Job development plan

Experts urge avoiding payday loans

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – As we see the highest inflation in four decades, you’re trying to stretch your budgets, but financial experts are encouraging any option to help pay the bills except a payday loan.

A payday loan might sound great because it’s basically instant cash when you need it, but with an average interest rate of 391%, that quick cash can take you down a heavy debt road.

For comparison, APRs on credit cards can range from around 12% to around 30%. If the loan is not repaid in full on the first payday, a fee is added and the cycle repeats.

So, within a few months, borrowers may end up owing more interest than the original loan amount.

“So you can really end up in a cycle of debt because there’s so much to pay back,” said Andy Mattingly of Forum Credit Union. “Then you constantly borrow every week or every two weeks. So you can just step into that cycle, and you can’t walk away from it.

Payday loans are generally short-term, high-interest loans that are usually due on your next payday. Experts say these should be your absolute last resort and even personal loans are a better decision.

Personal loans work for certain emergencies, like a car repair that costs a few thousand dollars. With personal loans, you may have 12 to 24 months to repay. Consider going through a credit union for low interest loans.

Or consider offering a side hustle or temporary second job. Every little bit counts when trying to manage your money and increase your income.

“There is a real problem that needs to be fixed and this extra income for two months, one month can actually solve that problem,” said Peter Dunn, CEO of Your MoneyLine.

To be proactive, try to keep your expenses to a minimum right now, especially if your budget is already quite tight. You might be tempted to make these impulse purchases at retail stores with decent deals on clothes and furniture. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

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