First, become educated on the loan(s) that you have.

Is it an in-store payday loan? An internet-based payday loan or an installment loan over the internet? A car title loan? A line of credit loan either online or in-store? A different type of loan? See a description of each loan type.

Then be sure to understand if the loan is allowed under Virginia law.

Licensed lenders are required to follow Virginia law, but loans by unlicensed lenders may be void and unenforceable in Virginia. Always keep your contract, and know if the lender is able to offer loans in the state of Virginia.

If you suspect that a lender isn’t following Virginia law, check to see if they are licensed. A list of licensed payday and car title lenders can be found with the Virginia Bureau of Financial Institutions, which is also the place to file complaints against licensed lenders.

Last, Get Help! Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions about fees and charges by a lender. Understand what happens if you can’t pay or need to pay late. Many lenders do not accept partial payments on or after the due date of the loan. Always Keep a copy of your loan contract in a safe place where you can refer to it again if need be. Always ask for an accounting of your payments and exactly how much you still owe; ask how much that payment will go up if you have to pay on a later date. Always keep your receipts, especially if they are not required to give you a monthly statement. If you have a car title loan, never keep the receipts in the vehicle that the loan is tied to the loan.

Are you chronically unable to pay your bills or have deeper credit issues with credit card or medical debt on top of a predatory loans? Do you need to repeatedly take out predatory loans, or have multiple loans at one time? Predatory loans usually only make existing money troubles worse. Getting in control of your other debt issues is one way to eliminate your need for continuous or repeated predatory loans. is a place to find the reputable credit counseling agency closest to you. Beware of scams that promise credit counseling or debt consolidation, especially ones that specialize in payday loan or internet payday loan debt. When in doubt, try to find services that are in the within the state where you reside, and never pay significant amounts of money upfront before the services are done. Do not simply stop paying your creditors.

File complaints to the right agencies if something isn’t right. Use our toolkits to know how and where to file complaints to makes changes on your own behalf and prevent lenders from hurting others.

In doubt about your loan or have questions? Contact us! Predatory Loan Hotline: 866-830-4501