You should never take payday loans if you don’t absolutely need to. Just like indiscriminately punching people will land you in a lot of trouble, taking out payday loans will put you in a world of hurt financially. If you don’t exercise extreme caution with them, you’ll be broke for a long time.
But just like the person who is forced to defend himself, sometimes life backs you into a corner that you have no way to get out of without immediate help. That’s where payday loans come in. When you need money now to cover a real need that can’t wait until you get your check, taking out payday loans can help you get out of a tight spot.
Here are some examples of real needs that merit taking out payday loans:
Your car breaks down and you need a couple hundred bucks for the mechanic to fix it. Without the car, you can’t get to work and stand to lose more money than you would if you took out the loan.
Your rent is due (or overdue) and you stand to lose your home. Some landlords charge more for late fees than you will pay by taking out a payday loan and paying it back with interest.
A death in the family or other serious emergency requires you to travel, and you need to go now. If you don’t have the money, a payday loan may be a viable option.
Here are some very poor reasons to take out payday loans:
You want to buy something. It’ll wait until payday. If it doesn’t, you didn’t need it very badly.
You want to go on a date. I know she’s probably fine, but if she can’t hold off a week or two, you don’t want her. Trust us on this one. Someone that impatient will cause you more trouble than she’s worth.
You want to go on a trip. If you’re broke before you take a trip, imagine how broke you’ll be when you get back. The only difference is that now you have to give up 60%-80%, plus interest. Bad idea every time.
Here’s the short version of the long story: If you need it and can pay it back, go ahead and take a payday loan. But make sure that you really need it because taking out money that you don’t need will come back to bitch slap you every time.