What to Do When You Cannot Pay Back a Personal Loan

You found yourself in a situation that led to you taking out quick cash loans or personal installment loans. You had every confidence that you could take care of the payments and get out from under those loans. You made a budget that made sense with the loan payments. Suddenly, you find yourself in another situation that makes you unable to pay the payment. What do you do? First, let’s talk about what not to do.

What Not to Do:

  • Bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away (as tempting as it is). Not making payments can destroy your credit and the ability to get loans in the future. Let’s figure out another way.
  • Talk down to yourself about how stupid you were for getting the loan (or is that just me?). You are not stupid- this was beyond your control.
  • Freak out. Deep breaths- you can get through it.
  • Do something desperate, like take out a title loan with ridiculously high-interest rates. Trust me.

Not one of those things is going to help your situation. Try the following instead:

Solutions to a Debt You Cannot Pay

These suggestions can help you, but think each of them through before making a move.


Why can you not pay the debt? Did you lose some of your income? Did another emergency pop up? Or are you just going to be a few days late? Or even a week?

Set a Date

If you simply cannot pay it at the moment, figure out when you can and call your lender. As strange as it sounds, they really do not enjoy making life hard on you. They would much rather you repay the loan than to have to chase you down. So if you call them and tell them when you can pay it, you will most likely be fine.

If You Cannot Set a Date

If you have no idea when you can pay it back due to some loss or emergency, you may still benefit from calling the lender. Some have grace periods for hardships, or they may can work with you to lower your payment. Either way, making them aware is going to look much better than avoiding them.

Ask Family or Friends

Maybe someone can loan you the money to pay the loan for now. They may be more willing to do this if you say you can pay them back with your tax refund check or even swap the money for some yard work.

Last Resort

If all else fails and your credit allows, you may have to do another personal loan lenders search. It may seem counterproductive, and in a way it is, but if you can find short term loan lenders that can loan you enough to pay off your previous loan and has a similar or lower interest rate, it will not negatively affect you.

What to Do If You Have Bad Credit

You can still do a personal loan lenders search to shop personal loans. There are many out there for personal loan shopping and emergency cash loans, even if you have bad credit. You can also type “What to do if you have bad credit?” into Google and find lots of tips on building your credit so you are better prepared next time.


It can be disappointing and overwhelming to find that you cannot pay a loan that you had every intention of paying. I have been there and it was not a pleasant experience. If you find yourself in this situation and every other step failed, remember that there are other loans out there. Simply do a personal loan lenders search somewhere like Loanry. They can connect you with lenders that let you get personal loan online in a reasonable time frame. Once you have taken that step, rework your budget and start fresh without the guilt.