Have you gotten yourself into hot water because of a payday loan? These loans may seem like the perfect solution to your problems at first. Especially, when you need it for an unexpected expense. But if you aren’t careful, you may find yourself falling into default.

The first time you’re unable to pay back your loan on time, you’ll be charged an additional fee. If that happens too often, the amount you have to pay back will become larger, making it nearly impossible to find relief.

Of course, the best way to avoid this is to handle it before it defaults. Here are a few ways to catch your payday loan before it goes it’s too late.

If you haven’t done so already, check to see if you qualify for an extended payment plan (EPP). Be sure this is done before your due date.   

If at all possible, try and pay it off completely as soon as possible. These loans are so vicious that you don’t want them lingering any longer than they have to.

Is your credit score 600 or above? If so, you may be able to take out a loan with a traditional lender or maybe even a credit card that you can use to pay off the payday loan. One of these options will give you more breathing room when it comes to interest rates and payment schedule.  

Talk to a nonprofit credit counselor. They may be able to help you negotiate something with your lender.

If you feel that your lender is acting unreasonable, you may be able to report them to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Their number is 8554112372.

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