With rising costs of food, gasoline, and other necessities, it can sometimes be difficult to make it until payday without an extra cash infusion. If you occasionally take out a payday loan or cash advance to help bridge the gap until your next paycheck, you're not alone -- more than 12 million borrowers take out at least one payday loan per year. However, if you live in Minnesota, a recent decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court could affect your ability to take out online payday loans in the future. Read on to learn more about the factors leading to this court case, as well as the practical implications it could have for your daily life.
What did the Minnesota Supreme Court recently decide about payday loans?
Each state regulates payday loans, title loans, and other short-term, high-interest loans differently -- which can mean that a loan offering that is perfectly legal in one state could be illegal in a neighboring state. For this reason, many states with tight payday lending regulations have prescribed limitations on payday loans offered by out-of-state lenders. Minnesota is one such state, with laws on the books placing strict limits on the interest rates that can be charged by payday lenders, as well as restricting a borrower's ability to "roll over" payday loans or use the proceeds of a new loan to pay off an old one.
In response to a challenge to Minnesota's law, the Minnesota Supreme Court recently upheld this law as constitutional -- holding that online payday lenders who offer loans to Minnesota residents must abide by the same rules and standards as other payday lenders operating in Minnesota.
How can this decision affect your ability to take out a payday loan in Minnesota?
This decision shouldn't have much of an effect on loans taken out from brick-and-mortar payday lending companies -- but if you primarily took out online payday loans for the convenience factor, going forward you'll likely need to seek out Minnesota-based online lenders or out-of-state lenders whose loans comply with Minnesota state law. State lawmakers are still busy issuing injunctions or legal restraining orders against out-of-state lenders that have been operating in Minnesota without going through the proper channels.
While you won't find yourself in legal trouble if you take out a loan from a non-Minnesota-compliant lender, you could find yourself paying higher interest rates or additional fees as compared with a loan from a Minnesota-based lender.
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