Forced into Illegal Borrowing

Nowhere to Turn – The Americans Forced into Illegal Borrowing

Millions of Americans are supporting families on minimum wage, often working two or three jobs just to make ends meet. They did everything right – went to school or the military, worked hard and tried to do a good job – but the economy has forced a surprising number of people into these desperate situations.

It’s easy to slide down the ramp into poverty, and extremely difficult to claw your way back up. Still, there are plenty of determined people are working hard to do just that. They inch their way back toward financial wellness, barely keeping the bills up-to-date and the essentials paid for. It’s not comfortable, but the situation can bring hope for a possible better future.

Until an emergency happens.

Sailing in Dangerous Waters

There is no safety net when you’re poor. It’s a vicious circle in which one small item, tossed into the equation, can have devastating results. A true financial emergency stems from something sudden happening to one of the essential parts of your life. An abscessed tooth that hurts so badly you can’t go to work, a broken radiator in your only car, even running out of gas on the freeway and getting a ticket for abandoning your car on the side of the road; it doesn’t take a large debt to put a low-income budget into a tailspin.

When no extra money exists, choices have to be made, and it’s often whether to pay a bill or eat that week. At times like these, the offer of a loan can seem like a lifesaver.

Many large urban neighborhoods have a network of people who are useful to know. There’s a guy who can always find inexpensive car parts, a woman who knows how to contact everyone useful in the city and, especially, a guy who will loan you money when you’re desperate. This person doesn’t require annoying paperwork, doesn’t need you to show him paychecks or a checking account. All he needs to know is how much money you need and where you live.

He might seem like the answer to the working poor’s prayers, but he actually is one of the worst of the list of people preying on the poor: a loan shark. Yes, he’ll loan out money, but often at huge interest rates. He has no interest in your problems or excuses if you have any trouble paying back the principle and interest. He will simply threaten you and then hurt you if you can’t pay up. The interest grows every time you miss a deadline, and there is no way to find out when you’re actually paid off except to take his word.

His business is illegal, of course, but thousands of people fall into loan sharking each year out of desperation.

An Alternative Life Raft

Payday loans can be a safer, legal alternative to using loan sharks to help in financial emergencies. While they require documentation such as paycheck stubs and proof of a checking account, this is to protect both the borrower and the lender. There are legal contracts to sign between both parties, spelling out exactly what will be paid, when it is due, and what happens if you can’t make the payment.

And while it can be avoided with some very simple planning, the consequences of failing to pay the loan are financial, not physical. You may have to pay an additional fee to extend the loan and, eventually, you may not be allowed to borrow any more money until you are completely paid off, but everything is completely legal and safe.

No one wants to be in a situation where every choice seems like a bad one, but when it comes to saving someone from a financial emergency, payday loans can offer a solution that is workable with most family budgets, as well as being safe, legal and entirely dependable… and everyone could use more of that in his or her life.