Payday loans – bait or manna (covid-19)?

Dangle a juicy carrot in front of a hungry rabbit and rest assured that the animal will nibble on it. The situation is similar in the current economic clime where payday lenders are cashing in on the desperation of credit hungry consumers. The industry per se has drawn a lot of flak in recent times for a variety of reasons. Some believe that lenders are using “aggressive marketing techniques”, while others feel the APRs are ridiculous. Since lenders conveniently ignore the fact that their customers are people who are already struggling to keep insolvency at bay, the efforts to woo them are usually centered on “your need – our solution” campaigns. So, the target audience is essentially the credit hit section of USA that is lured into a baited cage with the promise of deliverance.

One cannot blame payday loan customers, though. Surface skimming always reflects the “troubleshooting” abilities of a payday loan. Simple to the practical eye, this loan product is a no-hassles solution to a short term cash problem. Like a lender says, the interest rates are also proportionately low since the loan amount is very small. Borrow a few hundred pounds for a month, pay a couple of tenners as interest and get the loan out of the way when your next paycheck arrives. The fine print has deeper revelations, on the contrary. Ask yourself these questions. What if… you are unable to repay the amount in full when the next pay cheque arrives…you want to extend the loan…your account has insufficient funds and the lender’s withdrawal attempt fails. You’re facing a potential crisis called a debt scenario.

There are smarter rabbits, one must admit. Fortunately, for the industry, these are the cases endorsing their credibility. The what ifs do not exist for a sensible customer since the loan is repaid on time, and precautions are taken to avoid default fees. The APRs also start making sense then as the tenners do not turn into hundreds. So, would you fall for a payday loan or leverage it?

We have had a habit of giving people enough rope to hang themselves

There were several tip-offs along the way that made me think he was in an LTC. I don’t know how much of it was in private exchanges or was here, but he avoided being specific. He talked about how if you were “1% pro LTC and 99% against” that you were treated poorly here. People that want to help those recovering from LTCs don’t talk about being pro-LTC at all.

Also, when I asked him direct questions, or brought something up and challenged it, he threw it in my face. (Which is, by the way, a tactic manipulative abusers use on others.) For instance, he talked about owning 3 franchises and being semi-retired. I find that questionable, since I don’t know of anyone who owns a franchise and isn’t hands-on. It’s their money and nobody is going to work as hard on something as they will. If you have shelled out money and work for something that is making you money, are you likely to sit back, or try to get guaranteed loan? I could see owning 1 and being “semi-retired,” but I couldn’t see owning three, monitoring them and keeping them running, and being semi-retired.

On the other hand, I’m supposedly retired, and I’m working on starting a film production company and flipping houses for fun and profit, so it’s hard to be sure – but I don’t see me buying anything and being “semi” about it – since that leaves it up to others how much I’m going to make.

So that sounded suspicious, but I said, “I assume these franchises are LTC related?” His response was, “Again, you’re reading too much into things.” B—s—! I’m asking and prompting him about it. He’s taking a pro-LTC stand, but he’s to much of a wuss to do it outright. But he’s talking about his experience. In my experience, with most people, if I said, “I assume these are LTC related?” and they aren’t, then most people would say, “No. Two are fast food and one is an auto paint shop” or something like that. But his redirecting, and using that chance to try to put me on the defensive told me he did not want to share that information with me. That strongly suggests he has something to hide.

I didn’t have his full name, otherwise I’d have Googled him at first, but once I had it, I did find him recommending a book on doing LTCs, which is more than enough proof.

So we have someone who claims to be 1% pro-LTC, who is in LTCs, who reads up on them, and is active in them.

Then, to top it off, after that, he has to start writing to me directly via email and used multiple addresses in that header. I checked the email addresses, but I figured if he’s sunk to that level of patheticness, I don’t want to read what he’s saying. He’s going to be just calling me every name he can, and I don’t want to hear the “tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

He lied from the start, he was deceitful, and then, of course, he has to have the last word. I don’t know what he said, but I’m sure he thinks we’re horrid people.

Mark me down as “right there with ya!”

One of the things I try to remind myself when it seems the debt is just going down too slowly, is that we’ve already made the truly BIG leap. We’ve gotten over the idea that debt is either desirable or necessary. That social lie is what allowed us all to get into this situation to begin with. The fact that we’re digging out now is testament to our understanding the ugly truth of the situation. No, I’m not as far along on debt repayment as I’d like. But I’m further along than I thought I’d be when I started with DR (four years last month!) And we’ve weathered a heckuva lot of roller coaster drama in life since then, which in previous years would have put me right back in the hole. Hang in there; you’re working on goals and quality-of-life improvements that most of the rest of our society don’t even recognize.

Honestly, not bragging

More of a reflective sigh.

When we were broke with no income except unemployment etc., I didn’t really feel the impact of being in debt: after all, when you have NO money it doesn’t matter how in debt you are, you can’t pay them anyway.

Now that we have money coming in, and DH and I get paid on the same day, I am first grateful that we have employment, and secondarily sad that “all that money” is going to pay bills, and then pay off debt. I’m not sorry we’re paying off debt, just sorry we were so stupid in the first place that it “has to” belong to someone else, you know what I mean?


I re-did a budget based on my income alone

That way whatever DH makes we can throw at debt, or if he decides to quit his job, we will be able to survive (really, don’t get me started.) Ditto if he gets fired (it’s a long story, but if I have to choose, I’m choosing fired, at least it’s worth $1800/month.)

I changed my attitude about money this month. I decided I was going to put into action what God and Dave have been saying: I’m just a STEWARD of the money, not the owner. It really changed my attitude about the budget plan; as a STEWARD, I ran the budget past the Almighty via prayer to see if he had any input, particularly when it came to DH’s side of the money equation.

He did, and as a result, I am putting off buying my App software. That will cost me more in the long run, but what can I say? Hopefully “in the long run” I’ll have more money anyway.

It’s far more important (feedback) to get our stuff moved out here. 98% of what we own is in storage costing us $300 a month in California. The other 2% is at our friends house, taking up half her garage. It needs to get gone. The moving company we thought about using originally is now only $2700 (versus $3400): that’s cheaper than what we can drive it out ourselves. We can cashflow the down payment now, and be able to pay it off November 13 with DH’s “last” check without impacting our budget plan, and get the stuff moved out the next week.

I just realized why the feedback was important. If DH loses his job, I’m not going to have $300 a month to pay for the CA storage unit, even if he gets unemployment. His whole unemployment is going to have to go towards medical insurance (one of the few downsides to not living in California.)

I’m just rambling now.

Has anyone bought private health insurance Post-Obamacare?

No, but as part of our retirement prep we are doing medicare supplemental insurance research and that is really confusing too. One step I am doing is I am talking to our various doctors business offices. I ask each one which company works best with them and which is the worst. That helps to narrow it down as to who to look at.

I also ask the doctors to bring out their crystal balls and give me an idea of what may lie in our medical future. Like cataract surgery in the next 5 to 10 years. It isn’t a perfect method, but it is a starting point.