I am at a loss. I don't have that much actual debt, but I have a payday loan, that I have to keep borrowing month to month to make ends meet. I can't pay that off and leave it or I can't pay my other bills. I am 61 and need to start saving, anyone have any suggestions. It is hard to get a consolidation loan because I rent and don't own a home.
By Punkin50 from Oklahoma City, OK
I used to use payday loans occasionally. However, I never borrowed more than I knew I could afford to pay off out of my next paycheck and still have enough left over to squeak by on my other necessities. I also only borrowed about 2 or 3 times a year. Besides monthly bills what do you buy that you can get by without? Things like magazines, newspapers, books, movies, fast food, etc. I know a person doesn't think much about the cost of these things but they do add up.
You are actually better off paying late fees to bills such as heat and electricity instead of getting a payday loan. The 3 or 4 dollar late fees are substantially lower than the interest rates on the payday loans. Also, what other things could you do to tighten your budget? Cut cable bills, fast food, entertainment? Even simply lowering your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees helps lower your bills.
Have you tried to see if you qualify for food stamps or energy assistance? You could also check to see if they have an Angel Food ministries in your area where you can buy food really cheap, or look to see if there is a food bank near you. The best way to save money is to not spend it.
One other idea: Do you have a full life insurance policy that you can borrow against? This should be a last resort, and only borrow the amount you need to pay off your payday loan.
Oh sweetheart, you are definitely not alone! Someone suggested paying the late fees if not paying your phone, etc. on time. If you talk with your phone and electric people and explain that you're having a hard time this month, they may let you make a partial payment with no fees. Doing this with a couple of your regular bills one month may give you enough extra $ to pay off that pesky payday loan and hopefully you can stay away from borrowing again! Hope this works for you, Best of luck!
I was reading on here earlier that the AT&T has a discounted rate for seniors. You may want to look at any discounts available on your regular bills. My mother always said to pay your housing costs first, and always pay cash. We always ran out of money before the end of the month, but at least we had food and shelter. Other than food and shelter, everything else is a want not a need.
There are a lot of ideas on how to save money on groceries and soaps on here. There may be ways in your community to help with shelter and food. Then pay off the pay day loan.
If you live alone is there any way you could get a roommate? A relative and I share a two bedroom, two bath duplex. Our schedules are such that it works out wonderfully. This arrangement allows both of us a much nicer place and a better lifestyle and allows me to live on my social security and still have a few luxuries. Our situation, it seems is not uncommon for senior citizens especially women.
Please don't be ashamed to ask for help. We've done it more than once when necessary. If you're a military veteran, contact your local Veterans' Affairs office. They live to help vets in need. There are guidelines they'll explain, and will give you the list of things to bring to an appointment. Since I keep a running budget sheet and didn't mind showing my check register for the month, and was organized, I believe we got better results.
Other alternatives for non-vets are St Vincents and Salvation Army. You can also try your local Catholic Charities and other church-based and social-service organizations. Again, there will be guidelines they'll explain. But please, do whatever you can to avoid falling back into the payday loan trap, once you're out of it! Outside help was the only way we got out of it at all. Best to you... Jo
Open an account with a credit union. They are much friendlier and accomodating than commercial banks. Once you have an account with them, see if they can give you a small personal loan to pay off the payday loan, plus a little extra. Put the extra into savings, and stop using payday loans, period. They are a snare and a trap, and as others pointed out, the interest rates are outrageous. The interest rate on a credit union personal loan will be about 1/3 the payday loan rate.
Use all the other great tips from this site to get your expenses down, so that you can comfortably pay all your bills from your current salary. Don't forget using coupons for food and grocery items, especially at stores that double them (or triple them, which is rare).
Apply for any help you may qualify for, such as food stamps, Lifeline service from the phone company, HEAP for heating bills, Patient Assistance Programs for name brand medicines (if you take any RX), and cheap generics at Walgreens, Wal-Mart, Target, supermarket pharmacies, etc. that charge $4 for a month, or $10 for 90 days.
Also, check the reduced price bakery racks, reduced produce racks, and reduced price grocery item racks at the supermarket. A bashed cereal box that is otherwise intact can be half the regular price (and most stores will accept coupons on reduced items, too - although Stop & Shop does not). Look for manager's specials in every dept, use the store loyalty cards, and take advantage of 8-hour specials or one-day only sales if you can - sometimes the savings are tremendous. You can use coupons along with food stamps. Just get out of debt to the payday thieves, and stay away from them forever.
Good luck to you, and let us know how you are doing.
Thank all of you for your wonderful advice. I don't qualify for any assistance, to be perfectly honest, my heart is to big and I got myself in this mess. I hope I am not the only one that makes wrong choices at times, maybe it just takes me longer to learn. I think of everyone but myself. And now at my age, which I won't tell you (1950), divorced, I need to grow up and think about my own future. I know I have learned my lesson, just keep me in your prayers please.
I am in the same boat as you, what I am attempting is a Pay Day Loan Assistance program. I really do not know the legitimacy of it, but they gave me actual paperwork on everything they are doing. the number is: 1800-957-8319. with them they help me consolidate it (I have two of them) and one payment a month. (my loans are 1200 combined and I pay 153.00 a month).
Sell a piece of furniture if you have to to pay that sucker off. You are paying about 200% interest on it and it is killing you. If there is absolutely no other way pay a little extra each month till it is paid off and in the future beg on a street corner before you go back in the "Money Store". They should be illegal. If you borrowed $500 dollars. Even if you only can pay an extra $50 per month you will pay it off in ten months as opposed to paying the interest only which will have you paying $912 in a year and still owing the $500 you borrowed Borrowing more money to pay off a debt almost never works. You end up with a new debt and the first time an "emergency" arises you borrow again and are in worse shape than when you started.
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