Lauren Jolly, 26, found herself in an 18-month struggle with payday loans after falling on hard times.
But with the help of Coast and Country, Lauren, of Wilton Avenue, Dormanstown, has made her final payment.
Single mum Lauren worked as a carer for six years, but during tough times found it hard to find the cash to look after three-year-old son Joseph.
She said: “I was working but I got into a bit of trouble with money.
“Being a single mother doesn’t help, especially near Christmas when you really feel the pressure.
“At one point I was going without food.”
It was then that Lauren decided to take out a payday loan. She said: “I kept seeing adverts on the telly for loans and I eventually got one.
“It wasn’t much and it’s easy at the time but when you’re paying it back it’s hard. You end up getting into a vicious circle.
“I would pay that one off and then just get another because I was skint.”
Payday loan companies have been criticised over high interest rates, something which can trap people like Lauren.
She said: “At first I was getting about £60 out and paying back about £90.
“Then after a while I was getting £100 out and paying back £130 so it worked out about £30 a fortnight.”
According to research by ICM, January 24 is the day cash-strapped people like Lauren are most likely to take out payday loans.
It was because of stories like Lauren’s that Coast and Country declared January 24 Pay Day Danger Day.
Coast and Country’s chief executive Iain Sim said: “I think Lauren shows the human story in the face of these payday loan companies.
“We think these companies are just there to exploit people.
“People should think very carefully before they take a payday loan out.”
Lauren said: “Coast and Country have been great. I didn’t realise how much they could help me get out of that cycle.”
Article from Gazette Live: