Once you’ve gone through the experience of getting a payday loan, you should realize just how expensive it can be. If you want to avoid having this happen again, you might want to try one or all of the following five strategies to avoid needing another payday loan in the future.
- Look into Credit Cards with No Annual Fees and Low APRs
Even though you only pay the annual fee once, it still costs you money that you could use to pay off debt or buy necessities. If you are paying an annual fee on your card, call the customer service line and ask if you can have the fee waived. Many credit card companies will do this if you tell them that you’ll have to search for a new card otherwise. While you are asking about this, request a new and lower interest rate. Getting a low APR (annual percentage rate) can make a big difference to your wallet if you regularly carry debt on your account.
- Redo Your Budget
Tweaking your weekly budget is one of the best strategies you have for saving money.
The changes don’t have to be permanent, and that is the beauty of this plan. Once you save up a few extra dollars, you can take another look and see if you want to continue with the changes that you made or incorporate new ones. Even if you are already down to the penny, take another look at your budget and tweak it a little. Options you have to reduce your budget include:
- Cutting down on eating-out costs: by giving up one meal out each week or not buying beverages
- Saving on fuel: by walking from one end of the shopping center to the other rather than driving and carpooling
- Reducing your grocery bill: by not buying sodas and juices since you can drink water from the tap
- Communicate with Your Creditors
If you are behind in your bills, contact your creditors and ask if they can waive a late fee that you received or give you an extension on your bill if it comes without a fee. Many creditors will waive a late fee if it is the first offense, but you shouldn’t expect this courtesy if you’ve already received it.
- Take a Part-Time Job
While it might not be much, working a few hours a week at a part-time job can help you to save up for an emergency. Even at minimum wage, you should be able to put away $100 a month if you work an extra five hours on the weekend or at nights. This doesn’t have to be a permanent strategy, but it is one that provides an immediate influx of cash.
- Look into Overdraft Protection for Your Checking Account
Although this option often comes with a price tag, it is worth it if this is where you lose a lot of money. Overdraft protection helps to keep you from digging yourself into a huge pile of debt. Just make sure that you understand all of the terms surrounding this decision.
If all else fails and you find that you need a loan to get out of a tough spot consider an installment loan. Many payday lenders are now offering installment loans too, the difference is the payday loan must be paid back in a shorter time frame than an installment loan. An installment loan may give you the time you need to pay back the loan and get your finances in order.