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Key Points: 

 

  • Repaying debts requires planning and budgeting. Through using a budgeting app or a self-made spreadsheet, you can spot where to save, making repayments more manageable. 
  • In 2021, the average payday loan was $375, and average APR on payday loans is around 400%. 
  • Prioritize repayments based on how expensive they are to borrow, whether they’re secured or not, and which debts are most pressing. 
  • Know your rights with your lender. You could seek an ‘arrangement to pay’ if you are struggling. This is a restructuring of a repayment plan. 
  • Seek help if you can’t stay afloat alone. You could seek support  from your employer, a loved one, or a lender if you need to. 

 

Plan Ahead To Meet Repayments

 

When you borrow money from a lender, you are agreeing to repay that debt in full, alongside the interest added to it. If you have taken out a payday loan, your loan will likely be attached to an APR of around 400%. Let’s say you take out a loan for $500 with 400% APR and repay it within two weeks, then you will owe $576.71 (the $76.71 is the APR). 

You can figure out using an online calculator how much your total repayment will be. Similarly, you know how much you spend on your credit cards, and how much you owe to your one – or various – creditors. You should, therefore, plan ahead to ensure you have the money available to pay off your debts. 

So, you need to take steps to have the money available. You should budget!

 

Budget 

Budgeting is a very manageable feat, and one that budgeting apps make even easier. With apps like HoneyDue, Mint, YNAP, PocketGuard and others saturating the market, you have plenty of options. Budgeting apps are simple-to-use financial products intended to track spending, spot where you could save through categorizing your spending, and even help you set up direct debits to your own savings account, meaning you save without having to remember to do it. 

If apps aren’t for you, you could set up your own budget. You need to simply create a spreadsheet logging all of the money you have flowing in, and then log all of your outgoings. You can then categorize this spending yourself, labeling transactions as ‘food/drink,’ ‘travel,’ ‘shopping,’ and ‘hobbies.’ This allows you to see where you’re spending the most, and where you could afford to spend less. 

 

Prioritize Repayments  

First and foremost, you should prioritize repayments on secured loans, which declare your assets as collateral. This is because if you fail to meet these payments, your assets could be seized. Typically, this will mean that you could lose your home or car. 

You should also prioritize loans with high interest attached. The interest rate is the cost of borrowing, which means that the higher the interest, the more expensive your loan is. Therefore, you should pay off the highest interest debts first, as these will be the most expensive if rolled over. Don’t think that rolling over debts is unlikely – 25% of loans are rolled over! 

Finally, you should pay off debts that are essential to living. For instance, electricity bills and heating bills are central to comfortable living, so should be high on your pecking order. 

 

Ask For Help If You Are Stuck

Financial troubles are not uncommon, and you’re not compromising your pride by asking for help. You should think about your options and consider which is the most suitable to you. If you need advice on this,  you could consult with a financial advisor. 

You could take out a payday loan, which, while pricey, can get you fast cash when you need it in a matter of hours. As long as you have a repayment plan, and you work with a regulated lender, payday loans can be a lifesaver.

You could ask your employer if they provide cash advances, which are essentially an early paycheck. 

You could approach a loved one for a loan. While these can be damaging to relationships, if you are open and honest about your circumstances, and about your repayment plan, these can be a great lifeline. This is because they are typically more flexible than your average, high-street loan. 

If you would rather stick to the single debt, you could ask your lender for an arrangement to pay. This is a restructuring of the repayment plan that you agreed to in your initial loan contract. Not all lenders will agree to this, but many will try and accommodate your needs. 

Richard Allan

Richard Allan

Richard Allan is the founder of Capital Bean and a passionate writer about personal finance, budgeting and how to save money at home and work.

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