Three million struggling Australians access fast cash loans to pay their bills

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Some retirees are resorting to desperate measures to pay their bills, with only a few dollars a day left over after covering their living expenses.

Some rely on quick cash loans to get by – a system the federal government is now seeking to overhaul.

Perth pensioner Robyne Anderson lives on just $40 a fortnight.

That equates to less than $3 a day.

Once she pays her bills, that’s all she has left.

Life turns out to be hard.

Robyne Anderson has approached them 82 times for cash advances and personal loans Credit: 7NEWS

“If something comes up, you’ll just have to wait until you can budget for it,” she told 7NEWS.

She copes with unexpected expenses — like her pet’s vet bills — by borrowing money from Cash Converters.

Over the past decade, she has approached them 82 times for cash advances and personal loans.

Payday loans

According to Cash Converters, more than three million Australians rely on the services of small moneylenders – often referred to as “payday loans”.

Often these people turn to these lenders because they are unable to obtain credit cards or bank loans.

But the way we borrow money is about to change, making it harder for people like Robyne to access money when she needs it.

Cash Converters says proposed changes to consumer credit laws will be disastrous for people like Robyne.

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“If something comes up, you’ll just have to wait until you can budget for it.”

The federal government says it wants to protect the vulnerable and crack down on cash lenders who charge exorbitant fees.

Small cash loans can be deposited quickly into bank accounts – often the same day – but they can be expensive.

The federal government is cracking down on payday loans.
The federal government is cracking down on payday loans. Credit: 7NEWS

There is no interest, but there are often high fees.

Borrowing $300 from Cash Converters costs $60, then $12 per month.

For larger loans, interest can reach 48% per year.

Other options

Financial adviser Sarah Patterson says the number of people needing help is skyrocketing, but there are better ways to get out of trouble.

Patterson said all people need to do is reach out and ask for help.

“Financial advice is free and you can come and talk to people to look at other options,” she says.

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