Saturday, February 17, 2007

Missouri Residents Discuss Payday Loan Use

By Paul Rizzo
Payday Loan Writer

Last year, more than 2.8 billion Missouri payday loans were granted, translating to millions of dollars in interest money collected.

People who are in difficult financial situations or live paycheck-to-paycheck often turn to payday loans as a way of making ends meet or as a simple means of survival.

Jefferson City area residents David and Tracy Reames agree it’s a hard lesson and one they had to learn on their own.

“It’s easy. They make it way too easy to borrow money,” Tracy Reames said. “Borrowing money to make it through until the next payday seems harmless until you look at how much you’re paying back, and then it becomes ridiculous. It really is a viscous circle that seems as though it will never break.”

Payday Loan Chart Calls to local no fax payday loan agencies were referred to corporate facilities that did not respond to repeated interview requests for this article.

Being married for 13 years, the Reames, like other young couples, struggle from month to month to pay all of the necessary bills and keep food on the table. David works full-time and Tracy stays home with their two children.

“It’s not like we borrowed the money to just have money to blow,” she said. “We didn’t spend it on silly things like telephone service or mini-vacations or trips to the local pizza place.

“Each loan we took out was for something we had to have like food, electric, water and so on.”

The number of families like the Reames, which felt the effects of a cash advance payday loan, has increased for the past several years.

According to a recent study by the Missouri Division of Finance, Missourians spent almost $320 million in payday loan interest fees last year. That is the second highest amount spent in the nation.

Once the bills start piling up, Tracy said, it’s hard not to reach out for help. And by taking out a payday loan, it doesn’t seem like charity.

But the Reames family was in a financial bind each week as paychecks seemed to stretch further and further apart.

“You start robbing Peter to pay Paul when the bills start to pile up, and then you start to panic,” Tracy said.

“The money has to come from somewhere. With two kids, you can’t afford to have the electric turned off and you need gasoline in the car to go back and forth to work and take the children to the doctor when they need to go.

“The next thing you know, you’re sucked in again and you feel like you’re never going to get out of debt.

“So, you borrow another [no fax payday advance] to pay off another loan and the cycle keeps going.”

Regardless of how hard they tried, the Reames constantly found themselves struggling to ease the financial pain.

Sometimes, the easiest way out was to just sign on the dotted line, take another cash loan online and hope for the best. However, the more they borrowed, the worse the situation seemed to get.

“When we couldn’t afford to pay back some of the loans, they took us to court,” Tracy said.

“At that point, (David’s) wages were garnished to pay off the loan and that would hit even harder.

“It’s sad how they reel you in. Of course they are offering a service, but they make it sound like it’s a service that will be an ‘end-all’ to your financial problems. But that’s not the case at all.

“It’s a service, I can’t argue with that, but it’s a service that wreaks havoc on your budget.”

Of course, Reames added, once you have that kind the strain of a cash advance on your financial well-being, the stress and strain will always radiate throughout other parts of the relationship.

After almost losing their only means of transportation for a car title loan, they were forced to ask their family for help.

“We didn’t want to ask anyone, but we were stuck and we knew it,” Tracy said.

“David’s mom bailed us out and we learned a hard lesson the hard way.

“We will never borrow a payday loan again, that’s the rule we’ve learned to live by and it’s a lesson I am sure other people will learn as well. Hopefully, they don’t go through as much as we did.”

SOURCE: Missouri News-Tribune

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

  • No Faxing!
  • No Credit Checks!
  • Up To $1500!
  • Instant Approval!
  • Cash in 1 hour!