In recent years, an increasing number of financial institutions have begun offering payday loans to the general public. Loans of this nature, as the name suggests, are different from traditional loans in the sense that the amount borrowed is secured against the recipients forthcoming pay check, as opposed to standard bank loans that are paid back over an extended period of time.Some Industry Heavy HittersIt is becoming increasingly easy to find providers of payday loans online, the most well known of which include companies such as Wonga, Quick Quid and Payday Power.The premise is very simple – if you need a sum of money quickly, usually in the region of fifty to a thousand pounds, these companies allow you to apply for their available payday loans online and the requested amount will usually be deposited into the applicant’s bank account within a few hours at the most.It is not difficult to see the appeal of such a service amongst the general public. Particularly in recent years, in the midst of the global recession, money has been especially tight for most people which has created the need for consumers to be extra cautious when it comes to how and when they spend their money.Unfortunately, even the most careful people sometimes find themselves strapped for cash with bills to pay and a number of other financial commitments to attend to. Under circumstances such as these, payday loans can provide people with an ideal method of resolving smaller monetary problems quickly and with a minimum of fuss.Using Payday Loans ResponsiblyHowever, while the availability of payday loans online can and does allow people struggling with money issues in some way to meet their financial obligations, extreme caution needs to be exercised when making use of such services. Payday loans are not intended to be used as long-term solutions to financial struggles – they should not be used on a regular basis for the purpose of paying bills, and it goes without saying that anybody without some form of income should never even attempt to gain access to them.This kind of financing is really a last resort that people can rely on if they have nowhere else to turn for a bit of monetary assistance in times of need. If you have another option, you should take it by all means to avoid having to cover oppressive interest payments that end up being quite a lot in comparison to the small amount of money that is generally lent out to a borrower in such an agreement.Just like traditional loans, payday loans constitute legal agreements between the lending companies and the recipients and it is for this reason that very careful consideration is required.The prospect of being able to apply for payday loans online so easily and receiving the money you need in such a short space of time is often all that is needed to convince many people to apply for them with too much haste.Depending on the amount being borrowed and the length of time the money is needed for, the resulting interest rates can be huge and leave the recipient in an even worse financial position than before the loan was sought.The responsibility rests with applicants to weigh up the pros and cons to ensure that a payday loan is the right option for them but as long as the option is carefully thought through and used in a way that does not actually create more debt than was originally being experienced, there is no reason why it cannot provide the recipient with a practical solution to their short-term money problems.When handled well a payday loan is a win-win decision. Being aware of the potential risks and also benefits is the first step in making a good decision.