Holiday loan can provide Christmas cash, but financial planner says to read the fine print

Holiday loan can provide Christmas cash, but financial planner says to read the fine print

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – One local finance company is sending out loan money by way of mail if you need cash in a flash this holiday season.

First Beach Finance has a pre-approval process and are sending out small loans by way of mail promoting their holiday cash loan. The loan comes in the form of a check for $602, which the recipient can cash at their bank if they have been pre-approved.  The annual interest rate is 72.64 percent. If all payments are made on time, the person who cashed the check will owe $820 by the end of the 10-month payment plan.

WMBF News spoke with Glenn Hall, a higher-up at the company, who said they are a small company that offers small loans, which are harder to get from larger banks nowadays.

Hall said he's had success with sending out these kinds of loans and that his customers say it's worth it.

First Beach Finance tries to have a lower interest rate than title loan companies, according to Hall. He also said if you want to apply for a larger loan than $602, that 72.66 percent interest rate will go down.

"That's a very high interest rate," said Certified Financial Planner Christopher St. John.

According to St. John, if you are someone who received this solicitation or one like this, make sure you know what you are looking at.

"Read the fine print on a lot of this stuff,” said St. John.

St. John said benefits of opting in to something like this can depend on your situation. "It's all relative. So, if you have great credit, if you pay your bills on time,” he said.

If racking up your credit card bill and applying for small loans during the holiday season aren't for you, St. John said the key to spending and saving is smart budgeting.

"The first thing is to understand your budget. What's coming in versus what's going out,” he said, "Write down everything that's going out. From a fixed expense to a variable expense. Rent, mortgage. Then you have the variable side. Is it getting your coffee? Is it getting your hair done? Is it going to dinner?"

Every once in a while St. John said there is an emergency and it's okay that those occur, but when it comes to your budget he said it is important to keep putting away in your savings, too.

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