With a large number of individuals and families literally living from one paycheck to the next, a great number of payday lenders are offering those who are strapped for cash with a way to borrow against the guarantee of their next paycheck. For many, life’s unexpected problems often result in a cash shortage, utilities being turned off or car payments being late. Luckily for those who are in immediate need of funds, payday loans often provide the answer to an otherwise serious problem.

Below are 10 tips to using payday loans and lenders. As is the case with any loan, carefully consider the company and its reputation before moving ahead with the loan process.

1. If at all possible, repay the loan in full during your next payday. This is a better option than the refinancing of payday loans, which will result in additional fees and interest.

2. Do not use payday loans for vacations or unnecessary incidentals, such as jewelry or expensive clothes. Instead, payday loans should only be used for necessities, such as doctor visits and medicine, groceries, utilities, fuel, car repairs, etc.

3. Before accepting a payday loan from a lender, make sure that you have read and understand the entire contract. Always read the fine print and ask questions about anything that you do not understand before signing on the dotted line.

4. When dealing with a payday loan lender, check out their reputation with the Better Business Bureau.

5. If you plan to apply for payday loans, make sure to have copies of your most recent paycheck stubs and contact information for your current employer.

6. Payday loans are not commonly granted to self-employed individuals because of their unpredictable income. Rather than applying for payday loans, a self-employed individual may wish to consider a secured personal loan.

7. If you find that your payday loans have been refinanced multiple times and are becoming unmanageable, consider applying for a credit card that offers 0% APR for 6-12 months or one with a low introductory interest rate. Upon approval and receipt of the card, use the available credit to pay off your payday loan in order to prevent it from continuing to roll over and increase time after time.

8. Even if you have poor credit, you may be able to obtain payday loans. The reason is because a credit check is rarely conducted but rather, in the case of payday loans, the more important verification comes in the form of current employment and salary.

9. When you apply for payday loans, you may be required to issue a postdated check in the amount of the loan plus fees and interest, which will be cashed on the date of your next paycheck unless the loan is refinanced.

10. Because payday loans focus their intended repayment on the date of your next paycheck, you must be able to provide proof of a regular payday schedule from your current employer.