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Payday loans aren’t like regular loans. They’re cash advances on your paycheck. It might sound like a good idea to take out a small payday loan if you can’t afford to pay all of your bills, but the repayment terms are structured in a way that can cost you hundreds in fees alone. Once a person takes out a payday loan, it’s very difficult to pay it off, which is why payday loans are a major cause of bankruptcy.

For more on the basics of payday loans, watch this featured animation. It explains how much payday loans could end up costing you through the fictitious story of Jennifer, who winds up paying more than $500 in fees alone for a loan of $375. Jennifer eventually pays the loan off, but she could have easily ended up in a bankruptcy court instead.

Fortunately, payday loans are dischargeable in bankruptcy, since bankruptcy discharges unsecured, non-priority debts.