put together a debt management plan. The agencies are mostly nonprofit, but there will be a small monthly fee associated with the plan.
  • Credit card balance transfer: Applying for a new credit card with a 0% promotional offer can save you quite a bit of money in interest.
  • New loan: A debt consolidation loan is a personal loan that you then use to pay off all of your other debts, leaving you with one monthly payment, ideally with a lower interest rate.
  • Ask a friend or family member for help: Ask a few if you must. Borrow small amounts from each if that’s what it takes. Some people can spare a couple hundred dollars, and many of them have likely needed help in the past. There’s no reason to be embarrassed, considering that 27% of Americans have no emergency fund.
  • Pick up a lucrative side gig: This could include animal sitting, driving for a ridesharing service, or even selling unwanted items online. If you need to earn some quick cash, you have plenty of options.

The bottom line

According to pewtrusts.org, twelve million Americans take out payday loans each year, spending $9 billion on loan fees. On top of that, the average payday loan borrower is in debt for five months of the year, spending an average of $520 in fees to repeatedly borrow $375. That’s a lot, and it leads to 80% of payday users getting a new loan to pay the previous one. That can make it easy for one to slip between the cracks.

If you aren’t totally sure whether all of your loans have been repaid, it’s important to check. Otherwise, your credit score may be taking an unnecessary hit that will hurt you down the road.

FAQs