Several years ago a couple of my friends introduced me to payday lending. I went to three places in all, Check ‘n Go, Advance America and another place that has since closed. I had three loans out at one time for a while, but the worst experience came with Check ‘n Go. At least Advance America eventually let me do an extended payment plan so I could get out of that cycle.
I had a $445 loan out from Check ‘n Go for at least two years, meaning I’d pay them $500 every two weeks. So at Check ‘n Go alone, over those two years, I paid at least $2,860 for that initial $445 loan. I’d ask them to spread the payment out over more than one pay period but they’d always refuse.
Eventually I just stopped paying them, in part because I lost my job and because I’d given them so much money already anyway. They’d call me regularly asking when I’d come to pay it back and that I could get another loan, and then they called all three of the references you have to provide. About nine months ago, after a few years since I’d been to Check ‘n Go, I got a call from an attorney saying that I owed $1,800 to settle payday debt, which seemed absurd. I didn’t pay.
I lost my bank account because of payday lending and it’s why I still don’t have a bank account to this day. I tell everyone I know to do whatever you can but don’t ever go to a payday lender – it’s one of the worst experiences you’ll ever have. I’m out now, thankfully, and never going back.