If you’re juggling multiple monthly bills, including mortgages, auto loans, credit card bills and medical debt, it can be easy to lose track of a payday loan, particularly since payday lenders prefer to debit them from your bank account automatically.
But if the payment fails to go through or you’ve have multiple payday loans and rollovers, you may worry about whether one fell through the cracks.
Here’s how to figure out whether you have any unpaid payday loans.
Table of Contents
- 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 make a phone call to check the Veritec payday loan database
- You can check with the non-traditional credit bureaus that focus on payday loans. These include FactorTrust, Clarity Services, and DataX
- Other credit bureaus that may be able to help include Certegy Check Services, ChexSystems and Innovis
Dealing with multiple payday loans?
DebtHammer may be able to help.
1. 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.
2. Check your credit reports
If you don’t want to have a potentially awkward conversation with your payday lender, you can check one of your credit reports. This is slightly different than how you would check for other types of unpaid debt because payday lenders don’t report loans to the “big three” credit reporting agencies (Experian, Transunion and Equifax). Instead, they report to secondary third-party databases that provide non-traditional credit data.
Just like with the three major credit bureaus, you’re entitled to one free credit report each year from the “minor” credit bureaus. It may require a couple of extra steps, though. The easiest way is to request a copy online.
You can do that here:
Pro tip: Some will give you a choice between mail and digital access, while others only offer a mail option. The forms may request bank account information and a Driver’s License number, but those are optional.
Requesting copies of these credit reports will not affect your credit scores.
The credit reports will provide the following information:
- The number of payday loans a borrower has applied for and paid off
- Any and all unpaid, late or defaulted payday loans
- Any records of bankruptcy filings
If you find inaccuracies or incorrect information while reviewing your credit reports, the Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the bureaus to correct the error and notify all consumer reporting companies to whom it provided the inaccurate information. Notify the credit bureau as soon as you spot the error.
READ MORE: How to get out of payday loan debt
3. Check the Veritec statewide database
If you live in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin and don’t know whether you have unpaid payday loans, you just need to make one phone call.
That’s because these states participate in the Veritec database. This third-party database system provides non-traditional credit data used to determine loan eligibility. It helps lenders meet their state lending laws and protects consumers taking out loans.
Pro tip: Veritec is used by payday lenders to determine whether you have other unpaid payday loans. If you’re applying for a payday loan but have an outstanding one in the database (or don’t meet your state’s minimum requirements), your application could be denied because the Veritec check failed.
Only licensed payday lenders have direct access to Veritec. Payday loan borrowers can’t search the database on their own. Instead, you need to call a toll-free telephone number to obtain your information:
- 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
Stuck in payday debt?
DebtHammer may be able to help.
Alternatives if you can’t pay
If you have an outstanding payday loan and can’t afford to repay it, you have a few options. These include:
- Payday loan consolidation programs
- Cash advance apps
- Payday Alternative Loans
- Credit counseling
- Credit card balance transfer
- Debt consolidation loan
- Ask a friend or family member for help
- Pick up a side gig
The bottom line
According to pewtrusts.org, twelve million Americans take out payday loans each year. That’s a lot, and 80% of payday users end up 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.