The check cashing industry has changed a lot over the last 30 years. In fact, today’s check cashing store bears little resemblance to its 1990s counterpart. The check cashing center of 2019 offers a long list of financial services covering everything from check cashing to short-term personal loans. It is true that not all check cashing centers are created equal. Some of them are still small, local operations that do nothing more than cash customer checks and provide payday loans. But on average, check cashing centers do a lot more. Below is a list of some of the services consumers can now find at their local centers. Note that not every check cashing center offers every service on the list.
1. Check Cashing
This is the obvious place to start. Consumers can take their paychecks and personal checks to a local outlet and have them cashed. The center usually charges a certain percentage of the check’s face value as a service fee.
2. Short-Term Loans
Short-term loans are generally offered as either payday loans or installment loans. A payday loan is expected to be repaid on the customer’s next payday; an installment loan is paid over several installments. Most payday loans have terms of a month or less.
3. Title Loans
A title loan is a short-term loan granted in exchange for the consumer offering the title to his or her car as collateral. These loans are relatively new and only available in a small number of states. Some check cashing centers refer to them as title pawns rather than loans. The name comes from the concept of pawning a piece of tangible property in exchange for a short-term loan.
4. Money Orders
Consumers are more frequently using check cashing centers to purchase money orders. Money orders can be used in place of personal checks, making them a great option for consumers who don’t have checking accounts. Service fees for money orders are generally set at a flat amount, not based on a percentage of the amount of the money order.
5. Prepaid Cards
Consumers without bank accounts generally cannot get credit cards, either. That is why check cashing centers now offer prepaid debit cards. A prepaid debit card is a card ‘loaded’ with a certain amount of cash paid to the check cashing center. The consumer can then use the card to pay for things like gas, groceries, etc.
6. Bill Payment
A lot of check cashing centers offer bill payment services. These services represent a convenient way to pay things like utility and phone bills without having to send paper checks. It is a great option for people who want to pay electronically but don’t have bank accounts.
7. Money Transfers
A consumer looking to transfer money to someone out of state or overseas can use a service like Western Union or MoneyGram. The service represents a safe, fast, and efficient way to wire money to someone in another location.