Inside My Wallet is a series where we talk to Salary Finance members about their journey moving out of debt and into saving. Today we’re talking to Carolyn, a member of the transportation staff at a large suburban school district outside of Houston, Texas. who works with the special needs student population. After Carolyn experienced income loss as a result of the pandemic, she applied for a Salary Finance loan to keep up-to-date on a few major expenses.
How long have you been working for the school district, and what do you do for them?
I started there over 40 years ago while I was still in school, and have done a few different jobs, but currently I work transporting special needs students from their homes to school, which I really enjoy. I have learned so much from these students over the years, and I love working with them. It is a great place to work.
How did you feel when you heard that your employer was going to introduce Salary Finance?
I was really happy when I heard about it, because at the time I was behind on some bills that piled up while I had my hours reduced earlier in the year, and I was looking to see if I could borrow some money to help me out a little bit to catch up on my payments.
This has been a crazy year for everyone, and this loan helped me get where I needed to be with my payments.
How were you feeling about your finances before you took out your Salary Finance loan, particularly coming out of a recent furlough?
I didn’t know if I was coming or going. COVID took a toll on a lot of people, I was very stressed, and it was chaotic. I also was kind of frustrated because due to the pandemic, I didn’t have any money coming in, but the bills kept coming.
When I heard about Salary Finance, I figured I would give it a try to see if I could catch up on my bills – particularly my car payment – so I didn’t have to be worried about getting behind.
Have you taken out loans before, and if so, how was your experience with Salary Finance different?
Yes, I have gone to the credit union and payday lenders to take out loans a few times. My experience with Salary Finance was much better for a few reasons, but mostly because the interest rate was much lower than what I have seen elsewhere. Salary Finance is excellent, the interest is just where I needed it to be.
How has the Salary Finance employee loan helped you, and what is the biggest difference it has made for you personally?
I used my Salary Finance loan to catch up on bills, and relieve some of my stress. The biggest difference it has made for me is to pay my bills, without worrying about a high interest rate. Before, when I took out a $500 loan from a payday lender, I had to pay $400 back just in interest. With Salary Finance, I am repaying a small amount from my paycheck each month, and it’s very transparent with what I will pay back in total.
How would you describe the application process?
It was so easy to go through the application because it explains how to do everything step-by-step. I had my money a day before I expected to have it – Salary Finance said 2-3 days, and I had it in my bank account the next day. I liked that, because that is when I needed it.
Would you recommend Salary Finance to your friends or colleagues?
Yes, if anyone needs a loan I would recommend Salary Finance to them. I have tried other places, but if I needed another loan I would come back to Salary Finance because the interest rate was much lower and more fair. I know I can turn to Salary Finance for support, and I wouldn’t go with anyone else.
How are you feeling about your financial situation now?
Salary Finance was a big help to me, and now that I’m back working I’m back on my feet again. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced the impact of a recession personally, because of being furloughed during COVID, and Salary Finance was there right when I needed it.