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So it’s January 2017. Christmas is over. New Years is over. It’s a new year, full of new promise and (possibly already broken) resolutions. How is 2017 going to be different to 2016? Many are making resolutions about losing weight, or quitting smoking, or making “more responsible financial decisions” in 2017. That all sounds great, if you’re in a position to be able to make “responsible financial decision” but for 2 million Canadians who rely on the predatory practices of Payday Loans each year, that resolution may seem like a pipe-dream. Just putting food on the table in a pinch is today’s resolution!

january-after-december-beforeJanuary roles around again, and while Christmas may seem like a distant past some 3 weeks on, the reality of the credit card statement may only now be setting in. If you find yourself in one of these situations, fret-not, it’s not all doom and gloom. Here are some practical ways you can be smiling happy by the time the sun returns in the Spring.

Got Gifts?

Did you receive gifts at Christmas of some value that you don’t need right now, or could do without for a bit? Consider pawning them to get some cash in hand to help you through a difficult time. Pawning is very different to payday loans for many reasons, too many to discuss in this article. But the beauty is that you can get cash now, and with an interest rate that pales in comparison to that of payday loans, you’ll have your gift back in hand in no time. We will pawn anything of value, and no, our goal isn’t to keep your item, but to help you pay your loan back and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.

Don’t Credit Swap

Credit Swap? That’s the unfortunate reality for many – paying one credit card with another. This may sound like a good idea in a pinch, but the reality is that you’re just paying interest on interest. This is called “compound interest”. Albert Einstein called compound interest “the 8th wonder of the world”, but he went a little further: “he who understands it, earns it, he who does not, pays it”! By using credit to pay credit, you’re just making someone else rich at your expense.

Take It One Step At A Time

Yes, the bills may seem overwhelming right now, but you didn’t find yourself in a sticky financial position overnight, nor should you expect to get out of it overnight. Prioritize your needs. You need to eat. You need a roof. These are necessities, don’t cut corners here, if you do you will find yourself unwell, and then you can’t earn an income and your situation will just get worse.

Next, figure out which debts carry the highest interest rates, start by paying these down as much as possible. Make minimum payments on the rest, and take one loan at a time. As you pay off each loan, close the account as soon as possible. Soon you’ll find your situation improves.

The worst thing you can do is ignore a financial situation or pretend it doesn’t exist. As time goes by you’ll need some short term cash and find yourself in a pickle, probably more than a few times, don’t fret. But don’t get stuck in the payday loan cycle, these loans seek to set you in a spiral into debt, not out of it!