Getting information to consumers is an important aspect of our mission. We seek to enable people to build their financial assets through starting a business, home-buying, and saving more money.
Payday Loan Alternatives and Other Options for Financial Assistance
When financial hardships come up, as they can for everyone, it can be hard to know what to do. Sometimes, borrowing money is the best option, but other times, there are better ways to meet cash shortfalls without adding to your debt load. But knowing when and where to go for better options can also be difficult, especially because each financial situation needs specific solutions. In these circumstances, we sometimes look to loans. But loans are not always the best solution, and high cost loans can make our financial challenges much worse.
The good news is Colorado residents will no longer face predatory payday loan products with hidden fees and triple digit interest rates. Thanks to the success of Proposition 111, for loans that begin on or after February 1, 2019, interest rates are now capped at 36% annual percentage rate, inclusive of all fees, for any loan on which the lender requires access to the borrower’s bank account or any other collateral.
Below are resources and solutions for almost every common financial hardship that can come up. Instead of turning to a payday loan, these alternatives can help solve a situation much more easily and without the burden of having a loan.
Dealing with Debt Collectors: If you have outstanding debt, or are being contacted by debt collectors, it is important that you know your rights! Information on how to deal with debt collection can be found here.
Filing a Formal Complaint: You can report illegal or inappropriate conduct by a lender, a debt collector or debt management services to the Colorado Attorney General at: https://coag.gov/file-complaint
In addition to the above, please check out the Resources Guide below for additional information.
- Credit and Financial Counseling: Credit counselors help people develop budgets and find safe and responsible resources to manage their financial lives. Consider credit counseling to work with you to establish a good budget and provide a new/expert perspective of your finances.
- Even if you think you’re financially tapped out, a credit counselor’s job is to help you find other options and solutions that you may not have known about. A credit counselor could present you with new options that could free up the money you need. Credit counselors usually look at your income, expenses and your debt to get a view of your whole financial picture. After understanding your finances, they make recommendations based on your situation.
- Recommendations can include debt management plans and other options that won’t require you to take on more debt. Some borrowers have found that bankruptcy can be an option, if only to relieve the burden of debt. Credit counselors may also be able to share their knowledge about assistance programs and other ways to find money in your budget. Nonprofit organizations like mPowered and Operation HOPE can provide expertise and advice on next steps for consumers facing financial challenges.
Strategies people sometimes use to avoid payday loan debt traps: There are other alternatives that people have turned to at times to avoid payday loans. While these options may not be for everyone, we want to provide as exhaustive a list as possible.
- Selling Items: In order to avoid adding to a debt load, some borrowers have sold assets that they don’t use or need anymore to temporarily make some quick cash.
- Negotiation with the Lender: One borrower found that if they had known the interest on their payday loan would have been so high (118%), they would have tried to negotiate and make payment arrangements. If you have taken out a payday loan, you could be negotiating from a greater position of strength than you think. Lenders may be willing to work with you to alter your payment plan, or even defer a payment if you’ve had a good credit history. If you’re going to negotiate, do it quickly and right from the beginning – once you start missing payments, your lender will be less sympathetic.
- Increase Your Income: Again, while this might not be a possibility for everyone, some people have been able to avoid taking out payday loans by temporarily increasing their income. According to one borrower, “In order to pay the loan back quickly and not fall behind any of my regular expenses, I picked up a temporary second job.” Overtime, a second job, or a side gig or hobby that you can grow into a source of income can be helpful. If you can’t bring in enough extra income in a short time to make a required payment, consider asking your current employer for an advance on your salary – as always, your future check(s) will be lower until the advance is absorbed.
- Borrowing on Life Insurance or from a 401(k): While both of these options might be rare, again, we want to provide as comprehensive a list of options as possible. For people who have a whole life insurance policy, you can borrow from that and take as long as you like to pay it back – although death benefits will be reduced if you don’t pay the loan back before you pass away. For those who happen to have a 401(k), and you’ve run out of options, it might be worth considering this. It’s best not to borrow from your 401(k) plan, as you lose the compounding effect of that money – but at least you don’t have to worry about qualifications, and the interest you pay goes back to your account. You must pay the loan back, including interest, within five years to avoid significant penalties.
Helpful Consumer Tips
You may not realize how many areas in your life are impacted by consumer protection laws at the state and federal level. It's important to know your rights & have a game plan when you're confronted with problems as a consumer.
Consumer protections exist in rental agreements for housing, furniture, car purchases and car leases. Mortgages, pawnshop loans, payday lending, credit cards, pre-paid cards, and cell phones are also areas where consumer protections are necessary.
Check out the information below to learn how to protect you, your friends, and family.
Resource Guide with Helpful Organizations
The following list contains resources to help you to get on the path to buying a home, save for emergencies, college and retirement, move out of poverty, get out of debt, and ensure that Colorado’s children obtain financial literacy skills early.
Use the search bar to find organizations that provide the services you need!
This list is not comprehensive yet -- eventually we hope to add all organizations that provide asset building and financial education services in Colorado. We want to cover every part of the State!
Don't see an organization that should be on here? Please contact us to make a suggestion.
|ABLE Colorado||The new Colorado ABLE plan helps individuals save, while preserving their SSI and Medicaid.||Asset Building, Savings, ABLE Act||Disabilities||Colorado, National||http://www.coloradoable.org/||(888) 609-3468|
|Accion||Equipping entrepreneurs across Colorado with the credit and training to open and operate thriving small businesses.||Micro-Finance, Credit, Business Coaching, Lending||Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Adults||Denver Metro, Colorado, Regional, National||http://www.us.accion.org/||(505) 222-5037|
|Bayaud Enterprises||Creates Hope, Opportunity and Choice, with work as the means through which people with disabilities and other barriers to employment can more fully participate in the mainstream of life.||Vocational, Financial Education||Disabilities, Veterans, Disadvantaged||Denver||http://www.bayaudenterprises.org||(303) 830-6885|
|Brothers Redevelopment||Provides safe, affordable, accessible housing and housing services for the low-income, elderly and disabled of Colorado||Housing, Home Ownership, Financial Coaching, Financial Education, Foreclosure Prevention||Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income, Disabilities, Seniors, Veterans||Denver Metro, Colorado, Regional||http://www.brothersredevelopment.org||(303) 202-6340|
|Colorado Enterprise Fund||Helping new and existing small businesses get the financial capital they need to grow, create jobs, and keep Colorado's economy strong.||Lending, Small Business, Credit, Micro-Finance, Business Coaching||Adults, Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Economically Disadvantaged, Minorities||Denver Metro, Colorado||http://www.coloradoenterprisefund.org/||(303) 860-0242|
|Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities||Provides supplemental needs trusts for people with disabilities, conservatorship and representative payee services||Trusts, Representative Payee, Conservatorship, ABLE Act||Disabilities, Seniors||Colorado||http://www.cfpdtrust.org/||(303) 733-2867|
|Colorado Jump$tart Coalition||Helps teachers to teach financial literacy classes in schools||Financial Literacy, Financial Education||Teachers, Schools, Students||Colorado||http://www.colorado-jumpstart.org/|
|Colorado Women's Education Foundation||CWEF wants to do more to provide economic equity for Colorado women by providing financial support in the form of scholarships, which enable recipients to pursue an education and a career.||Scholarships, Economic Equity||Women||Colorado||http://www.cwef.org||(303) 443-2573|
|Community Enterprise Development Services (CEDS)||Committed to helping small business owners achieve the American Dream of financial self sufficiency through access to capital and business training and technical assistance.||Technical Assistance, IDAs, Micro-Finance, Lending, Business Coaching||Refugees, Entrepreneurs, Consumers, Minorities, Immigrants, Economically Disadvantaged, Small Business||Denver Metro||http://www.cedsfinance.org||(303) 569-8165|
|Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC)||Provides pathways to housing resources and asset-building opportunities. W||Home Ownership, Financial Education, Asset Building, Housing||Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income||Denver Metro, Alamosa, Colorado||http://www.crhdc.org||(719) 589-1680|
|Consumers United Association||Improves the financial lives of consumers through financial education and advocacy. Membership is $5 per year or $25 for lifetime membership.||Membership Association, Financial Education, Credit Union Membership, Financial Education Awards||Consumers, Nonprofits||Colorado, Regional||http://www.cuamember.org||(720) 600-2821|
|CSU Extension||Providing trusted, practical education to help you solve problems, develop skills and build a better future.||Financial Education, Online Info||Families, Adults, Students||Colorado||http://www.extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/family-home-consumer/|
|Del Norte Neighborhood Development Corp.||Create and preserve housing, and other opportunities for under-served households including those that are low, and moderate income, Spanish-speaking, and those with special needs. Addresses the low-income area’s severe housing needs and to create economic development opportunities.||Home Ownership, Financial Education, Asset Building, Housing, Down Payment Assistance||Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income, Latino, Hispanic||Denver||http://www.delnortendc.org/||(303) 477-4774|
|Denver Asset Building Coalition||Provides free tax preparation and other financial services and programs to the underserved||Asset Building, Taxes, Financial Education||Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income, Seniors, Disabilities||Denver Metro||http://www.denverabc.org||(303) 388-7030|
|Economic Literacy Colorado||Empowering Colorado students to achieve a lifetime of economic understanding and financial freedom.||Financial Literacy, Financial Education, Professional Development, Economics||Teachers, Schools, Students||Colorado||http://www.econlitco.org/||(303) 752-2323|
|Family Opportunity Mortgage Loan Program||The Family Opportunity Mortgage Loan program provides an unique mortgage product that enables people to mortgage properties that would not count as a second home in order to house a disabled person, senior citizen or college student. The info link provided is a description of the program only. You simply need to find a mortgage lender that provides the product.||Home Mortgages, Asset Building||Disabilities, College Students, Seniors||National||http://www.mymortgageinsider.com/buy-home-for-elderly-parent-best-interest-rates/|
|Family Support Loan Program||Provides short-term, low-interest loans for home adaptations & more||Loans||Disabilities, Caregivers||Colorado||http://www.colorado.gov/pacific/hcpf/family-support-loan-fund|
|Financial Health Institute (FHI)||Provides innovative educational courses that guide individuals and organizations to become more aware of the ways in which financial stress affects their overall well being and develop strategies to manage resources, reduce stress, and improve health.||Financial Eduation, Asset Building||Adults, Teens, Recovery||Denver Metro, Colorado||http://www.financialhealthinstitute.com/||(303) 204-3144|
|First Nations Development Instititue||Our mission is to strengthen American Indian economies to support healthy Native communities. We invest in and create innovative institutions and models that strengthen asset control and support economic development for American Indian people and their communities.||Financial Education, Credit, Banking, Asset Building, Economic Development, Investor Education||Native Americans, First Nations, American Indians, Youth, Adults||Colorado, National||http://www.firstnations.org||(303) 774-7836|
|Habitat for Humanity||Builds safe, decent, affordable homes and to create the climate for people to achieve success.||Home Ownership, Financial Education, Asset Building, Housing||Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income, Disabilities, Seniors, Veterans||Colorado, National||http://www.habitatcolorado.org||(303) 454-8965|
|Heartland Institute of Financial Education||Empowering organizations and their people through financial education.||Financial Literacy, Financial Education, College Planning, Asset Building||Adults, Consumers, Students||Colorado, National, International||http://www.hife-usa.org/||(303) 597-0197|
|Hope Communities||Strengthens communities and provides pathways to economic and personal opportunity through affordable housing, educational programs and support service. We envision a community in which everyone has a safe place to call home and the resources they need to thrive.||Case Management, Financial Educatio, Housing, English Classes, Affordable Housing||Adults, Seniors, Refugees, Immigrant, Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income||Denver||http://www.hopecommunities.org||(303) 860-7747|
|Know Your Dough||To inspire our local youth to begin their path toward financial literacy and independence.||Financial Literacy, Financial Education||Teachers, Schools, Students||Durango, Cortez||http://www.know-your-dough.org/||(970) 779-0607|
|Mi Casa Resource Center||To advance the economic success of families with limited opportunities, as an organization grounded in our Latino heritage. We empower families to create economic stability and flourish for generations.||Financial Coaching, Micro-Finance, Legal, Business Coaching, Employment, Startups||Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Women, Adults, Youth, Latino, Economically Disadvantaged, Poor, Minorities||Denver Metro||http://www.micasaresourcecenter.org||(303) 573-1302|
|Moffat County United Way||Supports the health and humanitarian needs of our community through agency collaboration and funding.||Financial Education, Self-Sufficiency, Getting Ahead Classes, Bridges Out of Poverty||Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income||Craig, Moffat County||http://www.unitedwaymoffat.org||(970) 824-6222|
|mPowered||mPowered's vision is to create Financial Security for All.||Credit Counseling, Financial Coaching, Debt Management, Financial Education, Family Opportunity, Bankruptcy Counseling||Low-Income, Communities, Entrepreneurs, Consumers||Denver Metro||http://www.mpoweredcolorado.org/||(303) 233-2773|
|National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders||Represents and serves a geographically and ethnically diverse group of more than 100 non-profit community development and asset-building organizations that are anchor institutions in our nation’s Latino communities.||Asset Building, Financial Educaiton||Latino, Hispanic, Families, Adults||Colorado, National||http://www.nalcab.org||See Del Norte & Community Resources and Housing Development Corporation (CRHDC)|
|National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE)||Dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life.||Financial Education, Asset Building, Retirement Planning, College Planning||Adults, Consumers, Students, Teachers||Colorado, National||http://www.nefe.org/||(303) 741-6333|
|Neighborworks Southern Colorado||To promote healthy, vibrant Neighborhoods and serve as the first choice for homebuyer resources in Southern Colorado.||Home Ownership, Financial Education, Asset Building, Housing||Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income||Pueblo, Colorado Springs||http://www.nwsoco.org/||(719) 544-8078|
|Operation Hope||Provides complimentary financial literacy education and empowerment programs and services to youth and adults in the Denver area.||Financial Education||Youth, Adults||Denver Metro, Colorado, National||http://www.operationhope.org/denver||(303) 755-1377|
|Our Center||Paving the road to self-sufficiency.||Financial Education, Self-Sufficiency, Getting Ahead Classes, Bridges Out of Poverty, Basic Needs||Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income, Disabilities, Seniors, Veterans||Longmont, Boulder County, Larimer County, Weld County, Northern Colorado||http://www.ourcenter.org||(303) 772-4320|
|Prosperity Now||The Assets & Opportunity Scorecard is a comprehensive look at Americans’ financial security. Measures are grouped into five issue areas: Financial Assets & Income, Businesses & Jobs, Housing & Homeownership, Health Care, and Education.||Savings, Financial Education, Racial Wealth Equity, Jobs, Consumer Protections, Taxes, Assets||Consumers||Colorado, National||http://www.prosperitynow.org/||(202) 408-9788|
|Rocky Mountain Employee Ownership Center||To change the current economic system to a system of inclusion by providing pathways to and advocating for employee ownership! For businesses seeking to transition into an employee-owned business model||Employee-Owned Business, Business Valuation, Technical Assistance||Business Owners, Employees||Colorado, Regional||http://www.rmeoc.org/||(303) 351.2003|
|Rocky Mountain Farmers Union - Cooperative Development Center||An advocate for family farmers and ranchers, local communities, and consumers.||Coop Development, Technical Assistance||Family Farmers, Ranchers, Communities, Consumers||Colorado, Regional||http://www.rmfu.org||(303) 752-5800|
|Rocky Mountain Microfinance Institute||A community creating economic and social mobility through entrepreneurship; we help curious people transform into serious entrepreneurs through personal, business, and financial investments.||Financial Education, Startups, Business Launch, Micro-Finance||Adults, Entrepreneurs, Small Business, Economically Disadvantaged, Low-Income, Minorities||Denver Metro||http://www.rmmfi.org/||(720) 941-5037|
|WorkLife Partnership||Helps individuals and families overcome barriers by navigating community resources so they can get to work, stay at work, and be productive at work.||Financial Literacy, Loans, Work Supports, Taxes, Utility Assistance||Employers, Working Adults||Denver Metro, Front Range||http://www.worklifepartnership.org/||(303) 298-1625|
|Young Americans Center for Financial Education||To develop the financial literacy of young people through real-life experiences and hands-on programs purposefully designed to enable them to prosper in our free enterprise system.||Financial Education, Banking||Youth, Teachers||Denver Metro||http://www.yacenter.org||(303) 321-2265|
|Youth Entity||YouthEntity engages and empowers youth to discover their potential by providing real-world learning experiences that prepare them for future success. Our goal is for every young person in the communities we serve to enter adulthood financially literate, with applicable work experience through our career development programs||Financial Education, Career Development||Youth||Carbondale, Western Slope||http://www.youthentity.org/||(970) 963.4055|