The Christmas story of Santa and his reindeer arriving on your roof top, sliding down the chimney to place everything you desire under your Christmas tree is told and re-told and used and abused to turn Christmas into a time of wanton spending and over indulgence. Spoil yourself and make sure the wishes of all your loved ones are filled. Extend your over-draft, take out a short term payday loan, and keep swiping that credit card in the spirit of merriment. This is the story of modern Christmas and it sounds like a decadent and fun filled time for everyone.
Unfortunately not all the stories paint a cheery merry picture. This is a true story of how Christmas managed to throw one family so far into debt that it took them almost a year to recover and they are still today, one Christmas later, paying installments on the last monies owed.
It was one Christmas ago when Jane and Mark, parents of three children, wanted to lay on a lavish Christmas for their kids. They wanted to shower their children with all the presents that they had asked Santa for. Both Jane and Mark worked full time so they thought that financially they were fine, however their December paychecks were only due at the end of the month and they needed to start their Christmas shopping immediately. Mark checked his bank account and saw that they had already used up most of their overdraft. Still bent on buying all the luxuries that would insure happiness and good cheer, Mark decided to take out to take out a Payday loan to top up the spending money that they needed. He had taken out a Payday loan before and paid it off easily without incident so why would this one be any different? He borrowed 400 pounds.
The shopping and preparations for this awesome Christmas for the children continued and a week later Mark took out another Payday loan of 500 pounds from a different lender.
Christmas at Jane and Marc’s house was spectacular. They children eagerly unwrapped new smart phones, a PlayStation 3 and the latest gadgets, CD’s and games. Marc was determined that his kids should not want for anything. Christmas dinner was no less lavish and the table was laden with food to feed a small African country. Christmas continued to Boxing Day where once again the table sagged under the weight of a meal to feed the extended family and once again Mark had spared no expense on a new set of presents under the tree. Having impressed his family and spoiled his kids, Mark sat back satisfied as New Years came and went, and the cold reality began to set in. In January the Payday lenders rightly deducted his debts from his account.
Mark has now entered the spiral that anyone who uses a payday, quick cash loan for something it is not meant for. Mark finds himself in January with no way to pay his bills so he takes out another Payday loan. Soon he is borrowing from one to pay the other and the situation has become uncontrollable.
A modest Christmas filled with love and family is a better option than getting into debt for Christmas!
This Christmas Mark and his family have opted to a more modest celebration involving spending time together as a family instead of the opulent festivities of the previous year. Mark is still in debt, but has responsibly asked for help and now pays on loans regularly, having negotiated for the interest to be frozen.
Is Mark a victim of the Payday lenders? He exhausted his credit at the bank and then turned to the Payday lenders. He spent more money than he had. He neglected to budget. Is it really reasonable for him to take out his frustrations on the Payday industry?