Since the Government forced MetaBank to pause the iAdvance product, we’ve received a number of emails from readers who tell us how much they miss the product. So we ask: Is there a good alternative for prepaid card holders?
The iAdvance product, which was offered by MetaBank, allowed certain prepaid debit card holders to access a short term line of credit. iAdvance basically turned prepaid cards into credit access devices. The short term line could be used to help bridge cash shortfalls.
The Office of Thrift Supervision forced MetaBank to stop offering the product. But from the response GetDebit.com has received from cardholders, the move may have taken a responsible form of credit out of the hands of people who need it most – people with poor or limited credit histories.
The alternative for many of these individuals is, unfortunately, high cost payday loans (which often charge $25 or even more for every $100 borrowed for a short period of time).
Here’s a portion of an email we just received from a reader:
Hi, I was wondering, now that the govt has stopped the Metabank’s iAdvance program, which was awsome, is there any other pre paid cards like this with this same type service? Now, I just got a pre paid card complete with auto deposit, but I actually get NOTHING for it. That is why I liked Netspends iAdvance program, as I felt I got something for all those charges I incurr. Now, I pay fees, but get no advantages whatsoever. And you know, if you think about it, THEY get our deposits before we do, so why not offer some sort of advance program to us, the consumers? These payday loans offered on the net are NUTS. Even applying for one, your phone begins to ring off the hook, your email box is suddenly full, but in the end, you again get nothing, they get your address. Its takes forever to get your life back to normal after even applying for one of those payday loans. We, the consumers have emergencies in our lives just like everyone else. But usually, we cannot get credit cards becuase our income isnt way up there like many people. But I have paid back all the loans I have ever gotten, even if I do have a smaller income. But never get credit for it whatsoever. Thanks Government. (they totally suck.)
We’ve received many similar emails.
If you are a prepaid issuer, or an entity that has an alternative to the iAdvance product, please contact us. We’d like to learn more and share the information with our readers.