When I first wrote my blog regarding my pay day loans experience, I didn’t expect much to happen. One thing for sure, I knew I was going to get an earful from my family which of course happened. Yes, I was silly for getting myself so deep in debt and managing to go a year; possibly two without people finding out, but what made me even sillier was assuming everyone would be angry and disappointed in me.

From my point of view, getting into debt is like the grieving process. Denial, anger, depression and acceptance. I chose to ignore the fact that I was in trouble, burying my head into the sand, naively thinking that all would be well. When I finally realised I was knee deep in debt, I wrote my blog. I was angry that these companies could get away with charging ridiculous amounts of money. I was angry about getting myself into this mess.
I was diagnosed with severe depression and starting taking anti-depressants, I attended CBT to deal with my anxiety; I was signed off work for a total of 6 weeks. My appetite disappeared and I lost 2 stone. I had lost touch with my friends as well as myself. I didn’t know who I was anymore. I’ve always been full of energy with a smile on my face regardless of the situation but things changed dramatically. Those were the darkest days of my life, but if it hadn’t of been for my family I wouldn’t be here today to tell you about my experience. Finally, I accepted the fact that I was in trouble.

Since my first series of blogs, I’ve appeared in The Mail on Sunday, The People, The Independent, my local newspaper, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio four, Sky News x 2, ITV News and ITV Daybreak x 2 telling them all my story of how I was trapped in debt and exposing these companies for the legal loan sharks they are.

Recently, it’s come out that one of the main pay day loan companies, Wonga, have sent out letters from fake solicitors, they have over-charged innocent people when charging their ridiculous fee’s and they have accepted the fact that they failed to carry out affordability checks, causing thousands of people like myself to spiral into debt. Thousands of people have supposedly received refunds and compensation yet only a few hundred have actually received this money. It’s ironic how they take their time to pay back what‘s owed yet when they want their money, they throw their toys out of the pram and destroy your credit rating.

In October I received an e-mail from Wonga stating that they had failed to carry out the appropriate affordability checks (or none!) and wrongfully loaned me money. Considering I was borrowing from at least 4 other pay day loan companies, it doesn’t take a scientist to work out they shouldn’t have been lending to me. I was furious to say the least. If it hadn’t of been for The FCA, I highly doubt they would have ever admitted that. It was a little victory to have my debt of £969 would be written off and peace of mind knowing that my credit rating would improve.

I sat at home one night and decided to calculate how much in total I was charged for fee’s and interest since 2010. After calculating and re-calculating, I worked out that I had borrowed £9, 260 and was charged £2071.35. That’s a total of £11,301.35. Sickening right? In the email, it states anything paid previously of said debt they were writing off would be refunded, so I decided to give them a call. When I finally got through after waiting for at least 10 minutes, I was greeted by the rudest man I have ever spoken to. I explained to him what had been happening. I asked for a refund of £242.07, the amount I had paid from my running debt previously. He told me that this would not be refunded and that anything paid after2nd October 2014 would be refunded (despite that information being ‘missed’ off the email.) I then proceeded to tell him the emotional effects the company had caused me. I informed him that I had suffered with depression, mainly caused by pay day loans. His response? “You need to take responsibilities for you actions.” I went quiet for a few seconds, absorbing what he just said to me. I started shaking with anger, my blood was boiling. I’ve worked in a mental health setting for the past 6 years. I have battled with people discriminating against my clients for having mental health problems for 6 years, and I was not about to let this little vermin down the phone tell me to take responsibly for having depression. How dare he? Yes, I have taken responsibility for taking the loans, if I hadn’t, would I really be parading my face across national television and writing blogs about it?
I continued to keep my calm despite the disgusting comment. If he wasn’t going to refund part of the money, I wanted it all refunded. I was met by another smug comment of “I don’t deal with historic debt, if you want to complain you’ll have to email.” (Despite on the website it states you can complain by calling them) After going round in circles for a few minutes and feeling more and more agitated by this man, I hung up the phone. If he wanted an email, he’d get an email.

“Dear Sir/Madam,

I have been a customer with Wonga since I was 20 years old in 2010 and fell into a trap of debt, relying on pay day loans each month to survive. During my time in debt with your company, I was taking out several loans with other companies. I emailed your company asking for help on 17/05/13 but did not receive a reply.

In light of the announcement made regarding wrongful lending due to affordability checks, I received an email from your company stating that I was indeed affected by your company and my current debt of £969.29 would be “written off”.

When I received the email stating I was affected by the affordability checks, I decided to look at my bank statements from 2010. To my absolute horror, with your company alone I have borrowed £9, 260 since February 2010, with the charges of £2071.35, I have paid £11,301.35.

The email that I received states anything that I have paid of my current debt would be repaid. I repaid £242.07. I called your company regarding this only to be spoken to rudely by your customer service, with the gentleman stating that anything paid after 2/09/14 would be refunded. The gentlemen at the end of the phone also told me that I should take responsibility for my actions. I feel this was very poor customer service. I asked to make a complaint (which it states that you can do by phone on your website) and he told me I could only do by email.
I feel I have been treated wrongly by your company from the start as if you were to carry out the correct checks from the beginning, you would have realised I could not have afforded your loans.

As a result of pay day loans, I was diagnosed with severe depression. Your customer service comment of “you should take responsibility” is incredibly hurtful and unprofessional. Your company has caused a lot of hurt and worry that was not needed, not only by myself, but by my family too.

I feel I am entitled to a refund of £2071.35, or at least a partial sum of that total. I do not wish to take legal action, but will do if necessary.

I await your response.
Miss Ami L Jarman”

Not long after I sent the email, I was contacted by Sky to see if I would appear on the news again to talk about my experience and to discuss the new cap on the interest rates. I jumped at the opportunity, anything to put Wonga under pressure.

Two weeks went by without hearing a word from Wonga, so I contacted them on Twitter. Several tweets later and still no response. I received a couple of tweets from other people saying that they haven’t heard anything about their apparent refund they were told by wonga they would receive. Finally, I got a reply asking for my email address so they could “look into” my complaint. Fast forward a week, and still nothing.

I was contacted by BBC Radio four asking if I would appear on their show to talk about Wonga. The producer emailed Wonga herself to query if my complaint had been looked into, yet again, nothing.

I decided to make an official complaint to the financial ombudsman, who have been nothing but helpful. They looked into my complaint and supported me throughout, even offering to look into the other companies that were lending me money when I clearly shouldn’t have been. In America, pay day loan companies are only allowed to lend to customers after checking that they do not currently have loans with other companies. If they do, they don’t get the loan. Simple.

I recieved another email from Wonga, I had butterflies in my stomach. Was I getting my money back? Opening the email, I saw an apology. They were apologising for the possibility that they may have overcharged me. Infuriating.

A week or so later, I received a phone call from the Financial Ombudsman and they completely agreed with my complaint and have instructed Wonga to refund all fees and interest I’ve paid since the beginning of 2010. Currently, Wonga are calculating the costs and will be in touch with the final amount I will receive. (Who knows when I’ll be getting that nice little sum in my bank account.)

After a long, stressful battle with pay day loans, I can finally sleep at night knowing I have one less thing to worry about.

If you’re reading this and you’ve been wrongfully loaned money from Wonga, complain and get your money back. Don’t take no for an answer, and if they’re being stubborn, contact the financial ombudsman. If you want help or someone to talk to, please get in contact with the CAB, financal ombudsman or even myself. You can find me on Twitter (@SYG_ami)

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In the past couple of weeks, yet again, Pay Day Loans have hit the headlines. It looks as if the Government are actually trying to do something about the irresponsible lending and are attempting to enforce new restrictions on how they advertise and a new code of practice. 

Last week I appeared on ITV Daybreak, ITV News and BBC Radio Wales to share my story and open peoples eyes that it is possible for anyone, of any age, gender, ethnic to get into debt. Being honest, I was petrified. I was very close to backing out of it but some friends managed to convince me and reminded me that this could help other people.

The Office of Fair Trade have publish their investigations into Pay Day Lenders which is very interesting.
Here’s a quick overview: 

• Around a third of loans are repaid late or not repaid at
all.
• 28 per cent of loans are rolled over or refinanced at
least once, providing 50 per cent of lenders’ revenues.
• 19 per cent of revenue comes from the five per cent
of loans which are rolled over or refinanced four or
more times.
• Debt advisers reported that borrowers seeking help
with payday lending debts had on average rolled over
at least four times and had six separate payday loans.
• 30 of the 50 websites we looked at emphasised
speed and simplicity over cost – in some cases
making claims that, if true, would amount to
irresponsible lending.
• 38 of the 50 lenders we inspected failed to comply
with at least one of the complaint handling rules of the
Financial Ombudsman Service.

The Office of Fair Trade have stated that this is the action they are going to take:

• Enforcement action is underway and we have more in the
pipeline.
• We are requiring 50 lenders to take immediate steps (12 weeks) to
address areas of non-compliance and prove to us that they
have addressed the issues raised – we will revoke the licence
of any lender that fails to cooperate.
• We have made clear what we expect of all payday lenders –
this is reiterated in this report. We have written to every single
payday lender setting out our expectations.
• We have launched a consultation on a market investigation
reference to look at wider market issues.

(For more information: http://oft.gov.uk/shared_oft/Credit/oft1481.pdf)

6 months ago I was diagnosed with serve depression, I was constantly worrying about the debt, how I was going to pay it back, the constant phone calls from Pay Day Lenders meant that I couldn’t relax and I refused to answer phone calls from unknown numbers. I felt on edge. I couldn’t see a way out of this circle, I even wrote a couple of Pay Day Lenders begging them to help me. Both Pay Day companies took a while to reply to me, and when I read the e-mails, it didn’t make me feel any better. My bank wouldn’t help me as according to them, they do not deal with Pay Day Loans. I felt as if I was in a black hole stinking deeper and deeper into the depression. 

Before writing my first blog, I did ask some friends some questions about debt, little did they know how much debt I was in myself. I have done some research which I will try my best to pass on to you. Here goes…

If you have taken out a Pay Day Loan and you have realized that you can’t afford to pay it back, you are normally given the option to “roll-over” your loan. This is where you can pay the following month plus other fees and interest. Do not roll-over. Don’t even be tempted. This is one of the ways that I ended up paying back so much. It may seen like a quick and easy way, but it’s not in the long run. Instead, get in contact with the Pay Day Lenders and explain to them that you cannot afford to pay back what they are asking. They will try their best to offer you a roll-over. Do not accept.

My suggestion is to set up a repayment plan. This will keep them off your back for a while. Here is a website that can help you contact the debt creditors, http://www.uswitch.com/debt-help/sample-letters-to-creditors/ – It’s very simple and I highly recommend this.

Pay Day Lenders can be very intimidating,. You need to be strong and put your foot down. Pay Day Loan debt is non-priority, they cannot take your house!  After you have done this, talk to someone that you trust. You cannot keep the worry to yourself, I did, and it was awful. 

Here are some websites that a very useful, give them a look. 
http://www.adviceguide.org.uk
http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/england_wales/page.php?page=35_options_for_dealing_with_your_debts
http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/england_wales/factsheet.php?page=41_payday_loans
http://www.stepchange.org/

Your debt won’t go away overnight, but by reading this blog, you’re taking the first step. I’m not going to lie, it won’t be an easy ride, but it will be worth it in the long run.

Since I wrote my first blog in October there have been a lot of changes. I am free of debt, my relationship unfortunately came to an end, and there have been health issues that have been very close to home. My depression seems to be lifting, and I’m less anxious. I’m back living at home with my parents and brother and I’m trying to get my life back on track. The past couple of months have been full of emotions; I have had personal victories and downfalls.

When I wrote my blog, I wanted to tell my friends and family about my issues and to spread the word that PDLs are not a good idea. I had no idea about the media storm that was about to happen. I was first contacted by Siofra, a very lovely lady who worked for a newspaper who was interested but unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Since then, Siofra has been relentlessly contacting newspapers and magazines for me to get my warning out to the British public. So far, I have featured in The Mail on Sunday, my local newspaper, and The Independent. I have been offered to be on Radio, but I had work, and I was offered to be a phone-in on a BBC Programme, which I missed! I also missed the opportunity to appear on ITV’s Daybreak as the e-mail went straight to my Junk Folder (Frustrating!) In the near future, I will hopefully be appearing in a Magazine and a Documentary if all goes to plan and I don’t want to stop there. I’m always up for a challenge and will try my hardest to not stop until something is done about these vultures. I feel that since writing the blog, I have overcome my own demons and I would like to think that I have helped others and given them the courage to seek help. Blogging seems to be a therapy for me at the moment.

After writing my update blog last month, I feel I have to be honest with you guys, I got another Pay Day Loan. It was for £50 and I feel like a fool for getting one. I told my mum straight away what I had done, and I got an ear bending. I not only let myself down, but I feel that I let down everyone reading this.  This month, I haven’t touched one, and I’m not going to. I’m a strong person, and I will do this, positive thinking is the key.

At the beginning of the month, I sat down, I budgeted my money, and I stuck to it. It’s just my luck at the moment that a few unexpected bills went out. The last of the money in my account was for the rest of the month, but it’s now gone. I had been avoiding paying my phone bill for a couple of months, so the £160 phone bill didn’t go down too well with my budget. Not to mention the £70 odd bank fees for going over my overdraft last month. I now have no money, but I have paid all my bills. I have to sacrifice nights out for the rest of the month, and I’m okay with that. At least I have a roof over my head and food on the table.

In my first blog I wrote about SGE Loans and how they had taken out £79.99 of my money for nothing. After e-mails back and forward asking for my money back and the company declining this, I decided to take things into my own hands and contacted trading standard along with The Financial Ombudsmen. SGE wrote to me, again declining my refund after being contacted by The Financial Ombudsmen stating that it was not a financial matter – to me, that made no sense. Everything went quiet for a couple of weeks. Today, I went to go get my laptop to e-mail them yet again, when I received a letter in the post. It read:

I write to you in regards to the Trading Standards complaint I have received.

Once again, I thank you for highlighting your concerns to us in this matter. All feedback is welcomed by SGE Loans as it is viewed as a way to continue improving our already high standards of customer service. (High standards!?)

I am pleased to inform you that your refund has been accepted. Please find a cheque for £79.99 which is the full amount paid.

Unless I hear from you to the contrary, I now consider this matter to be closed.

It is unfortunate that we have been unable to be of service to you at this time and look forward to the opportunity of assisting you in the future. (You have got to be kidding me.)

My own little victory. 

When I first wrote The Downward Spiral of Pay Day Loans I had no idea of the response I would get. I was expecting the odd comment from a friend here and there, but I was overwhelmingly wrong. Over 3,000 people have read my blog, and something I never expected, I have been approached by a national newspaper and a local newspaper who both want to share my story and my experience with the public.

I’m still getting negative comments, in fact, I’m going to share this one with you:

“So you think you’ve had it hard because you owed a few quid to a pay day loan company and had a bit of trouble paying it back. You haven’t got any idea how hard some people’s lives are, living hand to mouth trying to keep a roof over their heads, working all hours and still never having any money for food let alone a tyre for their car. Get a grip you spoilt little brat. Posting blogs on Facebook, surely if your mum is in your friends list then she’s bound to read it and bail you out. Why else would you post it!”

Firstly, £2,000 is not “just a couple of quid” and I do know how hard peoples lives are, trying to keep a roof over their heads. My parents house was repossessed and we were homeless at one point. I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, surely that would have taught you a lesson not to get in debt?” It did in a way, I’ve always known not to get a credit card/store cards because of this. I never thought for one second that PDLs would get me in trouble, I was 19, naive and care free. 
Secondly, I work all hours and still have no money – my average hours are 45 – 50 hours a week, so you cannot tell me what I don’t work for my money. I am in no way a spoilt brat, and yes, my mum is on my friends list on Facebook, but I did not expect her to bail me out. I was willing to pay it all back on my own, I had monthly payments set up and I would have happily paid it back by myself. My main aim writing this blog is to get my story out so that people won’t fall in to the same trap as I did. I needed to tell my friends and family what my situation was, because I was starting to feel that I couldn’t cope, and I feel a hell of a lot better for telling them. After I replied to this person, she proceeded to call me The C Word. Unbelievable. I can’t say that I wasn’t expecting negative comments, but the person who commented this seems very ignorant to me, it doesn’t matter how old you are, being in debt is a daunting thing and it’s horrible no matter how much you owe. A few people have shared their stories with me and have told me that I am not alone in this. It’s crazy how many people are in debt, it seems like the norm these days.

After writing my second blog, I sat down and went through my bank statements since 2009 to see how much I have borrowed and how much I have paid back. I was sickened by what I saw. Since 2009, I have borrowed a little shy of £8,000 and I have paid back just below £14,000. That’s £6,000, to put it bluntly, I have pissed up the wall. I started to think what I could have done with that £14k and I wish I didn’t. I could have got a new car, I could have gone to so many gigs and festivals, I could have gone on holiday, I could have got a new wardrobe for every season and more! I lost out on this money because of my stupidity. If only I didn’t take out that first loan…If only

It’s only been 10 days since I’ve had no money and I still haven’t taken out a PDL. My phone’s been disconnected because I haven’t paid the bill, but I refuse to go down that route again. I am not going to let myself down as well as everyone else. I’ve got 19 days until pay day and this seems like the biggest test of my life, time is going so slow. I really do feel like a drug addict that’s gone cold turkey. I’ve been invited to the pub a few times and declined every time. I’ve had several invites for friends birthdays, work nights out and Halloween for the next month but I can’t. I’m not going to give in and get a loan. I think I have finally grown a back bone. I’m not going to lie, the temptation is there, on average, I get 4 text messages a day from PDL companies claiming that I can get up to £1,000 in my account within the hour and I get approx 15 e-mails from different companies offering the same. I go onto auto-pilot when I receive them, they get deleted as soon as I see them.

I’m proud of myself but then again, I still have 19 days to go…

After posting my blog about PDL, I have had an amazing response. I’ve had good comments, bad comments and fairly insulting comments but one comment stood out and really pissed me off.

“The whole thing sounds incredibly dumb. Sadly though, there are thousands like you. It seems the younger generation weren’t taught how to save, or the value of money. Or ever told the word NO. You nailed it yourself, right at the end. Greed. It sucks to have to go without something you want. Unless your mature of course, in which case it simply becomes a goal to aim for.
gimmie gimmie gimmie want want want now now now.
NO
sorted”

Now, if you know me, you’d know I can take an insult and I like a good old debate, but this comment touched a nerve. This person is basically slating the way I’ve been brought up. The reason I first took out a Pay Day Loan is because I needed to get a new tyre for my first car. It’s rude to ask for money, I wasn’t going to ask my parents for some money, as I know their money situation wasn’t brilliant at the time. It wouldn’t have been fair on them. I’ve been brought up to stand on my own two feet. This tyre was a must, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to go to work, and make an honest living unlike the thousand of people out their scrounging off the government because they cannot be bothered to get off their arse and would rather stay in and watch Jeremy Kyle.
I was taught the value of money, but who hasn’t decided to spend some money on themselves because they deserved it? Working where I work isn’t easy, doing 12 and a half hour shifts isn’t fun. So excuse me if i decided to spend MY money on a few nights out after a shit days work. Who the hell are you to tell me that I can’t? I’m not going to lie, I’m rubbish at saving money, but I’ve learnt my lesson and I now have a savings account set up, ready for my next pay day.
Secondly, I have been told the word no, too many times. Rejection isn’t nice, but it’s way of the world. Everyone will have rejection in their life at some point. I can take the word no, but I can also find ways around this word. It’s called determination. It drives me, but it’s also nearly destroyed me.
There’s a huge difference between want and need. I didn’t want to spend money on a new tyre, but I needed it.
Yes, I have to admit, I was being greedy but taking out more than I needed a couple of times, but these PDLs are a vicious circle. I have had lots of comments on Twitter from people telling me that they cannot get out of the circle, and there has been a couple of people who have told me that they cannot see any other way out. Sometimes, this is the only option for people as they do not have any close family or anyone that they can borrow money off, whereas I was too proud to ask people. These PDL companies pray on the vulnerable. I would love to see the reaction of this comment from the “thousands of people like me” What I want to know, is whoever posted this comment, are you in debt? If you told me that you haven’t been in debt, I wouldn’t believe you. Since posting this blog on my facebook, a lot of my friends have messaged me telling me that I am not on my own, and that they have been in debt too.

“Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales dealt with 8,652 new debt problems every working day during the year ending September 2011.”

(I won’t bore you with more statistics, but if you’re interested http://www.creditaction.org.uk/assets/PDF/statistics/2012/february-2012.pdf)

Anyway, enough about that.
I have been incredibly lucky. After posting my blog, my mum read it on Facebook, and called me straight away. I got the bollocking I was expecting, but then she told me she was going to pay off all my debt for me. I was astonished. My mum said to me “I’m more upset with the fact that you didn’t come to me sooner. I’ve been in a similar situation and I know exactly how you feel” I felt so overwhelmed. She paid off everything. Before you think that I’m debt free, I’m not. I now have set up an agreement with my mum that I will pay her back a certain amount every month until I have paid back everything I owe her.

If you know me, you’d know I’m not the type of person to talk about my problems or my feelings, but writing this blog has taught me a valuable lesson. If you don’t talk about your problems, they won’t get solved. If you’re reading this and you’re in debt, please, go talk to someone – anyone. Don’t bottle it up and worry about it more, because it’ll only make you feel worse. Take me for example. I have had so much support from friends and family. If you don’t have the support network, go to the Citizens Advise Bureau, They are so good with this type of thing. (http://www.adviceguide.org.uk)
Put your ego aside and deal with it head on.

Whatever you decide to do, don’t face this alone.

After a few months of getting my new full-time job (with good pay for a 19-year-old party girl) I noticed that I was lacking the cash after going out and buying new clothes every month, going out most weekends and just having passed my driving test. I had brought a Laptop on finance, and started to pay rent at home. Things soon started to mount up so when it came to the second week after pay-day, I was skint. I had no petrol to get to work, my car needed a new tyre, and I couldn’t miss my payments on my insurance. After doing a bit of research (when I say researched, I mean google) I found a website that lent you some money untill your next pay-day. Brilliant! I could still go out and do the things I wanted to do, but I wouldn’t have to worry about it untill next month. My first Pay Day Loan was £100, but with the interest, obviously I had to pay back more, around £150. That stung my bank balance.

Lets skip a few months of me being greedy and borrowing more money. My first real problem was when I didn’t have enough to pay the £400 Pay Day Loan. I remembering thinking “what the hell am I going to do?! I don’t have £400 and where can I get it in 3 days?!” So I went to the trusty bank. I extended my overdraft to £450. A couple of months went like this, but I was borrowing more from the bank as well as the PDL. I was getting charged for my overdraft and missing payments to the bank because I couldn’t afford it. The next thing I know, I owed the bank over £1,000. It may not seem a lot to some people, but for a 19-year-old, I thought my world was ending. I had never experienced this before, one night, I stayed awake untill 5 am crying because I didn’t know what to do.

In the morning, I sat down with my mum, and I told her exactly what I had been doing, and my god, I may have been 19 at the time, but she still bollocked me like I was a 7-year-old. Luckily, she helped me plan out what to do so I called the bank and set up monthly payments. She changed my log in information to my pay-day loan website Now, I had to pay the bank, I had to pay rent, insurance, my nan for my car, petrol, my laptop and still manage to have a social life. Stupidly, you would have thought that this would have stopped me getting out more pay-day loans, but no. I went onto her e-amil, reset my password, and away I was again.

The next year carried on like this, taking out loans, paying them back, then not having enough money for the next month so I had to get another pay-day loan with more interest just to see me through the month. I had kept this a secret from my mum, and the rest of my family who didn’t have a clue what I was up to. My dirty little secret.

Now, I was 21. You would have thought I would be more grown up, learn my lesson and be more sensible with my money? I would love to answer this question with a yes. I found a Pay Day Loan that not only lent me the money, but put the money in my bank within half an hour, AND let me add more cash if I needed it in the same month! At this time, I was paying off 2 cars that I didn’t have (the first one had broken down beyond repair and the other one, well, it decided it wanted to go for a roll in the field on my way home from a night shift) I started asking to borrow money off my dad. Every month, without fail, I would pay back my PDL, take out another one, then be skint by the 2nd or 3rd week and text my dad, who very kindly agreed to give me some money. I tried my best to pay back my dad as well as everything else. It felt like every pay-day, I wouldn’t see a penny of the money I earnt, it was all borrowed.
By this time, my dad started to catch on that I had no money and I came clean to him. Dad was very understanding, but still gave me an earful for being so stupid. It wasn’t long untill my mum, nan, stepdad, brother and his then girlfriend found out. I felt a heroin addict who had just been found out, so much guilt and shame. There has been countless amounts of times where I was in floods of tears, arguing with my mum and stepdad about my money. All because of these stupid pay-day loans. Near enough everytime that I went on the internet, my mum was asking me if I was getting out another loan, the heroin addict came out of me and I began lying. I couldn’t stop.
Everyone had tried to help me. My brothers then girlfriend sat down with me to do a spread sheet of all my outgoings, all my incomings, and how to budget my money. I followed it. For 3 days. My dad had even sat down with me, and gave me the chance to get out of all of this silly, silly debt. I promised him I wouldn’t get another pay-day loan out. The fact that I broke that promise still makes me feel like shit today.
Now I was lying to everyone. The one thing I cannot stand other people doing, I was doing myself. All because of money. I didn’t want them to be pissed off with me or disappointed because I hadn’t sorted myself out, I was 21 for gods sake, I’m an adult now. I should have learnt from my mistakes

Now I’m 22. Still taking out PDLs. Still lying to people out not taking out loans. The only person I have been completely honest about my loans is my Fiance, Robbie. He’s tried to stop me taking them out, and I appreciate the fact he has, but it hasn’t stopped me. My dad has stopped lending me money, as he said “Bank of Dad is now closed.”

I have recently been signed off work for a month with depression, and I think that this has something to do with it. I am constantly feeling stressed, and angry at myself for getting myself in this mess.

Currently, I owe nearly £2,000 to PDL companies. And yes, that’s plural.

Last pay-day, after doing the food shop and getting a couple of christmas presents, I was left with £30. I have exceeded my limit on both of the PDL companies I have accounts with. I can’t ask anyone to lend me the money.

A couple of weeks ago, I attempted to get ANOTHER PDL with ANOTHER company. I know, you’re probably screaming at your screen at me. But this money was needed urgent. The other companies I have used, I do not want to name, but this company I will happily tell you about. SGE Loans. They find loans for people with bad credit. They took my details. They found me a loan. I got off the phone to them and thought to myself. What the hell am I doing?! I can’t do this anymore. This is getting out of hand. I called them back straight away and cancelled my application. They accepted it. Good. Come this pay-day, I have notice that £79.99 has come out of my account, and guess who by? That’s right, SGE Loans. immediately, Robbie called them to complain and to get refunded for the money that they did not have permission to take. The guy on the other end was snotty, rude and arrogant. He stated that we should have read the small print and declined to let us speak to his supervisor, and declined to give me a refund. So I e-mailed them. They told me that I needed to cancel the loan within 7 days of it being processed and that they would not refund me. This infuriated me! How dare they take MY money that I have earnt?! I have filed a complaint with the financial ombudsman as I have read that this company has done it to hundreds of other people.

And that’s when it hit me. These past 4 years, that’s what the PDL companies have been doing to me. They’ve been taking my hard-earned money with their extortionate interest rates and charges. No more. I have e-mailed both companies I have Loans out with, and I have explained that I cannot afford the £2,000 next pay-day. I have set up a Payment plan with one, and the other, I am waiting to hear back from. It’s going to take me 4 monthly payments of £204 to pay back this one, but I am guessing it’s going to take me a hell of a lot longer to pay back the other one. After I have paid them both off, there is not a chance in hell that I am ever going to use a Pay Day Loan again. Looking back on it now, I want to slap myself for being so greedy that I had to take out the first one.

So there you go, now all of my friends and family reading this now know the truth. This is why I am always skint. I just hope people learn from my mistake.

My advice to you, is no matter how hard up you are one month, do not, ever, take out a Pay Day Loan.