Borrow a few hundred dollars and spend your whole life paying it back. That's their game, and they suck unwitting, desperate consumers into it.
Payday Lenders: Robbing Someone Near You
Credit: ekonon
March 19, 2014

This is why we need the CFPB, folks. They will never, ever stop as long as there is one person out there who is desperate and needs money.

New York Times reports:

Loralty Harden, a 62-year-old retiree, was distressed when the balance on a short-term loan she had obtained to supplement her Social Security income did not budge even though she diligently followed the payment plan that came with it.

Only after she went back to the branch of All Credit Lenders in Machesney Park, Ill., where she originally received the loan in 2011, did she learn why. Her minimum payments were being devoured by a monthly “account protection fee” — a mandatory $15 payment on every $50 she borrowed — that Ms. Harden says she never knew about. That pushed the interest rate, advertised at 18 percent, above 350 percent, according to loan documents reviewed by The New York Times.

Ms. Harden is at the front lines of a battle playing out state by state, where the authorities are redoubling efforts to shield vulnerable Americans from short-term loans with interest rates that can exceed 300 percent.

It isn't just Illinois with the problem.


In Minnesota, a typical borrower takes out an average of 10 payday loans per year. The average loan is $380, and the average annual interest rate is 273 percent. One in five borrowers makes more than 15 payday loan transactions annually.

Also Minnesota, with startling numbers:

Between 1999 and 2012, payday lenders drained over $82 million in fees from financially-stressed Minnesotans, primarily from suburban and Greater Minnesota communities.

That’s the message from Minnesotans for Fair Lending (MFL), the 34 endorsing organizations representing seniors, social service providers, labor, faith leaders and credit unions, advocating reform of the state’s payday lending law.

That's fees. Not interest. Interest is extra.

In Utah, payday lenders bought themselves an Attorney General. At least, for awhile. Now he's under investigation.


In Louisiana, for example, state laws that “regulate” payday lending allow the providers of these loans to charge more than 700 percent in annual interest and fees. (That’s not a typo—and it’s even higher in other states.)

Pennsylvania's legislature is considering legalization of payday loans:

Payday lending is prohibited in Pennsylvania at the moment, but a bill to legalize payday lending that passed Pennsylvania’s lower house in 2012 is back up for consideration by the legislature. The author of the 2012 bill and plumping again for legislation this year is Republican state representative Chris Ross.


Missouri currently caps interest and fees on a loan at 75 percent of the original principal and payday loans can last for between 14 and 31 days. That would allow a lender to charge $75 on a $100 loan over 14 days – an interest rate over 1,950 percent. The average interest rate of payday loans in Missouri was 454 percent from 2011 to 2012, according to a report by the state’s finance division.


Payday loans are short-term loans, usually for 14 to 30 days with annual interest rates that can hit 456 percent. Payday lenders say they serve a market that banks don't want to serve, and the costs are cheaper than bouncing a check.

These people are criminals. Their entire business model is a form of legitimized loan sharking, and they get away with it because people go where they have to when they need money.

Can we please implement Elizabeth Warren's proposal to allow the Post Office to make short-term loans now?

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