Payday loans provided by companies like Payday Express are a great way to find emergency financial relief, but it is wise to prepare for repayment when the loan comes due. Planning ahead may prevent you from having to take out another loan and help you get your financial situation back in order. Here are three things you can do to make sure you can repay the loan on time:
Don't spend all the money
One of the most important things you can do when taking a payday loan is spend as little as possible from the funds provided. The sheer relief of getting much-needed cash in hand can lead to a temptation to go on a spending spree. However, this temptation can lead to further trouble if you carelessly spend. Of course, in some instances, you may need every cent of the borrowed amount to take care of your financial needs, but much of the time, you may discover that you can set aside a few dollars. If so, either deposit the remaining funds or place the cash in a location where you won't be tempted to spend it. If necessary, ask a trusted family member or friend to hang on to the money, and get it back from them only on the day the loan is due.
Change withholding amounts
A tax refund check is a nice "bonus" for many Americans, but it also can indicate you are having too much money withheld from your paycheck. The average refund amount is close to $3,000 per taxpayer, which means the average taxpayer is out over $200 per month that could be better spent on their needs. Your tax withholding amount is determined by the number of exemptions claimed when completing your W-4 form upon employment. If it has been some time since you filled out the W-4, it is in your best interest to re-visit the form and make sure it accurately reflects your needs.
Or, if you are feeling a financial squeeze and too much money is "disappearing" from your check every time you are paid, then talk to your human resources office about lowering the withholding amounts. Changes can be made at any time and as often as you like, and adjusting the withholding amount could help you free up more funds to repay the payday loan. However, just keep in mind that lowering your withholding too much could leave you owing taxes on April 15th, so be careful when making changes.
Borrow from your retirement plan
While taking out a loan to pay off another loan is usually not a good idea, there is one exception that might make sense if you are trying to pay-off a payday loan: a retirement plan loan. Most 401k and 403b retirement plans permit individuals to borrow from their own funds. There are reasons why this can be an excellent short-term loan solution to help provide funds to pay off a payday loan:
Fast turnaround - Since there are no credit checks involved or other underwriting stipulations, retirement plan loans can be processed fairly quickly and the funds placed in your hands in time to pay back the payday loan.
No interest - You are borrowing from your own money, so there are no interest charges associated with a retirement plan loan.
Long-term repayment options - Most retirement plan loans provide a five-year term for repayment, so you have plenty of time to repay the amount borrowed without undue hardship.
However, keep in mind there are some caveats to keep in mind when borrowing from your retirement plan:
Possible penalty charges - The Internal Revenue Service will charge you with tax penalties if you don't repay your loan within the five-year period or if you go more than 90 days between individual payments.
Lessen your earning power - Taking money out of your 401k or 403b lessens the amount of principal that can be invested, and this lowers the return on your plan as a result. The longer you have money out of your retirement plan, the less you will earn on a long-term basis.