When you think your life sucks as hard as it can, something always happens to shake you up and make you realize how well off you really are.
If you're in debt to a payday loan place or swamped in credit card debt or owe money to any company that's at least a real company, with an office or a website and an annoying customer service phone menu, be thankful. Even if you can't pay them back and they're debiting your account, and you're drowning in debt, you can at least find laws that regulate debt collection agencies, or go to a credit counselor and negotiate a settlement, or even declare bankruptcy. At the worst, in the end, it's all just numbers on a computer screen and papers in a courtroom. You've still got your friends or kids or parents or people around who care about you, and you're still alive.
This morning, I ran across the following news story from a week ago. I didn't know this happened until now:
It hurts too much to look at her name in the article every time I reread this page, so I blurred it in the screen shot. The scum who killed her doesn't deserve to be remembered.
She lived in the apartment across from mine until a few months ago, when she moved across the country. When she was here, she worked in a bar I went to, but she was always having trouble making ends meet. Even here, she was borrowing from the wrong people. They'd come by her apartment, trying to collect. When she moved out west, I guess nothing changed. I meant to email her, to see how she was doing, but I guess I can't now.
You hear about payday loan companies and cash advance places being "predatory lenders" and "loan sharks" because of interest rates or late fees, like any of that really matters, when you compare it to the alternative.
There are real sharks out there swimming in the water. If you get too far from shore, you'll meet them. They won't just charge thirty bucks for a late fee or an overdraft.
I was going to write about how to consolidate credit cards and payday loans today, but the hell with that. Instead, I'll just say this:
If you need money fast and your credit's bad, don't think all the legitimate businesess will ignore you. Yes, banks might, but you have other choices. Search online for a payday loan place that's a member of the CFSA. Or ignore what I wrote here about car title loans and get a damn car title loan from a legitimate car title loan place, if you have to. Find a credit counselor or try debt consolidation or try to negotiate a settlement with your credit cards, or do anything you can. At least you're dealing with businesses that have real offices or websites and licenses and laws that regulate them, instead of people out on the street with a wad of cash they'll loan you and a baseball bat if you don't pay it back.
This is why I write this blog. To tell people they don't need to step outside the law and lose everything, just because they have bad credit and need some money.
Goodbye, Jessica. I'm sorry I couldn't be there to help you.
7:55 p.m. January 20
"seetelment"? "thiere"? Is your proofreader out to lunch?
11:49 a.m..January 21
Um, yeah, well, I went back over it again, now that I'm sober. It should read a little better now.
5:37 p.m. January 21
5:56 p.m. January 21
That's tough. I had a friend who died just because he was standing next to the wrong person. They dno't care.
9:22 a.m.January 22
Sorry to hear that. Always hard when you hear news that way. Good advice, though.
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