We usually hear about how expensive Payday Loans are compared to other loan types or credit cards. However, most people who carry a balance on their credit card and only make minimum payments might be actually financially off much worse compared to a cash advance loan and the amount they owe is most likely 10-15 times higher compared to what a Payday Loan ever amounts to. The problem is how our society talks about these 2 loan tools (and that's what credit card and Payday Loans are - loan tools) so differently. In a certain way credit card debt is always considered "good debt" while a Payday Loan is always considered "bad debt". I guess one reason is that the credit card industry is doing a much better job at lobbying to politicians compared to the Payday industry.
Once you start looking at these issues in a little more detail and as an example compare how long credit card debt usually is carried over from month to month (years!) and then compare it to a Payday Loan (terms of usually 2-12 weeks!), the situation looks completely different. Take your $12,000 of credit-card debt and really think about how much compounding interest you will have to pay over a 3 year period. Keep in mind that the average interest rate is somewhere between 19.99% and 27.99% and that you pay interest on the interest itself, too. Also keep in mind that Credit Card companies do not really motivate you to pay off the debt - just look how ridiculously low the minimum payments are. Credit Card companies live off their customers who carry a balance. They do not earn much money from those customers that always pay off their balance every month.
A Payday Loan lending company however forces you to pay off your balance at the end of a term or to really reconsider a term renewal if you want to extend your Payday Loan for another 30 days. It usually gets to you right away because you have to cut another check for the additional fees. If you renew a Payday loan - in that very moment you get presented with the final cost. Yes, Pay Loans are not cheap, but they offer a convenient way to get quick cash to pay for a bill. And Payday Loans offer that advantage that you will know exactly what it will cost you. There is no hidden cost like with your credit card balance where you never know how much it will finally cost you to pay it off.
Conclusion: You can save a lot of money by not using your credit card to cover financial needs, but by using a cash advance loan instead. Do the math and really figure out what the cost associated with each option is. A few minutes of number crunching can save you hundreds or thousands of Dollars. Figure out exactly when and how you are going to repay the money and then make a decision based on these facts.