Journalism in the Public Interest


Podcast: Inside the High-Cost Lending Industry

High-cost lenders have long offered payday and installment loans to those with bad credit as a quick way to get cash in an emergency without any questions or hassle. But with annual percentage rates that can exceed 400 percent, consumers can unknowingly get trapped in a cycle of debt.

Paul Kiel joins Steve Engelberg on the podcast this week to discuss his series investigating high-cost lenders, the difference between payday and installment loans, and how the industry has managed to survive in state after state despite attempts to ban these products.

You can read more about high-cost lenders on our series page, Debt Inc. You can also listen to this podcast on iTunes and Stitcher.

As long as it costs hundreds of dollars to re-start utilities after they’ve been shut off, this is a much needed service.  Same with bounced check fees.  Either license and regulate these guys, or push us all to the guys who work with bookies and goons.

Its a tired old story, previously pushed by Acorn, on behalf of big banks, to discredit payday loans.

Payday loans are some of the most regulated financial transactions today.

When you compare it to what the credit card companies and banks are doing to people you see where the real criminality is coming in.

Anything that by by-passes the big banks is bound to get criticized, but is, more and more the way to go.

Brendt, that’s a little backwards, isn’t it?  The problem you’re envisioning isn’t the lack of high-interest, short-term loans, it’s that the utility company pretends they need to send a technician to your house during business hours to reverse something that happened automatically in a computer.

Permitting the abuse of people who are already being abused strikes me as a bit uncivilized.

Similarly, Mary, I can’t speak for anybody involved in these articles, but the service seems like a great idea.  It’s just the sneakiness and abuse that I object to.  The fact that other companies are also abusive is irrelevant.

If there are, in fact, so many people who need this service, then it should be possible to turn a decent profit with an APR in the range of credit cards and without “rollover” or “debit” tricks.

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