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Debt Inc.

Last year, activists in Missouri tried to limit what high-cost lenders can charge. The ensuing fight exposed something that rarely comes into view so vividly: the high-cost lending industry’s ferocious efforts to stay legal and stay in business. More »

Many people know the dangers of payday loans. But “installment loans” also have sky-high rates and work by getting borrowers — usually poor — to renew over and over. We take you inside one of the biggest installment lenders, billion-dollar World Finance. More »

A federal law is supposed to protect service members from predatory lending. But lenders exploit loopholes, trapping military personnel in high-interest debt.
More »

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Defense Department Proposes Broad Ban on High-Cost Loans to Service Members

Acknowledging that a previous law did not go far enough, Defense Department proposes new rules to protect service members from high-cost lenders.

Insta-Loophole: In Florida, High-Cost Lender Skirts the Law

Despite a ban on high-interest car title loans, the nation’s largest title lender has opened 26 Instaloan stores in Florida, offering a refashioned version of the loans that effectively charge the same sky-high rates the law was designed to stop.

To Protect Service Members, Defense Department Plans Broad Ban on High-Cost Loans

Acknowledging that a previous law did not go far enough, Defense Department said it needs to expand rules to protect service members from high-cost lenders.

High-Cost Lender World Finance Target of Federal Probe

The investigation follows a ProPublica story that detailed the company’s lending practices.

Podcast: How a $1,000 Loan Ballooned into a $40,000 Debt

ProPublica’s Paul Kiel and Steve Engelberg discuss how high-cost lenders are exploiting laws to sue tens of thousands of Americans every year.

When Lenders Sue, Quick Cash Can Turn Into a Lifetime of Debt

High-cost lenders exploit laws tipped in their favor to sue tens of thousands of Americans every year. The result: A $1,000 loan grows to $40,000.

To Dodge Law, High-Cost Lender Offers Cash for Free

TitleMax, one of the fastest growing high-cost lenders in the country, has found a clever way around laws passed by several Texas cities: offer an initial loan at zero percent interest.

How One State Succeeded in Restricting Payday Loans

Washington State passed a payday loan reform bill that merely limits the number of loans a person can take in a year. Here’s what happened.

Whack-a-Mole: How Payday Lenders Bounce Back When States Crack Down

In state after state that has tried to ban payday and similar loans, the industry has found ways to continue to peddle them.

The Payday Playbook: How High Cost Lenders Fight to Stay Legal

Last year, activists in Missouri tried to limit what high-cost lenders can charge. The ensuing fight exposed something that rarely comes into view so vividly: the high-cost lending industry’s ferocious efforts to stay legal and stay in business.

Senator Presses Consumer Bureau on Installment Lender World Finance

Citing our investigation, Sen. Ron Wyden asked a top official from the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau about what can be done to address abuses by installment lenders.

On Victory Drive, Soldiers Defeated by Debt

A federal law is supposed to protect service members from predatory lending. But lenders exploit loopholes, trapping military personnel in high-interest debt.

Map: Lenders Line up on Victory Drive

The 182 Percent Loan: How Installment Lenders Put Borrowers in a World of Hurt

Many people know the dangers of payday loans. But "installment loans" also have sky-high rates and work by getting borrowers — usually poor — to renew over and over. We take you inside one of the biggest installment lenders, billion-dollar World Finance.

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