Stumble Anonymous has been trapped in a vicious cycle of borrowing and repaying from licensed pawn shops, and hopes to warn those who might find themselves in similar situations not to fall into the same nightmare.
The 31-year-old borrowed a total of $ 10,000 from two lenders ($ 5,000 each) in 2016 – but still owes the same amount even after more than two years and sees no hope of breaking out of the cycle.
Anonymous said that in addition to a monthly interest rate of 4%, the two lenders he loaned from also charge a 10% administration fee each time money is borrowed.
This makes repaying his loan all the more impossible despite a salary of $ 5,000, especially since partial repayments and installments are not allowed.
Here’s what would happen every time, according to Anonymous:
Get a salary
Use the salary to pay off the first loan shark
Loan from the first lender to repay the second lender
Loan from a second lender to pay expenses
Repeat the cycle next month
Anonymous, who works in sales and marketing, told Stomp he has three children and a 28-year-old wife, but no savings.
Here is his story:
“I am writing to you in the hope of warning young people to think twice before turning to licensed pawn shops.
“It started in 2016, when my wife was going through a difficult pregnancy. We went in and out of KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital as if it was a hotel for us.”
According to the Stomper, his wife had a complicated pregnancy as she was expecting twins, which resulted in “many invisible medical bills popping up here and there.”
The couple are both working, but Anonymous said his wife also has to take care of her own family.
“Even though we could use Medisave in the beginning, we didn’t have a lot of money in our Medisave accounts and quickly had to use cash to pay medical bills,” Anonymous added.
“Without giving it much thought and because we couldn’t get a loan from the bank either, I turned to approved lenders because of the quick loans they could offer.
“Believe me, I have met over 50 licensed pawn shops and they all work the same. There is no different. This I can use my head to guarantee.
“First, they’ll always offer you a loan equal to once your monthly salary. Then they’ll all say the same thing, ‘Oh, this is your first loan, we can’t offer you a monthly installment loan before. a few times of repayment and re-borrowing from us.
“However, I can guarantee that this is bullshit. You will never get an installment loan to ease your payment difficulties.
“Second, with my stupidity, I really believed the pawn shops.
“So every month I would take my $ 5,000 salary and withdraw the entire amount to pay it back. And then I took out a loan of $ 4,500 (because of the 10% administration fee and 4% interest).
“Months and even years have passed, and I’m still trapped in this cycle!
“Well, you must be thinking, ‘Why don’t you just pay it back and stop lending? Or just negotiate an installment plan with them? “
“Uh, that’s easy to say.
“First, the lenders will threaten to go to your office. Not even at home. They won’t bother to come to your house because they know you won’t be afraid.
“So your office is the best option to shame you. And if you’re lucky, your boss will understand. Otherwise, you lose your job. “
However, Anonymous said he was never harassed because he was always on time with payments.
He told Stomp: “You won’t want to risk your job. If you dare to pay only the partial sum, they will call you immediately and tell you that they will send debt collectors.
“Second, after you’ve paid the money back to the pawn shops, you’ll have nothing left. If you can’t put your ego aside and ask your family for help, you’re dead.
“Having said that, I even had a lender tell me to go borrow from another lender to pay them back, claiming they were just doing business.
“The luckiest thing about me is that I’m still reasonable enough to only have two pawn shops, even though I mentioned that I went to 50 pawn shops.
“It was just to shop around, hoping someone can offer me an installment loan to pay off both lenders. But trust me, neither of them will offer that.
“Every month my wife and I have to make sure we get our paycheck back to pay them off and then borrow from them because we don’t have any savings.
“Only then can we start paying our expenses. As such, we can’t save money for rainy days either.
“The lesson to be learned, folks: never ever go to a loan shark. Once you enter a cycle like mine, no matter how much you earn, you will never get out. Trust me.”
When asked if he thought he could ever escape this cycle, Stomper Anonymous said, “Honestly, if they don’t give me an installment loan, I won’t be able to.
“I have three dependent children. We don’t live in wealth, but our monthly household expenses are already close to $ 4,500.
“I even thought about working part-time like driving a Grab or something, but that would cost me too. I have to convert my insurance and all that… all of that is money.”
The Stomper, who hopes “to reduce himself to a pawnshop” after getting his work bonus in May, added: “My life has become hell since I turned to these pawn shops.
“I hope this article will be disseminated for the sake of young and innocent youth.”