At Exodus Lending, our program participants are the guiding force behind our work. Their stories of struggle with payday loan debt infuriate us. Their tales of triumph when they eliminate this debt through our program inspire us.
We hope you too feel inspired by them, so on this frustratingly chilly April day, here is program graduate Paula’s journey out of payday loan debt.
A couple pay stubs. A photo ID. That’s all Paula needed to get a payday loan to cover a car repair. The loan was then due back in full in two weeks. In theory, Paula could cover it with her next paycheck. Simple enough, right?
In reality, Paula was living paycheck to paycheck. Her money was already committed to rent, groceries, utility bills – how was she going to cover all these expenses, and more, plus the payday loan?
Paula could only afford to renew the loan for another two weeks. And then another two weeks. And then yet another two weeks. “It became a way of life. Renew, renew, renew.” In her life, Paula estimates she has taken out at least 60 payday loans.
She was in the trap for about a year when an acquaintance enrolled in Exodus Lending. “When they said how much it helped them, I was like, it’s time to get out of this cycle.” With our program, Paula finally found a way to break free of the cycle for good. No longer feeling threatened by payday lenders, Paula paid off her loan with Exodus Lending and is now payday loan debt free.
“I feel empowered. If I can save one person from having to go through the stress that I went through, that’s a reward for me.”
Read more participant stories here.
Thank you, Mary’s Pence!
As a grantee of Mary’s Pence, we are incredibly grateful for their continued support. They recently featured Exodus Lending in their newsletter, telling the story of payday loans in Minnesota and what we’re doing to stop the payday loan debt trap, including helping program participants like Deb become financially empowered.
“Mary’s Pence is proud to support Exodus Lending, an organization that was driven by individuals responding to the needs they saw in their community. Exodus Lending provides more than just a concrete pathway to financial stability. They also provide hope.”
Happy National Financial Capability Month!
April is National Financial Capability Month. Financial capability includes financial literacy education, counseling, coaching, and planning. At Exodus Lending, we are committed to integrating financial capability into our program, from offering incentives for saving money and meeting with a financial counselor to providing monthly money management newsletters (you can read these on our website here).