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Monthly Archives: October 2012

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…

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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.