but they do certainly take some self –restraint. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to get out of debt. You’re not alone. Americans are in nearly $2.4 trillion of debt, which averages out to $7,800 for every U.S. citizen. If you’re already on the path to paying back your debt, you’re doing better than most people.
More and more families and shared households are facing a common challenge on a wider scale. The challenge is the shortage of funds. The economy’s current state as well as the surge of job losses in this nation has left many families turning to new alternatives that would have never been previously considered. We hear many testimonies and have been called “life savers” in many cases during hard times. One customer reported that she was able to use a cash advance to avoid the high Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF – learn more here) charged by the banks. The average bank fee for (NSF) $35 per charge, compared to the finance fees charged by most payday lending companies which start at around $15-$20 and up. Many have depleted savings, and borrow money from friends and family to get by during critical times. Many have taken on jobs that pay far less than what the household was accustomed to bringing in. While the unemployment rate is steady and job creation and development has been slow, many have begun to entertain the thought of obtaining short term loans. This is where the Payday Loan industry fits into the picture.
Who are some of the consumers of payday loans? Having to borrow money is obviously not something most families like to report. However, according to the Survey of Consumer Finance Data (SCF) the average consumer of a payday loan is approximately aged 36-39, is Caucasian, and has some college education, but no degree. Another %19 of borrowers taking out payday loans do have a college degree. Industry figures as well as the SCF’s data show that the mean income for families who took out a cash advance payday loans was in the range but not much over $32,000, whereas the households bringing an income closer to $80,000 and above were less likely to take out a payday loan. The Federation of International Civil Servants Association reports that their payday loan borrowers have an average household income of more than $40,000. Another report stated that the average family income for families taking out payday loans ranged between $25,000 to $49,000.
Much can be said from this data. Not only does it thwart the previous information stating that guaranteed payday loans were only utilized by low income households, but it shows the frequent use of these loans by families with both low income and middle class incomes. It also clearly addresses the necessity of having access to this type of service for both income levels.
Become a savvy shopper. Cut coupons if need be and watch for deals online or in publications. Cut down on extravagances. Eat dinner in more, go to a matinee instead of an evening film and look for discount tickets to entertainment events. Websites like Funcheap.com and Wisebread.com can be very useful when you’re trying to find something to do that doesn’t cost much money. If you have any assets that you don’t need (electronics, jewelry, cars) sell them on eBay or through another venue. Take that money and pay it to your lenders and credit card companies.
The basics of getting out of debt aren’t complicated, but they do certainly take some self –restraint. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to get out of debt. You’re not alone. Americans are in nearly $2.4 trillion of debt, which averages out to $7,800 for every U.S. citizen. If you’re already on the path to paying back your debt, you’re doing better than most people.
We’ve mentioned this before when it comes to payday lenders, but the same goes for any debt. Get in touch with your lender, and figure out a plan that works for both of you. Whatever you do, don’t stick your head in the sand and pretend the problem doesn’t exist by not answering the phone or your mail. If you do, you may find yourself in a much more uncomfortable situation face-to-face with a large and intimidating debt collector! No one wants that. The loan and credit card companies you owe money to certainly don’t. They want their money back, so they’re usually willing to work with you to find something realistic for your budget.
Once you’ve created a realistic budget, you should factor in the maximum amount of money you can use to pay back on your loans and credit cards. You may need to prioritize those with the highest interest rates. If you have any windfalls, like a large tax return or an annual bonus, use some of it to pay back your debt! Don’t be tempted to spend it all on a new cell phone or designer handbag. It’s more important to get out of debt first.
This step always seems to come first with these matters, but that’s because it’s essential to the process. Know exactly how much you owe on what. Figure out which credit cards and loans are charging you the most interest, and create a realistic budget for your monthly expenses. This can be as simple as an excel spreadsheet where you enter in your monthly purchases and bill payments or as complex as buying specialized software like Quicken to help you manage your budget.
While we know most of you are responsible borrowers who pay back your payday loans on time, we realize that some of you may have other forms of debt that are weighing you down and keeping you from achieving financial success. This could be credit card debt, student loan debt or other personal loan debt. There is a way out, but as usual with financial concerns, it takes time and discipline. Here are a few bits of advice to get you started.