Reuben Story | Participant Stories | Exodus Lending - Exodus Lending

Reuben’s Story

By Kaitlyn Szabo November 9, 2020

Following retirement from a forty-year teaching career and his wife’s death, Reuben found himself turning to payday loans for their convenience.* “It’s an easy, quick access to cash. Then, of course, that builds up. And you now have a financial problem, ’cause you have several of those.”

“If you get several of these [loans], then you become burdened down. When you’re retired, your income, mine went down 48%.”

Because of the significant strain these loans placed on his finances, he struggled to make his payments and unfortunately found himself trapped in a cycle of reborrowing. When he told one of the payday lenders that he was having difficulty, they harshly suggested the nearly 70-year-old retiree get a job to supplement his pension and repay his debt to them. He recalls, “I knew right then where I stood.” 

After that demeaning conversation with his lender, Reuben started looking for legal advice on how to get rid of payday loan debt. He came across Exodus Lending’s website and was initially attracted to our commitment to charge 0% interest on our loans. Reuben enrolled with us in 2019, and we refinanced Reuben’s payday loans. He described Exodus Lending as “a godsend. [It] helped me out so much.”

“It was just so wonderful what you did. And not only for me, but my best friend…[He] also had one or two, and I told him about, I found Exodus [Lending], and maybe two days after I’d went there, and he signed up, and he’s been through your program and all these wonderful things you’ve done.”

Then COVID-19 hit. Like many people, the pandemic worsened Reuben’s precarious financial situation. “Being on a fixed income as a senior citizen had left me with limited income as the virus continued.”

Given our commitment to improving the financial stability for Minnesotans, Exodus Lending began working to find new ways to support our participants during this stressful time. 

Thanks to a generous donation, Exodus Lending covered up to three months of participants’ payments and provided hardship grants for 241 participants, including Reuben, since May of 2020. Although our donors wished to remain anonymous, we gladly passed along Reuben’s message of gratitude: 

“Thanks so much for your generous help, especially at this most difficult time. Finances have been very tight throughout this very trying time. With your help, you have helped me balance my budget.”

From refinancing to direct financial relief, Exodus Lending and our donors continue to provide Minnesotans like Reuben much-appreciated support when they need it most. “I look at myself, how much you helped me…I just think it’s amazing what you people are doing.” As he elaborates,

“I think it’s just a wonderful thing…what you’ve done to really make my day better, make things look better, and financially as well as socially, mentally, physically… [You] just don’t have people out there doing what Exodus Lending does.”

*We have changed the participant’s name because of confidentiality.