Payday Loans and Barbershops

Not very long ago, after a series of financial mismanagements, I quickly found myself caught in a web of payday loans that I so lovingly refer to as “Shuffles”. I call them shuffles because you have to shuffle all over town paying off and borrowing again.

To call this task tedious would be the understatement of the year but after a while, you develop somewhat of a routine as you go about town shuffling from one payday loan store to another. Your visits become so routine that you inadvertently develop a working relationship with the staff who work there who by now greet you by name as you walk in the door.

Over time you find yourself sharing stories about your life and families, diets and kids, apartment, home, and job searches. You name it and it gets talked about in the payday loan store. It’s the new age version of the barbershop or beauty salon. Practically nothing is off-limits at the payday loan store.

Obviously, you won’t find this experience at every store, but the very best stores make you feel so comfortable that you don’t mind coming back again and again. After a while, it’s just like visiting an old friend…and this is by design. The more comfortable you are, the more likely you won’t stiff them on a payment.

Needless to say, shuffles are expensive. To keep going back again and again, week after week, month after month is insanity. I found myself giving away hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in just interest alone. My monthly interest charges amounted to a car or house payment and that was on top of the loan that I had to pay back.

The thing that finally broke the cycle for me was the day that I walked into a store and I saw a husband and wife in line who had to be in their mid to late 70’s. One sported a cane and the other in a wheelchair. It was at that very moment that I knew I had to stop the insanity and never shuffle again.

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