A payday loan is a cash advance secured by personal check or paid by electronic transfer.  You write a check for the amount you want to borrow plus the fee for borrowing the money.  The lender gives you the amount borrowed and agrees to hold your check until your next payday.  However, if you come up short on payday, you have to pay new fees to roll over the loan, thus making the borrowed money more expensive each time the loan is extended.

The Federal Trade Commission offers a one-minute audio tip to help you rethink payday loans.  It is one minute that could save you a lot of time and financial heartache, available online at  http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/sites/default/files/audio/downloads/audio-0057_payday-loans_hq.mp3.