1. I have to say I really want to watch this documentary now! I walk from my garage to my building in downtown Cleveland every day, and along the way I pass by a payday lending store that always has a few people in line. It’s sad and disheartening. Definitely a bad cycle.

  2. Thanks for the great recap! I have not had a chance to watch the movie yet, but it sounds worthwhile. All it takes is one negative thing to happen to really ruin a person’s credit. I don’t look down on others who are in those types of tough financial positions, because you just never know their whole story.

    • You’re right Lauren, one little mistake and our credit is ruined for a long time. I also learned not to judge people because you just never know what they’re going through.

  3. I love documentaries so I really want to watch them now. It’s easy to judge people who take out payday loans and go unbanked, but as you pointed out, it is sometimes the only option people have.

  4. Sounds like an interesting documentary. There are people living vastly different lives purely based on financial means, and it’s often invisible to others. If 70 million don’t have access to what many take for granted, it’s like a silent but sizable portion of the population that the rest doesn’t understand. Thanks for sharing!

  5. That is really sad that 2 of those 4 cases were due to health situations. But for the grace of God go I. Thanks for the recap, Aldo. I have 4 Pay Day Loan places within 2 kilometers of my home in a nice suburban neighbourhood. What’s wrong with that picture?

    • Yes Debs, it is sad and scary because we really have no control over those circumstances. There’s a pay day loan/check-cashing place by my house and I saw people waiting in line on Friday. And at first I thought it was because they were bad with money, like I was, but now I just don’t know what their lives is like. I’m glad I took control of my finances before I got to that point.

  6. This was a great summary. I haven’t had the chance to watch it yet, but it’s upsetting how things can get in the way when you’re doing everything right, especially with the two that experienced health-related problems. It’s really unfortunate that people have to resort to payday and title loans just to get by for the week/month – they don’t have the luxury of thinking long-term as they have immediate needs.

  7. I will watch the movie as I love financial documentaries. I have park avenue on the netflix que as my next film to watch, have you seen that one? Being a PF blogger we are doing the best we can to change the financial lives of our readers.

    • I haven’t watched Park Avenue, but I’ll add it to my queue. If you know of more documentaries and/or movies I should watch please share.

  8. I heard about this documentary and it sounds fascinating! I always wonder about who gets payday loans and why. I know there are many people who “live outside” the traditional banking system and I always just assume it’s illegal immigrants or something, but there really are a number of different people who fall into this category.

    • I thought the same thing, Shannon. But this is yet another example of why I should never assume. Now when I see people in those pay day loans places, I won’t know what to think.

  9. Trying to make an actual difference in this space is part of the reason I love my job so much! After seeing the documentary Paycheck to Paycheck the MagnifyMoney team actually went down to Chattanooga, TN to host financial seminars and one-on-one workshops at the Chambliss Center. I’m so glad AMEX came out with this documentary. I hope it overviews the ChexSystems too. I’ll have to watch it later tonight!

  10. Interesting, Aldo!! Having been a mortgage sales assistant for 5 years, I don’t wonder if part of Justin’s problem is that he is self-employed. Often small biz owners work to make their tax burden as light as possible with deductions, but then their bottom line taxable income looks especially small, making them ineligible for mortgage and other loans due to an inflated debt-to-income ratio. I saw this happen hundreds of times while working during the mortgage boom.

  11. Great write up – i’m definitely going to check out that documentary. The most unsettling is the nurse. You’d think that would never happen to someone with such a solid job (especially nursing) and such a strong nest egg.

    I agree that personal finance classes in schools really couldn’t hurt. I mean, if we’re still teaching some stuff like home ec and shop, why wouldn’t we teach you how to balance a check book and what credit scores are and how interest works??

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