A low cost payday loan is a cost effective way to get your hands on fast money. The low cost of payday loans flies out the window when you extend the loan past the original pay date. The loan may still be helpful, especially if it kept your payments going out on time. Having a plan for your money and following through is one of the best ways to come out of an online payday loan clean and unscathed.There are some people who think that their credit is pretty high until they pull their report. There is a high percentage of errors which are found on credit reports. If your score is lower than expected, comb through the information looking for mistakes. Human error is easily corrected and when it means a higher score and lower interest payments on your credit, it definitely is a job worth accomplishing.Some people are leery to check their score thinking it will hurt the overall numbers. Checking it yourself is generally a non-affecting action. it takes hard inquiries from potential creditors to lower your score. You will need to check all three credit reports. Each company works their own reporting meaning you may have errors in any of the three so checking one will only solve one problem not three.The credit bureaus want you to check your credit. They created annualcreditreport.com so anyone can have access to a free credit report every three months in order to keep tabs on what is being reported. There are many other websites which have tried to emulate this free version by offering a free report from only one of the three bureaus. Others will make you sign up for a low cost look but will keep charging each month unless you remember to cancel the service.Debt in collections gets sold between collectors. An old debt, which morally would make sense to pay, could possibly be past your states statute of limitations. Making one payment could restart the clock for the debt giving the lender another opportunity to take you to court. If the debt is older than 7 years, it should not even be on your credit report at all and you should forget about trying to pay it. Focus on maintaining your present finances.Opt for a credit counselor who can help refocus your budget to make your income work for you rather than debt settlement or the last resort bankruptcy option. Choosing an option which will make your credit score suffer more may not be in the best interest of your future finances. Whatever damaging reports the creditors will report is to remain for seven years. Debt settlement programs make take a few years to collect enough money to negotiate the settlement. Once the settlement is made and the creditor is paid, the report will reflect “settled payment” which is still a negative. Your bad credit could continue for another 9 years or more by using a debt settlement company. As bad as bankruptcy is, it could potentially be over faster than debt settlement. Having a second chance at your credit is a great thing. The key here is to learn from your mistakes so your fresh start is built on solid financial ground.Maintaining high balances or closing credit cards will also lower your score. A credit report wants to see you manage your debt. Do your best to maintain less than 30% of the available balance and rotate the cards to keep them active. You have to prove to potential creditors that you have the money skills to be a good business decision.Opting for a payday loan to help with debt is not a good decision. These loans expect a payoff which includes the fees in just a few weeks. Usually people who are already carrying a large pile of debt will struggle to pay off the direct payday loan on time. Use online payday loans sparingly and have a payoff plan before signing for the loan. Too many of these loans out eat away at your income. Keep them a low cost option by using them sparingly. The high interest attached to these loans can do too much damage to a struggling budget when not paid off on time.