Businesses That Rip Off Poor People

Some businesses thrive on the misfortune of others, making unfavorable deals with the poor and desperate to improve their bottom lines. While it’s tough to discern the intentions and ethics of management, it’s easy to identify the results of their reckless practices.

MSN Money spotlights several businesses it says are geared to put the hurt on the poor. Topping its list are payday lenders, which come to the “rescue” of those who are tapped out by fronting them money with interest rates as high as 400 percent attached.

Other questionable businesses include “buy here, pay here” car dealerships, which offer terrible loan rates to those with poor credit, often with the understanding that they’ll repossess the vehicles after siphoning some money from the buyers.

Click the source link to read up on other allegedly unscrupulous operations, including rent-to-own outfits and used-car leasers.

5 businesses that rip off the poor [MSN Money]

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    They have their own circle of hell reserved for them.

    • hansolo247 says:

      along with people that talk at the theater.

      • SeattleSeven says:

        “along with people that talk at the theater.”

        Person 1> What are you in for?
        Person 2> I used predatory lending practices to ruin the lives of thousands of people. How about you?
        Person 1> I told a joke to my friend in a theater watching Crossroads with Britney Spears.
        Person 2> You’re an asshole.

      • kenj0418 says:

        If I end up in that circle, I’d much prefer it’d be for something involving Saffron Reynolds.

  2. Evil_Otto would rather pay taxes than make someone else rich says:

    Why can’t poor people just not be poor? That would solve these problems.

    /s

    • Cor Aquilonis says:

      Agreed, if they would just work hard, then they wouldn’t be in this mess. Laziness.

      /mega-sarcasm

    • PunditGuy says:

      We are one of the least socially mobile countries in the world, but even now it’s not impossible for at least some of the poor to stop being poor via their own actions.

      • frank64 says:

        I think the opposite is true. From everything I have read, it is one of the best countries to move up, That is one reason people come here. That is why Jesse Jackson should be added to the list. He gets his income and power from the people he is supposed to be advocating for. His message focuses on how the poor are victims. He enables the lack of initiative it takes to succeed. I suspect we are on different sides politically (:

        • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

          Not true anymore. According to a number of studies your chances of rising up are now greater in Norway, Finland, Denmark than in the USA. Higher in Sweden, Germany, France. Higher in Canada – and by a good margin.

          • frank64 says:

            Those countries have different demographics too. Education is a big reason. You drop out of school, it is going to be real hard to succeed. I am thinking our drop out rate is higher. There are other factors, but it is more complicated than just our country is mean.

            Not trying to stick up for the industries listed. Many are vultures.

            • nakago71 says:

              I am thinking maybe that drop out rate also has something to do with our country’s policies (say on teenaged pregnancy, employment, etc.)?

      • ARP says:

        Not anymore. Recent studies show that we’re no longer the most socially mobile country. Education, access to healthcare, etc. allow people to worry less about the “necessities.”

        However, the tradeoff is that if you’re that 0.00001 that strikes it really rich, you may have to pay slightly more in taxes. So, instead of $10M per year, you’d only make $9M per year.

        That’s why in Amurkia, we’ve decided that we should let a lot of people suffer- so that those 5 people per year who goes from rags to riches, don’t have to pay more money in taxes.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Why not just implement a mandate that poor people not be poor?

      /s

    • Leohat says:

      Why can’t elitist self-entitled douche-bags just not be elitist self-entitled douche-bags

    • smo0 says:

      I’m poor and I can be poor… however… not all poor people are homeless and/or starving… some of us need the occasional emergency loan to keep a roof over our head…
      I’ve been trapped in some serious pay day loan issues that I’ve had to bankruptcy my way out of.
      My new motto is live simply.

      I’ve gotten rid of excess, I don’t spend anything – I have roommates, we all help each other.

      Honestly, I’m the worst thing for an economy…..

  3. dolemite says:

    I went to JD Byrider years and years ago and was thinking about getting a car on the lot (I was unaware they were a bad credit type of place at the time). The salesman asked what my credit was, and I told him. He said I couldn’t buy a car there, that my credit was too good. Not that I shouldn’t, he just said I couldn’t. I went to the local Subaru dealer and happened to tell them the story as I browsed their inventory. I believe they must have had something to do with the JD dealership, because the manager was furious when he heard they wouldn’t sell me a car. He ran off and called them up then came back sheepishly and said “yeah, they can’t sell you a car.” It was a strange experience.

    • philpm says:

      In other words, you were too intelligent and informed a customer who wouldn’t have hesitated to bring Hell down on them when they tried to eff you over.

      • regis-s says:

        I never realized intelligence was related to credit rating.

        • unpolloloco says:

          Financial intelligence is! Also general intelligence too – because on average, more intelligent people tend to make more money – which is correlated with better credit.

          • Firethorn says:

            more intelligent people tend to make more money

            It’s not just that. There are poor people out there who make more money than ‘middle class’ people. It’s just that the middle class types are smarter about how they spend their money – gaining more usefullness out of it.

            With payday loans, credit cards, check cashing fees, ‘buy here pay here’ car dealerships, check bounce fees, late payment fees, renting vs buying for housing, etc… It’s quite possible for a ‘poor’ person to get half the utility from their money than a middle class type does.

            Rich people take money handling to the next level – that’s where you see actual strategic leveraging of money to make more money.

            A poor person worries about making next month’s rent. A middle class type worries about getting the house paid off. A rich type doesn’t worry about paying his house off, maybe even refinances it to pull more equity out of it because he can get money that way for 3% deductible, when hist investments are making 10%.

          • beaverfan says:

            I disagree.

            Who has the better credit score: A man who saves up and makes purchases with cash, with no debt; or a man who owes thousands of dollars on his credit cards but makes minimum payments on time and ends up paying two or more times the original cost in interest over the years? Who is more intelligent?

            Credit measures risk when it comes to lending money. That is all.

            There are plenty of intelligent people with advanced degrees who have bad credit because while they are great at theoretical physics, or some other subject, they don’t know how to protect themselves from con artists, or understand complex legal language in mortgage contracts, or have experience dealing with people who outright lie.

    • castlecraver says:

      They don’t make money by selling cars. They make money by writing loans that people can’t afford, repo-ing the car, hounding the buyer to keep paying and/or selling the loan to collections, re-selling the car… lather, rinse, repeat. This cycle all falls apart as soon as a consumer is actually able to make the payments on the car.

      http://articles.latimes.com/2011/oct/30/business/la-fi-buy-here-pay-here-part1-storyb

      • dolemite says:

        I wonder if that’s why they have such a good maintenance program (I think it’s pretty much free maintenance/warranty for almost 2 years or something). They figure they’ll repo it after 5-6 months, so no problem.

        • castlecraver says:

          Yeah, they pretty much *have* to because most of the cars they sell are higher-mileage, 5-10 year old used models that probably haven’t been meticulously maintained by their various owners. In addition to some state laws requiring emissions and safety checks, the thing does have to run without belching black smoke for anyone but the most brain-dead consumer to buy it.

          Also, some of the places do their own repo in-house, and if you read the article, there’s an example of a woman who was lured back to the lot to get a loan modification, and they seized the thing on the spot. I imagine they could do the same thing if the car got brought in for maintenance.

    • huadpe says:

      My favorite story was a guy who went into one of these places, negotiated a price on a car, and when it came time to do financing, offered them cash. They kicked him out rather than actually sell the car at the previously agreed upon price.

      • axhandler1 says:

        In that case, couldn’t you just accept the financing arrangement, then as soon as the deal is signed, pay off the loan in full with cash, and be done with it?

        • ARP says:

          My guess is that they have early payoff penalties, fees immediately tacked on to the loan, etc. so that they’d make money regardless.

    • Mikey1969 says:

      Yeah, we did our car through JD Byrider. High interest(24%), but other than that, we never had a single one of the problems that everyone else seems to have had. We spent close to an hour and a half looking at all the cars on the lot, we had a 1 year warranty that we only had to use once(a strut went out and was repaired by noon the next day), and we paid it off early with no problem.

      Mind you, I won’t go back. My credit is much better now(The Byrider car helped), but mine wasn’t a nightmare like everyone else seems to have experienced. Maybe they were all stoned at the one I went to?

    • Anna Kossua says:

      I went through one of those quick-auto-credit places and had a good experience. It was different in my case because I bought the car with cash… they didn’t send me away. I was looking for a specific make of car and these guys were the only ones that had one. They wanted me to pay on credit, but told me the cash price was about $2500. Since I’d already owned one, I knew the value of it — they even tried to show me the blue book value, but they were pointing out a fancier version. I got it for $1700 cash.

  4. SkokieGuy says:

    Organized Religion?

    [Sits back, munching popcorn]

    • Starrion says:

      You know that tossing a grenade in the front gate of the gasoline refinery is considered to be rude, right?

      • SkokieGuy says:

        Yet Consumerist continues to do stories on receipt checking, tipping and breast feeding…..

        • jefeloco says:

          But of the four topics you brought up only the last should be acceptable in polite society :)

          (Tipping is fine as long as the person expecting/receiving the tip is competent, deserving, and actually provides you a service)

      • Kate says:

        Yeah, but it’s great entertainment.

    • costanza007 says:

      Chaotic religion is for the richers.

    • Nuc says:

      Amen to that.

    • Costner says:

      I disagree. If Scientology has taught us anything… it is that religion is pretty good at ripping of rich people as well.

      So really, organized religion is pretty darn good at ripping off people at all income levels.

      • SkokieGuy says:

        True, but percentage-wise the poor give more to charity than the rich.

        • Bsamm09 says:

          They do? I thought you were supposed to tithe 10%. Not a sliding scale where the less money you have, the more you tithe. If you choose to give more you can and if you don’t you don’t.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            Because of cultural behaviors (See: Race/Heritage), when a rich person receives a windfall, they usually keep it or spend it on themselves. When a poor person receives a windfall, their share it among their family/friends/community. As magnanimous as that is, it helps keep the poor impoverished.

            • Bsamm09 says:

              Got anything to back that up? I have never heard about this. I have heard about poor people getting scammed and preyed upon by people. I have also heard about them making poor decisions and losing it all through failed businesses and upkeep on expensive property but never heard that they are more likely to just give it all away.

              • r-nice says:

                Look at many of the professional athletes of today. Came up hard, get money by playing sports professionally and then they spend on all their friends and family. Not saying it’s right or wrong, but it’s an easy and proven example.

      • A.Mercer says:

        Actually, Scientology caters to the rich people but lives off of the backs of middle and lower classes. Whenever you read the horror stories it is not some millionaire who went broke. It is someone who could not afford to pay out those fees to begin with.

    • BorkBorkBork says:

      That’s odd, but organized religions seem to be much better at assisting and helping the poor than businesses. But don’t let me ruin your biases or anything.

      [might as well munch some popcorn as well]

      • SkokieGuy says:

        Like the millions the Mormon church spent to overturn gay marriage in California?

        Like the parishes that declare bankruptcy to avoid paying out millions in settlements to survivors of abuse?

        Do tell me how warehouses full of gold, precious gems and priceless art (Vatican) helps feed the poor and hungry.

        Do tell me about what Joel Osteen spends on the poor.

        If there is a God, I’m sure he doesn’t require you to be in a mega millions 10,000 seat stadium in order to hear your prayers.

        • Don't Bother says:

          Ugh, Joel Osteen. He’s someone who I would say practices tic-tac Christianity.

        • Cat says:

          Buddy Hackett told a joke about meeting the pope at the Vatican. Buddy said the Catholic Church could feed all the starving children in Rome if he would sell a single painting.

          The pope replied, “Absconde obisimo illegitimo,” – “Get outta here, you fat bastard!”

        • kc2idf says:

          The church I was in growing up ran a food pantry. We did not preach to those who received from it, just recognized the need and filled it as best as we could.

          Although I am no longer a Christian, I have no problem holding the belief that many are honourable and that the churches they attend are, likewise. We should be careful about throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

        • Potted-Plant says:

          My parish runs a free health clinic (my dentist donates her time there, which is one of the reasons my family uses her services), a pregnancy center that gives away clothes, diapers, formula, and necessary equipment for mothers who need it no questions asked (doing their best to be truly pro-life), and a thrift store that gives away goods to the needy for the asking. That’s not including the donations and volunteer work donated to our sister parish in the Dominican Republic.

          I donate money to them because I see it used in good faith. Most Christians aren’t Prosperity Gospel idiots.

        • dangermike says:

          It’s a well known fact gays are not poor. (Grunge is just so last milennia. Not the least bit fab!)

    • dolemite says:

      “The Lord told me you are in the upper tax bracket brotha…I figure you are giving 3% every week, not 10%.”

      I have no clue how many people actually give 10% (I’d wager very low), but imagine if those people put 10% into a 401k.

      • Cor Aquilonis says:

        But they’re building MANSIONS in HEAVEN! What could be a more valuable investment than that?

        /s

      • Sudonum says:

        A church near me requires copies of your tax returns for membership. And that isn’t a red flag to people? The place is packed every Sunday.

        • axhandler1 says:

          That seems really outrageous to me. Why do they need copies of your tax returns? Do they discriminate, membership-wise, based on income?

          • Jules Noctambule says:

            They want to make sure you aren’t tithing less than the pastor needs — oops, I mean less than god wants you to give! Yeah, that’s it.

            • Cor Aquilonis says:

              Sounds like like you live in Freehold, Iowa, home of Landover Baptist, “Where the Worthwhile Worship, Unsaved Unwelcome.”

          • Sudonum says:

            They don’t care how much money you have or make, like Jules said below, they want to make sure their getting a full 10%

    • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

      I think I love you.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      …so you’re saying that disorganized religion is better?

      • kc2idf says:

        Absolutely! If the choir and the congregation have different hymn lists, the minister can’t remember where he left his sermon, the ushers have shuttled you from pew to pew half a dozen times, mostly before the service started, and, of course, the service starts ten minutes late, then it is far less likely that the clergy has the organization to screw up your life.

  5. DrRonster says:

    Just about every ad on Spike TV is for one of these ripoff artists.

  6. TuxthePenguin says:

    Ironically, you’ll notice a common theme to all of these five types of businesses and how they are ripping people off. Its all about extending credit to the poor.

    The first four are explicitly about extending credit – you get something for the promise to repay later. The first three are more or less victims of circumstance – you must have it to buy gas to get to work/need the car to get to work – and there’s really no other option. The fourth (Rent to Own) is simply an inability to save and delay gratification, but its still extending credit.

    The problem is that when you take the normal financial models around lending and extend it to the poorest Americans, it breaks down because at normal interest rates, their default risk is still high, so you increase it by a bit to offset that additional risk. Because it rose, their default risk rises, so the rate rises again… but maybe you hit a cap, so you need to find other ways to get that extra hedge… and here come the fees.

    • tbax929 says:

      It is definitely a circle, but I don’t know what the solution is.

      People have bad credit because they don’t pay back their debts, for whatever reason. I have been there. I was young and completely irresponsible. It took me several years to get out of debt and garner a respectable credit score. Now I’m almost 40 and my credit is immaculate. Companies extending credit to credit risks charge exhorbitant rates because that’s exactly what those people are – credit risks. Is the alternative that no one with bad credit can ever have credit extended to them? I don’t know.

      I know there are some who fall into debt because of medical or employment issues. But I think we need to do a better job of educating our young people about credit. My parents didn’t teach me. My schooling didn’t teach me (and I have a college degree). The military didn’t teach me. So I rue the bad decisions I made when I was younger, even though those days are well behind me.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        “It is definitely a circle, but I don’t know what the solution is.”

        The solution is that each individual must know what his/her means are, and live within them.

        Having nice things is nice, but if you’re poor you can’t afford all the things the middle class can, just like I can’t afford all the things the rich can. Do you see middle-classers routinely trying to finance yachts and 3rd homes? It happens, sure, but it’s not a pervasive problem.

        What IS a pervasive problem are these industries listed in the article. The only way they will truly go away is when the poor stop trying to act like the middle class with their money…or lack of.

        /stillwantsfreehealthcareforall

        • mindaika says:

          Did you miss the last couple years, where the middle-class all bought homes they couldn’t afford?

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            I did actually comment on that, did you notice? I’m not saying no middle-class person acts like they are rich. It’s simply a much smaller and less significant percentage that the amount of poor who prevent to be middle class.

        • conquestofbread says:

          No, it’s not the poor trying to act like they have more money than they have.

          For example, I know a woman who is not very bright and only has a HS education. She works a low paying job because it’s all she can get to support her family — 5 kids, her husband who was denied disability when he was hurt at work, and their mentally disabled nephew. She is an extremely hard worker, fills in extra shifts, hardly ever sits down.

          The poor woman lives in a fucking motel because her insurance sucks and two of her children have been in the hospital this year for complicated issues. Then the engine block cracked in their only vehicle.

          She has had to turn to payday lending and she can never get straight with her money because of the ridiculous interest.

          Some people just can’t get a break.

          • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

            I really didn’t want to get into a whole big discussion about this, but okay….

            There is a caveat to my previous statement, which is in harmony with living within your means we also need protections for the poor for things that simply aren’t in their means that they truly need.
            Meaning the poor need to live within their means, but there are some necessary services completely OUT of their means. Namely healthcare.

            I think we can all agree that even living like a poor person, gaining an emergency fund is difficult, and paying for sudden medical problems would be impossible, especially since you already need to budget for non-medical emergencies.

            So yes, health care also keeps the poor impoverished. But beyond that, live within your means.

            • rmorin says:

              Loias is right.

              I saw a commercial last night, that no joke said “Are you tired of missing details with you standard definition TV, while all your friends are watching HD?” And it was a company offering to finance a 42 inch HDTV.

              Those are only 400$ at Walmart! If you can’t save up 400$ for it, then you should not be buying a new TV and focusing on emergency funds etc.

              I do not think that Loias ever said that there are not bad situations that happen to good people, and in particular they stated that healthcare can be particularly harsh on the poor. What Loias is stating is that we have a society that values electronics and personal possessions so much that it leads people to make terrible financial decisions to acquire them.

              No one, and I mean NO ONE needs a HDTV, yet there are people taking crazy interest loans to afford them.

          • Not Given says:

            Her husband needs to consult a SSD lawyer, they don’t collect anything unless they win the case.

        • 12345678nine says:

          You know, sometmies people get stuck living in places where they need a car to get around. They may even have the means to pay for a car payment, but due to poor credit or NO credit, they have to get a crappy car for a ridiculous price that reduces their ability to save.

          For most items, I agree. But for a car? Man I’ve been there. 6 months public transportation and I was the most unhealthy I have ever been in my life. The stress, the walking through the bad neighborhoods at night alone. No time to cook. Exhausted constantly.

          Luckily I was able to save up money to fix my vehicle, but if I couldn’t do that…I would have been screwed.

          • rmorin says:

            Your comment just drips with irony:

            The stress, the walking through the bad neighborhoods at night alone.

            I’m so sorry you had to walk amongst poors!

          • no says:

            Funny, I find public transportation so much less stressful than even riding with someone else (let alone driving).

      • Doubting thomas says:

        The solution is education.
        To graduate high school you have to demonstrate some mastery of math, history, science, etc. But most schools do not even offer a class in basic household economics. How to balance a bank account, the difference between compound and simple interest, etc.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          It’s a shame that they don’t do this any more. When I was in school, home economics was mandatory, and a great deal of time was spent on household budgeting in health class.

        • Sudonum says:

          As a former frequent commenter on this site and Illinois resident by the name of Eyebrows McGee used to point out with some regularity, the State of Illinois still requires a course in basic living skills, like budgeting, banking, etc in order to graduate High School. She also pointed out that it fails to make a difference in her state.

          • SmokeyBacon says:

            I can vouch for this as well. I had to take consumer education in high school (in Illinois) and hm, let me see, we talked a bit about stocks, and we took a field trip to the mall, and that is pretty much everything I remember from it (of course, it has been, wow, 23 years since I took it my sophomore year). I don’t remember learning anything about budgets, credit, loans, etc. There was a second option (can’t remember what they called that one) but almost no one took it so I don’t know what it taught – I just know it didn’t have that field trip to the mall, so it wasn’t really popular (it was probably the one that would actually have been useful). And boy, I was not prepared for the credit card game when I got to college (this was back when they hit you really hard on campus – a very bad thing by the way).

            • Yacko says:

              Maybe it should be taught more continuously, with age appropriate complexity, instead of a one shot course.

              • ARP says:

                That’s it precisely. You pass a one semester class in high-school, long after much of your personality has been set. It should be an ongoing process of age appropriate education.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “My schooling didn’t teach me (and I have a college degree)…”

        On the plus side, you never had to deal with being assigned to be “married” to a random person of the opposite sex in your 10th grade health class, where you pick careers, setup budgets, and pretend a sack of flour is a baby.

  7. costanza007 says:

    Lotteries

    • TuxthePenguin says:

      But that’s government-sponsored and the government cares about you!

    • IT-Princess: I work in IT, you owe me $1 says:

      Do scratch offs count?? I just banked hardcore the other day and spent $5 and won $13. HOLLA!
      I will probably spend my $8 on more scratch offs and a bag of Skittles.

  8. polishhillbilly says:

    IRS?

  9. sirwired says:

    It’s expensive to be poor. If you fall on hard times and are cut off from the normal credit and banking systems due to a rough patch, however brief, your costs of living go UP, making it hard to ever dig yourself out of the hole.

  10. c_c says:

    If only these poor people had been able to work as janitors when they were in middle school, they almost certainly would have boot-strapped themselves up out of poverty and these businesses would have no one to prey on.

  11. dpeters11 says:

    I love how the article says payday lenders are banned in Ohio. They’re all over the place, they just found loopholes in the law.

    • Greg Ohio says:

      They are trying to exploit loopholes, but 80% of Ohio payday lenders have closed their doors. And, many banks have offered their own less-rapacious short-term loans to fill the gap.

      Positive change is possible.

  12. DrLumen says:

    Pawn shops! Extremely undervalued for something that is pawned or 270% APR for a undervalued loan against the whatsit (Texas).

  13. brettb says:

    How about healthcare providers? (When I say “poor” below, I refer to people who aren’t completely broke but not well-off enough to have a health care plan.)

    How much does the imaging center bill a poor person for an MRI compared to the pricing the rich person’s entitled to because of their health care plan?

    Discounts for lab services are often in the neighborhood of 80%.

    The discount on doctors’ fees aren’t typically as drastic but are still substantial.

    • rmorin says:

      Health Insurance companies negotiate rates based on the volume that they are purchasing on. In literally any economic transaction, higher guaranteed volume allows the the producer to accept less profit margin because the make it up in volume of sales.

      This isn’t any less fair to the poor then a grocery store selling you a can of soda for $1, or a 12-pack for $4. You buy more items, you pay less per item.

      • brettb says:

        Add in that the store won’t sell you the 12-pack unless you work for a certain employers or can afford a $20k/year club card and your analogy is more complete.

        I understand the concept of negotiated rates for volume business but a 94% discount on a hospital stay? That doesn’t pass the sniff test. (That’s based on my real-world appendectomy last January.)

        It’s abhorrent that the hospital would have billed a cash patient SIXTEEN TIMES the negotiated rate.

        And at the same time, I don’t like that insurance companies are in such a powerful position that many “negotiated” rates are imposed rather than freely offered discounts by providers reasonably designed to stabilize their income by increasing volume while reducing their margins.

        Furthermore, accepting the rates imposed by insurance plans not only cuts into the margins, but into the “raw material” (a doctor’s time) as well and I believe can adversely affect the quality of the product.

  14. maruawe says:

    It has always been the trend to take advantage of the weaker person– But up until they did not have the government backing to take it to the top step. Now it seems that they can do no wrong (unless they get caught) and law enforcement looks the other way….. interest rates are set for most businesses at less than 30 % but with loopholes in the law 400% is now the norm for this type of business……..Greed at work and thriving.

  15. Costner says:

    It should be noted that Payday Loan Lenders often charge far, far more than 400% interest. Actually, if you factor in the up-front fees and associated costs, the effecitve APR can reach above 1000%.

    In my state there is no limit on the interest rates charged or the fees, and based upon a commerical that was playing a while back I calculated the effective APR on a short term loan to be right around 1200%.

    Some interesting reading here: http://www.credit.com/credit_information/credit_law/PaydayLoanLaws.jsp

    • conquestofbread says:

      Yeah, my boyfriend got into a tight spot and called one of those places on TV to see how much it would be to get a small loan.

      It was 1500% interest.

      He ended up swallowing his pride and asking his parents for a loan.

    • mszabo says:

      I think the 400% is factoring in fees, but still factoring fees is just a silly concept. It certainly skews the perceived interest rate for very small, short duration loans. I refi’ed my house last week and got a great rate 3.75%. However you consider the fees+interest I have paid to date from the refi ’til now the actual interest rate would be somewhere around 40%. Amortized out to 30 years its 3.8%. If I had a smaller loan this would be even worse.

      Skip the interest rate for a second and think just in terms of fees what would you personally charge a complete stranger to advance them $100 dollars until their paycheck 2 weeks later? How about 10 bucks? Or is it $5?
      $5 would be 130% interest
      $10 would be $260%.

      Now without a doubt it would absolutely suck to throw away that much of your money, but to frame the argument in terms of interest rate seems to inflate the issue.

      • Costner says:

        Not sure I really understand your point – a rate is about the best way to compare to financial products, and since we are talking loans we focus on interest rate.

        Fees need to be added because they are required. That is why when you borrow money on the house the disclosures state what the fees are and how they impact your long term effective rate.

        If you go to a non-predatory conventional lender they may offer a 1 year unsecured loan for 14% interest with no application fee. That same loan from a payday lender would likely include $75 – $300 in fees along with a APR of 100% – 600%.

        In both cases the lender probably doesn’t know the person so they rely upon credit history. What rate or fees are acceptable is debatable, but I can’t help but think predatory lenders earn that title due to how they structure their loan products, how they hide fees, how they use fuzzy math to prevent people from discovering what the true interest rate is, and how they target the financially illiterate among the populace. I simply can’t condone that behavior and I strongly believe this is one area that needs reform just as we have had reform in the credit card industry.

        Payday loan lenders should have to disclose all of their fees and effective APR just like everyone else. I doubt that will happen anytime soon though – because most of them only borrow to people in their local areas and because they don’t cross state lines it seems to remain under control of the states (which for whatever reason seem powerless to control it).

        • Bsamm09 says:

          I agree. Fees are basically prepaid interest and should be treated as such. To ignore and just look at stated interest is not a good idea.

          • mszabo says:

            Interest rate with fees rolled in is a meaningless concept unless you know the other terms of the loan (rate/principal). Whereas flat fees and interest on principal apply to all loan products and can be discussed without knowing the details of a particular loan.

            When you say the Payday Loan offers interest rates of up to 400%. Cynic that I am, I’ll immediately assume the reporter was gaming the numbers to make for a better headline. If there is any fixed fee involved with the loan you can game the numbers to get any APR you like by changing the length and value of the loan.

        • mszabo says:

          I think the point would be that over that 1 year unsecured loan in your example they are earning that 14% over an entire year so the closing costs have a much lesser effect on the APR. As you say they are checking credit history and performing other background checks before giving you the money. These background checks are a fixed cost item for all loans. You have somebody working, who is paid a salary, in an office, where you are paying rent, running the numbers (paying for credit reports). They will have to spend some real amount of time to perform this check. Maybe this only costs the bank $5 bucks for their time and overhead. On the one year, $5000 dollar loan this cost has a negligable, 0.1%, effect on the APR. On a 2 week loan of $100 bucks this would add 70% to the APR.

    • kbsparky says:

      How does that compare with what the banks charge for “overdrafts” when someone can’t get a payday loan?

      Betcha the banks’ fees are more ….

  16. nobomojo says:

    Does anyone have those shady “Sweepstakes” internet cafe shops in their state? I live in NC and we have quite a few of them. They claim to be internet cafes or places where you can play sweepstakes. They are more like video gambling shops, like bingo for poor people. They are very depressing places. Every time I walk past one, I see very sad-looking people with cash in hand waiting to play. NC outlawed payday loan shops a few years ago so I’m wondering what they will do to Sweepstakes shops. I hate how they take advantage of the poor but then I think it’s no different than playing the lottery. Still not a fan though.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      I believe NY state, where I live have made these types of places illegal. These places are basically gambling casino’s, they have nothing to do with a sweepstakes. From what I hear they sell you a card that is already determined if you win or lose and the machines just act like gambling but in reality everything is pre-determined. When someone steps in to shut the place down then the place just reappears under a different name in a different location but its really the same thing. Often times these places shut down and leave players with money still left on their cards or tickets, so they don’t even get the full value of what they are paying for.

      Most people know what they are getting into when they walk into a casino but these places are operating under a different guise.

  17. ancientone567 says:

    It is sort of like selling crack. It just sells itself according to a scum bag dealer I talked with. These people get so addicted they can’t stop doing it even though it is killing them and they can see it is killing them. So basically the loan person is a predator and the poor the prey. They literally step in for the kill and for what? A few bucks? If I could roast the predators eyeballs and eat them for lunch I would. BTW I don’t like eyeballs! We all should have zero tolerance for these kinds of people and drive them out.

  18. Mike AKA MonolithTMA says:

    My local credit union does pay day loans too, but at a reasonable interest rate. It’s nice to have an alternative for those who need it.

    • SteveInConverse says:

      Wells Fargo lets you give yourself direct deposit advance for something like $1.50 for every $20 you forward. It came in real handy when we had an animal go into the vet for an unexpected emergency. I thought the fee was reasonable for the convenience.

  19. RandomHookup says:

    Casinos
    For-profit higher education
    Just about anyone who advertises on daytime TV

  20. bugpaste says:

    I almost got suckered by DriveTime last summer when I needed a car stat and didn’t think I had the credit for a legit car loan without my parents’ cosignatures, which for some reason I decided would be impossible to obtain because they’re in a different state. Luckily my dad and ex-boyfriend worked together to talk me out of it. And I got a loan from an *actual* dealership on my own. DriveTime can suck it.

  21. deathbecomesme says:

    I take pay day loans every once in a while. Like this week for books that I need for next week. But I know the risk and I know that I have enough to cover the expense.

    Disclaimer: I fall into the “poor” group but I’m a full time student who works full time

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      Yeah, I’ve used them before.

      I know they technically rip off poor people, but they do come in handy when you have no credit, no plastic and an emergency expenditure comes up.

      I had to use them for a car repair or two back in the day. This was in the 90′s though, maybe they have changed?

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      It’s been a couple decades but I’ve been there too (in my case, I used pawn shops). But if you have an abscessed tooth and need a crown, antibiotics, and some pain killers, there aren’t a whole lot of options when you need the money.

      Or if your car can’t pass inspection and you absolutely need to get to work and your friends aren’t real keen on driving you around for night shift. Or if a close family member dies and you need to lose a day’s worth of pay to go to the funeral… When you’re desperate, you’re desperate. I can’t speak for pay day loans but with pawn shops, you know you aren’t getting a good deal and the terms are clearly posted.

      I think many of the posters here come from families that can provide a safety net. Not everyone is so lucky and if you are truly desperate, a terrible loan can mean the difference between living in pain and not, or getting fired vs. keeping a job.

  22. homehome says:

    I guess I don’t have a problem with most of this stuff because you have to CHOOSE to do them. You aren’t forced to. I’ve been poor, yeah it sucks. But poor is not supposed to be comfortable. That’s why they call it poor. I can’t tell you how many payday lending opportunities I passed on because I knew they bad ideas.

  23. DrMcFacekick says:

    There’s been a couple of very interesting threads on the Something Awful forums about the Buy Here Pay Here car lots, written from the perspective of people who work there. Of course, there’s lots of arguing back and forth about if they are good or bad in the long run, but the argument that I take away is that if you have rock bottom credit, for whatever reason- laid off, too sick to work, bad divorce, fraud, whatever- they’re often a lifesaver for people trying to get back on their feet and have transportation to get to work.

    That’s NOT saying there’s not shady ones, or that there’s people who abuse the service, but it was neat to see a perspective other than “oh god that’s terrible how can places like that exist.”

    Payday loans, however, can get nuked from orbit.

    • Greg Ohio says:
      • PunditGuy says:

        For less than that woman put down on the Sebring, she could have bought a car outright. Hell, I can pick up a 2004 Sebring right now — it’s 8 miles away, listed at $3K with 114K miles. That extra $1K she would have saved — along with the money for car payments she wouldn’t have to make — would more than take care of any maintenance issues.

    • dolemite says:

      My wife ran into this. She got divorced and had a credit rating below 500. Most of the credit they had was in her ex’s name, and anything with both of their names on it was in collections (as he wasn’t paying it, despite opening it and ringing up debt on it). She was now on her own, in a ghetto apartment and her car was repossessed. The only places she could get a car with were the ones offering cars at 25% interest rates, but it was her only choice. She ended up paying $6,500 for a Dodge Neon with a blue book of around $1,500 (after interest was factored in)…but it did get her to and from work and the grocery store.

  24. SkyRattlers says:

    Payday should be ashamed of what they do but I’m not prepared to get too worked up over car dealerships that charge high interest to people with poor credit ratings.

    #1 – Your credit rating isn’t tied to how much money you have. You can have a solid rating and still be poor. So if you make choices in life that result in your credit rating being bad then you can suck it up and suffer when you can’t get a car loan for 6-8% interest,

    #2 – We’re talking about a car here. It’s a luxury. Even if it’s an old used beater it’s still a luxury with considerable extraneous costs associated with ownership. If you don’t have a lot of money and a poor credit rating then maybe taking the bus is a better option.

    • Me - now with more humidity says:

      Except that most of America lives in areas with limited or non-existent public transportation.

    • Solkanar512 says:

      Transportation to work is not a luxury. What kind of life do you live where a job is a luxury or you have someone else that can drive you around at the whims of the manager that schedules your hours?

    • 12345678nine says:

      I have a pretty darn decent job. I work for a large corporation with good benefits, and I am compensated well. Unfortunately, I don’t live close enough to it to walk. I also didn’t even have the ability to ride a bike. I had an issue where my car stopped working right after I got this good job.

      it is not a luxury if it is needed to get to work. I did have public transportation where I live. But it is very very non-efficient. it took me 4 hours of bus riding every day to get the 14 miles to work. I had to move my schedule to earlier so I would even be able to USE the bus, because it shut down by the time I would have made it home at night. Even with my earlier schedule, I still couldn’t catch the last bus I needed, so I had to walk through the downtown area at 10 pm at night for about a mile home. By myself. It was ridiculously unsafe. I was harassed every single day. Morning and night. I also had to walk 2 miles in the morning to the stop.

      it was horrible. It was depressing, and I was angry all the time due to the harassment. Constantly on edge. Scared. Exhausted.

      And it was not even cheap. Due to home many buses I had to transfer to, I had to buy a monthly pass, which is not as cheap as I would have liked. It was very hard to save up the money. It was not easy to eat super cheaply either, because I was so, so exhausted every day. And I could go grocery shopping…on the bus. I could only carry so many items for the 1-2 mile walk.

      UGGHHHHHHH. I am just glad I am passed that.

      But yeah, fortunately I had a friend that was able to fix my vehicle for free (met him at work), so 6 months later I was driving again. if I had not had his help though? Man.
      Then, later, I get a promotion from the entry-level job I worked so hard to get to everyday. I am now doing well.

      So, seriously, screw everything about the idea that it is “always a luxury”.

  25. weave says:

    When I was poor, I just did away with owning a car. I rode the bus, called an occasional taxi (yes, even in suburbs) or rented a car for a weekend and saved up my car-tasks for those weekends. It helped me get out of debt — although there’s a trap in the scheme. When going back to own a car, car insurance is insanely high because you are now considered a high risk. Because of that I just continued life without a car (for 20 years!) until I eventually got married and was just added to my wife’s policy.

    • who? says:

      When I was poor, I chose to save money for several years by not having a car. The problem with that, though, is that it really limited the jobs that I could take. I had to refuse a couple of jobs that paid considerably better than what I was making, because I couldn’t get to the job (both were night jobs out in the suburbs). I finally took a job that required a car and signed a deal with the devil to finance a car that I could barely afford. It turned out to be a good decision, once I dug myself out of the hole of paying for that car, because the job was a launching pad to better jobs, and I haven’t been in the same situation since then.

  26. valkyrievf2x says:

    Business that rip off poor people? Er, I don’t know. I think it is less ripping off the poor and more ripping off the gullible/uneducated:
    1)payday loans: they are short term loans, not long term financing options. If you use them once in a while, they aren’t a big deal. sure the fees might be a little high, but that is the cost of business. If you use those to fund a lifestyle that is not feasible, well, you pay for it one way or another.
    2)NO idea. Never dealt with them
    3)used car leasing: ok, even someone with marginal math skills can figure that out. Like the case mentioned in the article, The purchaser couldn’t sit down and do the math on that? (2000+((124(52))*3)=$21344. FOR A CAR YOU WILL NOT KEEP!!! This is 5th grade math, not time value of money type calculations or anything of the sort. I mean, whatever happened to being an informed consumer? IF you can come up with a $2K down payment, you could easily buy a used car for the $2K and save up the rest of the money you would have made in payments. In 17 weeks, you would have saved up another 2K going by those payment numbers (to give you an idea what time frames we are talking about here). If you picked a good beater car for the $2k, you’d be saving up those potential payments to invest in a DECENT car that won’t cost that much that you get to keep. What this has to do with the poor? No clue, since middle or high class people could easily fall for such moronic schemes.
    4)Rent to Own: similar to the previous one. Basic math once again shows why this one is a bad idea. Pay over 50% over the price of one new just for the privilege of having it sooner? Really? The article covers this one really well. Like the previous one, this has nothing to do with class but more with how educated a person is. And again, just basic multiplication…
    5)banks: this one I do think does prey on the ppor. A rich guy bouncing a check at a bank does not suffer the same as a poor one when it comes to the NSF fee. Bounced transactions happen, from bank errors to personal financial irresponsibility. But their snowball effect is far harsher on those with much lesser incomes than the ones with more.

    That being said, WHY IN THE HELL IS FINANCIAL PLANNING NOT TAUGHT IN SCHOOL?!?!?!? I mention most of these things exploit the uneducated. Ok, fair enough. So why aren’t we educating them??? I just got thru taking a financial planning class in college (accounting major). You have no idea how much I learned in that class that would have benefited me earlier in my life (like what a 401K is, IRA’s and ROth’s, type of insurance, stocks/bonds, financing types, loans, etc etc). You know, the shit you NEED in your life post high school!!! This is the type of class that high school students NEED in their curricula. Why are these people uneducated? They aren’t getting any education! I can almost guarantee if you polled students exiting HS what an IRA is, what the difference between and HMO and PPO is, and when are your 401k’s taxable, and they would fail. And it HAS to be in HS, not in college. Not everyone goes to college, yet that knowledge is still gonna be needed when you hit the real world.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      We were taught these things in high school, we were also taught about credit card interest rates (I didn’t like that one when I first heard about it!) and what happens if you don’t pay off a credit card. I do not know what is being taught these days but they may not be teaching the same stuff. Or companies may be paying schools not to teach this stuff because responsible spenders don’t equal profits for companies and teens need to get hooked on stuff in order to make companies profitable. My parents also instilled the value upon me that you do not buy something if you do not have money up front to buy it. Especially for luxury items. Between school and my parents teaching me I became a responsible spender.

      Another problem is parents are handing everything and anything to their kids on a whim, you want something big you got it simple as that they ask and receive. Even poor parents who do not have money to feed their child’s every whim and demand are doing this, which is not setting a good example at all. This was definitely not done in previous generations of parenting when parents actually said no and then disciplined the child if they got out of hand because they wanted something the parents could not afford. But right now almost every family I know gives in to their child’s every whim and demand and fails to tell them no at all. This mentality then carries over into adulthood, where they don’t understand that money just doesn’t appear magically out of their parents pockets and they have no concept of what happens when they charge all their whims and demands on a credit card then don’t pay it off.

  27. econobiker says:

    And don’t ever ask Dave Ramsey to fight these type of companies or industries. His business model is based on “fix the person not the system” – ie “You are wrong to incur debt not the big businesses which lobbied the government to roll back financial laws and essentially make loan sharking legal”.

    By his reasoning for financial industry and associated businesses, we should have convenience stores selling pot, coke and heroin alongside the beer.

    Dave Ramsey has never be seen in his home state of TN lobbying AGAINST predatory lenders and legislation said lenders happen to be pushing or opposing.

    • Cor Aquilonis says:

      Well, if he fights for the consumer, then he can’t get financial businesses to “partner” with him so he can make hefty referral fees. See: Endorsed Local Provider, esp. mutual fund salespersons.

    • Bsamm09 says:

      If you just fix the businesses, new ones will spring up and take the person’s money all over again. If you educate the consumer, they will be less likely to make the same mistake over and over again.

  28. CosmosHuman says:

    I’m now poor. So tell me how can I ripp-off businesses??? I need the cash.

  29. Extended-Warranty says:

    The people who I know who use these kinds of services GENERALLY aren’t victims of the 1% hoarding all of their money. They have little or no work ethic or skill, spend tons of money on stuff like fast food, cigarettes, or alcohol. Live beyond their means buying video games, cars, electronics, etc. I know this doesn’t speak for everyone. However, I think we can agree that the most responsible people aren’t taking out payday loans.

    I really wish everyone would stop defending the poor who make bad decisions. There are multiple reasons why the poor are poor, and this can’t be denied to be one. Maybe we should just raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. That would solve everything, right? Maybe it’s me, but if for some reason I don’t have enough money for something until payday, I just put it on my CC, and pay it off when I get the money at no interest charges. I know, I was given an advantage because I didn’t move out when I was 18, have a baby, and rack up $25k in debt, so I am able to get a CC.

  30. gedster314 says:

    It wasn’t a great at time in my life but I fell prey to payday loans. It started off as a one time loan for an emergency but it hit to my bank account on the next paycheck and I only ran out of money before the next payday. The problem is that when you get to the point of needing the service, you are already living from paycheck to paycheck. With the loan repayment happening on the next check, you never get a chance to recover. You just have that much less to hold you over till next payday and you will most likely need another loan. Your pay days effectively get smaller and smaller. At the time I was also purposely bouncing check and depending on the overdraft protection to cover me, back then it was cheaper then a payday loan. In the end I was using both. It sucked getting a $2000 dollar paycheck and by the time the bouncing checks and payday loans hit, I had less then $200 to make it to the next payday. It was like quick sand and every paycheck got worse and worse.

    By the time you need a Payday loan it’s already too late. They aren’t the ones that created your problem, they are just the enablers with a basket of bricks.

  31. Darury says:

    So here’s an idea for everyone that thinks these businesses are ripping off poor people: Open a competitor that charges a lower rate.

    There’s nothing stopping you from opening a payday lender that only charges a minimal fee on a high-risk loan or you could open a pawn shop and give people fair-market value. Of course, you’ll only be open long enough for those “poor suckers” to bleed you dry of every penny, but you’ll feel better knowing you’ve re-distributed your wealth to those in need.

  32. Rob says:

    It’s not so much that they prey on the poor. They prey on the stupid.

    I have had to take a payday loan or two several years ago. I read all the accompanying documents. I knew what I had to do to prevent it from auto renewing. I knew was I was getting into.

  33. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    Rent to Own – one of my coworkers went to our local store and got a laptop because she has filed for bankruptcy recently and can’t get any credit. Her laptop had died, and she had to have one immediately. I tried to tell her if she would just put the money the rent to own place would charge her into a savings account, she could buy a brand new laptop for a whole lot less in about 3 or 4 months. Her response? I can’t do that, I’m going on vacation. Yes. Spending money on going on vacation, but getting a laptop for 2 or 3 times the cost through rent to own.

    This isn’t just a poor person problem.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      If you know your computer is older and is possibly dying soon, the responsible thing to do is put money into a savings account BEFORE it dies so its there when the computer is dead and you have to replace it the funds are there for you to replace it. This is what I did when I knew it was getting close to dying so the money was there and ready for me when I needed it. I have a big ebay business and transactions going on at most times so I have a responsibility to my customers to have a working computer so I can continue with my transactions. Or you can have an emergency fund set up so that if something in your house dies you have the money on hand to replace it which can go for any item in your house.

      Yes I understand things can die unexpectedly as well but that is why you have an emergency fund.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        Agreed! I gently tried to explain this, but to no avail. I have to work in the same office, so I’m just keeping quiet to keep the peace. As an aside, she always has money for cigarettes, motorcycle trips, going to bars, etc. It’s just a matter of priorities.

  34. StarKillerX says:

    Couldn’t this story also be titled “Companies Stupid People Use?”

    I put it this way as people CHOOSE to use these theiving companies, it’s not forced upon them.

    The rent to own is a perfect example, I worked with a guy who went to a rent to own place for a Nintendo Wii. He agreed to $50 a month for 12 months or $600 total, the the Wii and an extra controller, and when I asked him “Why don’t you put that $50 away and buy the console 4 months with cash?” He looked at me like I grew 3 extra heads.

  35. D007H says:

    What about for profit colleges? Certainly the most annoying is Everest College and its constant passive aggressive commercials.

  36. momtimestwo says:

    The “tax refund advance” commercials are starting on TV again.

  37. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    The rent-to-own places can be handy for those who travel a lot for work. When given cash per diem, it’s often way cheaper to rent a cheap month-to-month apartment and minimally furnish it with rent-to-own furniture than it is to stay in a hotel for 6 months. When a project can abruptly end, it’s good to not be too tied down anywhere, including owning too much furniture.

  38. rpt says:

    The cause of most of the troubled faced by the so called ‘poor’ can be traced back to their ‘wants’. I see two types of wants out there. The first ones are the unnecessary ones like the shiny new furniture, second car, etc. The solution is to simply avoid these.
    The second one are actual needs. Like a place to live, a basic car/transportation, medical expenses, childcare/education and retirement. It is really unfair if a person is pushed to the brink of poverty while he is trying to get these basic needs.
    Most of these are pretty costly and out of reach of many low income families in America. I dont see any real solution to this one.
    Any thoughts?

    • D007H says:

      Isn’t our whole economy driven so much by consumerism? Marketers put a lot of money into brainwashing people to want the unnecessary. I don’t think it’s that easy to avoid. The last time I went to a mall in December, it was sheer Bedlam. The better thing is for people to become smarter shoppers and really think about how to best utilize there shopping dollars.

      • rpt says:

        I completely agree with you on consumer awareness and education. That is something that need to be addressed urgently. But it is something that can be addressed by government regulators or community/school education, etc.
        But I am more worried about the problems that cant be solved by education and awareness. Problem where living a good life is no longer affordable.

        • D007H says:

          I can talk about free health care, free education, and better wages but those things would be dismissed as socialism, communism, or anti-capitalism by some. The problem is that people in this country are too attached to idealized versions of the American dream. The world has gotten too complex, so why should we hold people up to standards that were set 50 years ago? Maybe having access to free health care and decent education are prerequisites to the American dream instead of requirements. Without them, the poor would stay poor since as you said the basic necessities of life are getting more expensive and the poor are always playing catch-up.

  39. cspschofield says:

    OK, we close down all these “Predatory” businesses. What happens? Do the poor have an alternative to their services? If not, can they do without? If they can’t do without, are we on the hook to replace those services with charity?

    I’m not defending all these people. There’s a reason that people despise landlords and so on. But I want to know how much of what happens is AVOIDABLE, and how much isn’t.

    Rent Control (in New York and elsewhere) was supposed to take care of “Predatory” practices of landlords that dealt with the poor. It doesn’t work. It discourages construction of housing, and so the actual housing market rises. And multiple studies show that rent control benefits stable middle class or higher residents, not the poor.

    I don’t want to be reading in this space about how getting rid of payday loans, pawn shops, and so on caused a long lit of worse problems.

  40. kataisa says:

    Fact of life: it’s too expensive to be poor.

    America’s Poverty Tax

  41. PortlandBeavers says:

    Just understand that if these businesses are outlawed, there won’t be (legal) alternatives reaching out to these customers. I’m not necessarily arguing for them, but the extravagant rates of interest, etc. must be charged due to the nature of the customer.

    I don’t see state lotteries on the list. That’s a major oversight.

  42. Gypsy says:

    Maybe they should just pay what they agree to. A family member owns a tote the note becuse there are people who manage their own money. They are the ones that set the standards. If they paid what they agreed to (and knowlingly) going in, the vehicles would not be repossessed. Pay or don’t buy.

  43. prosumer1 says:

    I will get flamed for this, but many people are poor because they continually make poor money decisions. Why would you take a payday loan? It’s like betting on a three-legged horse. If the car costs $5000, have you considered the following: 1) How expensive is it to maintain a 18-year-old Mercedes? 2) Have you researched the insurance rating on that $5k Mercedes? 3) The Car costs around $5k to buy (plus license and fees), so the dealership puts you on a payment plan for $65/week for 4 years. Is that really a sweet deal?

    As long as there are dumb people who can’t think things through, there will be more people lining up to con them. Moral of the story: Don’t get conned.

  44. NightWriter says:

    Hooray for the free market! A fool and his money are soon parted. Think you’re not the kind of pathetic idiot who does business with these immoral businesses? #5 of the list are the banks.

    I used to wonder why all the ethical business people didn’t stand up against these people that give the free market a bad reputation. Then I realized something profound. They do stand up against it. There just aren’t that many of them out there. There are very few board members and CEOs that wouldn’t be doing the same things themselves if they thought they could get away with it.

  45. just_joe says:

    I realize your comment was meant as sarcasm (really should add the /s btw) – but this one really struck a nerve for me.

    For the record, I was one of those kids that worked at their high school as a janitor. Coming from a family with both parents illiterate and nine children, we had to get whatever money we could make. This included shoe-shining on the streets of Chicago (this was the late ’70s btw), being taken out of school towards the end of the year to travel down southern Illinois to pick strawberries with the migrants (I’m a quarter Native American so people automatically thought we were Mexican migrants – go figure) – and wrangling that job during high school.

    The most telling thing about the experience is that once the other teens knew I had to clean the mess up they were making (each and every day) – it actually became worse. Watching them purposely litter and befoul items knowing full well that I would be along later to clean it up – AND at one point asked by a teacher to pick up some thrown paper and getting a response of “Why? Joe will clean it up later – that’s his job”. Well, your comment kinda stuck in my craw a little bit.

    I will say this, now that I work in an corporate setting, I always thank the office workers as they come by to clean up things, empty trash and whatnot. I know how crappy their jobs are, their employers can be and what not.

    So do all of us a favor when making such a comment to kinda ensure the intent is understood – one of the most misunderstood aspects of all these internet writing is the things that can’t be conveyed in the written word – and quite often misunderstood as a result.

    And yes, to counter the Republican mantra that you need to bootstrap yourself up – the only way I was able to achieve was through education (two Bachelors, a Masters and finishing work on a Doctoral in computer science) – so, Perry and his ilk are incorrect in stating you don’t need an education – you do – I’ve lived in a house hold with very little.

    My apologies in advance if I offended anyone – not intentionally I assure you.

    Oh – one other note, I’m a 3 year lurker – and this one finally woke me up to the fact that once in a while you do need to show another side to things.

    /rant

  46. ConsumptionCarl says:

    I think the “payday loan” complaints might be overblown. The 400% is the annual equivalent, but you are supposed to pay it back after a week or two. Yes, it’s a ripoff, but so is the price of cereal at a 24-hour convenience store. You aren’t supposed to do it every day, you are only supposed to do it when you have an immediate need and don’t have the time or resources to get $100 cash at a good rate.