What people can do if they can’t repay a payday loan

Find out what people can do when they think they've run out of options.


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Short-term loans, or payday loans as they're commonly known, are usually used for financial emergencies and to fund the gaps in peoples' budgets. These loans can be costly, so it's important for people to work out if they can afford the loan by calculating their potential repayments before they submit their application.

Are you struggling financially?

If you're struggling financially and would like to speak to someone for free financial advice, information and assistance you can call the Financial Counsellors hotline on 1800 007 007 (open from 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday). If you are suffering financial problems related to the coronavirus pandemic you may be eligible for additional support. Find out more here: https://www.finder.com.au/coronavirus-financial-help

⚠️ Warning about Borrowing

payday-warningDo you really need a loan today?*

It can be expensive to borrow small amounts of money and borrowing may not solve your money problems.

Check your options before you borrow:

  • For information about other options for managing bills and debts, ring 1800 007 007 from anywhere in Australia to talk to a free and independent financial counsellor
  • Talk to your electricity, gas, phone or water provider to see if you can work out a payment plan
  • If you are on government benefits, ask if you can receive an advance from Centrelink: Phone: 13 17 94

The Government's MoneySmart website shows you how small amount loans work and suggests other options that may help you.

* This statement is an Australian Government requirement under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009.

If someone already has a payday loan and they are worrying about making their next repayment, read through the guide below to find out what they should do.

Step 1: Contact their lender

Letting their lender know as soon as possible will give customers the best chance of finding a solution. Lenders have financial hardship departments or (at the very least) customer service agents that will likely be able to delay the next direct debit repayment. This will prevent their bank and the lender charging them for a failed direct debit payment.

Following this, a lender will make arrangements with their customer which may involve an extended repayment plan or something similar.

Step 2: Budget to repay the loan

After the borrower arranges their extended repayment with their lender, they'll need to budget to meet their repayment. Borrowers should ensure that they will have enough money in their account by the new scheduled due date.

Step 3: Review their situation

If a borrower has reviewed their situation and they find that they cannot repay the loan, it's time to get back in contact with the lender to discuss their hardship options. This may involve the lender extending the terms further or providing them with a payment plan. This is an important step to take for those who don't want a default listed on their credit file.

What not to do

  • Take out another loan. Applying for an additional payday loan is an easy way to get stuck in a cycle of debt. If someone is having trouble repaying one payday loan, then it will likely multiply their problems to apply for another.
  • Ignore the repayment. By not calling their lender payday loan borrowers will be charged a direct debit dishonour fee both by their lender and by their bank. If they continue to ignore the repayments the lender may continue to try and debit their account and charge fees, thereby increasing their debt further.

Here's what to do if you can't repay a loan with the following brands:

BrandWhat to do if you can't repay your loan
Cash ConvertersContact Cash Converters as soon as possible. Online customers can call 1300 191 637 or email Cash Converters directly. If you've applied for your loan in-store 13CASH (132274) or visit a branch.
Cash TrainContact Cash Train on 08 9420 1480 if you're going to have any trouble repaying your loan. You can also email or chat with a team member on the Cash Train website.
DollarsDirectYou need to contact DollarsDirect immediately by calling 1800 024 858 or emailing DollarsDirect. If the direct debit is returned from your bank DollarsDirect may initiate collections proceedings.
FerratumContact the Ferratum collections team in order to avoid direct debit dishonour fees and rescheduling fees. You can call them on 1300 433 772.
Good to Go LoansGood to Go is able to change loan repayment schedules to better suit your circumstances. You can contact the company on 1300 197 727.
Loan RangerIf you will have insufficient funds in your account on your repayment date, contact Loan Ranger on 1300 411 365 at least 48 hours prior to the due date. You can also apply for financial hardship. If you fail to contact Loan Ranger it will go to collections.
SpeckleIf you're struggling to make repayments, call Speckle on 13 43 23 and the customer care team will work something out with you. If you need to change your repayment date, or make other payment arrangements, there's no charge to do so and Speckle will help to find a solution for you.
NimbleIf you won't have enough money in your account to cover a repayment, contact Nimble immediately via live chat on its website or by phone on 133 156 to stop the direct debit. If Nimble cannot recover the money within 60 days it may be passed to an external collections team. If you're experiencing financial hardship and cannot repay your loan, contact the Nimble Repayments team.
OK MoneyYou need to contact OK Money on 1300 884 920 or visit an OK Money store to delay your direct debit or apply for financial hardship. If you fail to do so by 2pm Queensland time your account will be direct debited and you will have to pay any fees incurred by the failed direct debit.
Sunshine LoansIf you miss a loan payment or need to reschedule a loan payment you will incur a fee of $35. Contact Sunshine Loans on 07 5526 8866 Monday through Friday 8:30am to 4:30pm Queensland time to discuss rescheduling your loan.
Wallet WizardContact Wallet Wizard on 1300 925 538 if you won't have enough money in your account on your scheduled repayment date.

Picture: Shutterstock

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