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This just in: Australian household debt is at a record high.

The report also mentioned that 30% of Australian households are in some sort of financial stress and that the country is going to go through a debt hangover according to the Financial Counselling Australia.

To say that it’s not looking good for a lot of Australians when it comes to managing finances is an understatement. But it’s not so hopeless that people can’t do anything about it.

If you’re facing certain financial challenges, a paycheck advance may be the solution you’re looking for. It can tide you over until your next payday and help you in case of an emergency or in the event of an unexpected expenditure.

Of course, like any other loan, a paycheck advance needs to be repaid, which is why you should know how to make full use of it. To maximize your payday loan, here are some tips on how to use it responsibly:

Use your paycheck advance as intended.

You’re borrowing money for a reason.

Whether it’s for an emergency medical situation or your child needs funds for tuition or you need to pay a utility company, use your paycheck advance for its intended purpose.

Pay whatever or whomever you need to pay as soon as you receive the money. There’s always temptation to give in to an impulse purchase since payday is just a few days or weeks away. And if you happen to borrow from an unscrupulous lender, you would have to repay that short-term loan with substantial interest.

Remember, too that a paycheck advance may not be the best option for settling living expenses or monthly bills. There’s a higher risk of defaulting since payday loans are supposed to work as short-term solutions to a sudden financial difficulty. It’s also advisable that you do not take out further loans until you’ve paid the first one so you don’t get sucked into a vicious debt cycle.

Make sure you have enough funds.

To repay your loan, that is.

If your main source of income doesn’t provide you with enough funds to pay back your cash advance, as well as cover the costs of your usual expenses, consider getting another job or finding other sources of income. It might be difficult but it’s better than not being able to pay your debt on time.

Plus, you’ll be comforted by the thought that you’re on the way to having a better credit history and inching closer to financial freedom.

Do your research.

Not all payday lenders operate because they seriously want to help people in dire financial straits.

It’s a good thing then that the government is cracking down on unscrupulous payday lenders.

Of course, even with new laws to protect borrowers, you still need to be vigilant. Before you take out a loan – any loan – always do your research. See if the company you have chosen has a good reputation.

Check customer reviews and complaints. A quick online search should let you know if a payday lender is worth borrowing from.

Only borrow what you need.

Sometimes, payday loan companies will offer you a higher loan amount than what you’re initially going for.

This usually happens when your monthly salary is more than the required threshold set by payday lenders.

It’s an attractive offer but you would do well to stick to your original plan. You don’t want to put yourself in more debt than you need to be. Borrowing the exact amount you need puts you in a better position to repay the loan on time and helps you not incur additional fees and interest.

Be sure you know what you’re getting into.

Read the loan agreement thoroughly. If there are things you’re not so sure about, ask, don’t guess.

Because payday loans are typically done online or over the phone, you might miss important details such as the amount you have to repay. Come next payday, you might get the surprise of your life when you see a huge debit from your account.

Always review the loan agreement and make sure the repayment amount is included in your monthly budget.

Don’t panic if you can’t repay your paycheck advance.

If for any reason, you can’t pay back your paycheck advance, don’t panic and shut yourself off from the world.

Let your payday lender know as soon as possible. Here at Cigno, for example, we encourage our borrowers to contact us if there’s a chance they will fail to make payment.

We know that sometimes unexpected things happen and we’d rather hear from you directly then refer your case to an external debt collector.

Bonus: Tips to get out of debt

In an ideal world, no one will have debts and everyone will have enough money for their wants and needs.

But it’s not a perfect world. And some of us just can’t seem to get out of debt. If this sounds like you, here are some tips to start you on the debt-free path:

  • Track your spending. Knowing where every cent is going will help you identify where you can cut expenses. If you find you’re spending too much on eating out, start packing lunches. Use coupon codes for online purchases and stop paying for things you’re not using (like that gym membership for example).
  • Get the support of family and friends. Tell them you have a debt repayment plan and you’re sticking to it. This way, they’ll know why certain activities might be difficult on your budget. And they’ll be more inclined to suggest potlucks and other events that don’t cost a lot.
  • Prepare to sacrifice. Whether it’s taking a second job or letting go of personal treats such as spa days or shopping sprees, you have to be prepared to make sacrifices if you want to be debt-free. It’s going to be hard but never getting out of debt is harder.

Need help?

Our cash loan products can help you if you’re in need of a short-term financial boost.

If you need more info on our quick, easy, and non-invasive application process, give us a call at 1300 88 23 24 or email us at