(Fox 2 Now)

Actual Living, Breathing Human Wins Publishers Clearing House Prize Of $5K A Week — Forever

Every time the doorbell rang when I was growing up, I knew without a doubt that it would be the prize crew from Publishers Clearing House on my doorstep with a big, fat check, and that I’d be able to keep myself in LEGO, Barbies and Pixie Sticks for a lifetime. But the actual odds of winning PCH’s “Forever” Prize — $5,000 per week for life — are about 1 in 1.215 billion.* As such, the doorbell usually heralded the Fuller Brush Man or one of my neighborhood pals, and I had to find money in the lemonade stand. [More]

Online Payday Lender Western Sky To Stop Funding Loans Sept. 3

Online Payday Lender Western Sky To Stop Funding Loans Sept. 3

If you’ve watched daytime TV in recent years, you’ve more than likely seen ads for Western Sky Financial a payday lender operating out of a tribal reservation in South Dakota. Facing lawsuits from around the country and increased scrutiny from regulators over triple-digit interest rates for its short-term loans, the company has announced it will stop funding new loans on Sept. 3. [More]

(frankieleon)

How Payday Lenders Fought To Stay Legal In Missouri

The state of Missouri has about one payday or car-title lender for every 4,100 residents. The interest rate on short-term loans has an average APR of 455% statewide, when the national average is a still-horrific 391%. When a coalition of churches, unions, and community groups tried to cut the maximum interest rate to 36%, the effort failed miserably. Here’s why. [More]

(D.Michelson)

$11 Million Penalty Apparently Wasn’t Enough To Stop Scammy Telemarketers

Back in 2007-8, the Federal Trade Commission shut down a sketchy telemarketing company called Suntasia Marketing, Inc., for defrauding consumers and charging their bank accounts without consent programs they never enrolled in, like memberships in discount buyer’s and travel clubs. Two of the defendants behind the scam were hit with $11 million settlements and barred from getting involved in these sorts of shenanigans in the future, but that apparently wasn’t sufficient penalty to set them on a righteous path. [More]

(Mark Griffith)

More Than A Million People Can’t Get Bank Accounts, Many Because Of Minor Past Errors

Many of us have had that sinking feeling that comes with realizing there’s just not enough money in your bank account to cover a purchase, or received a notification saying as much. It’s no fun, but it happens to plenty of people. Now imagine that even just one of those overdrafts could prevent you from getting a bank account in the future. [More]

Wells Fargo Customer Explains How $500 Loan Resulted In $3,000 In Fees

Wells Fargo Customer Explains How $500 Loan Resulted In $3,000 In Fees

Wells Fargo claims that its Direct Deposit Advance loans are not payday loans, in spite of the fact that they are short-term, high-interest loans that are supposed to be paid off at the borrower’s next payday. One California woman says she assumed that Wells Fargo wouldn’t be steering her into a sketchy payday-like product, but then she ended up going around the debt carousel 63 times in five years — and paying $3,000 in fees on a $500 loan. [More]

Rent-To-Own Car Tires Become Popular, Are A Terrible Idea

Rent-To-Own Car Tires Become Popular, Are A Terrible Idea

Having to get new tires is annoying. They’re not cheap and you usually have to buy four of ‘em at once. If you don’t have a few hundred dollars at hand or available on your credit card, what do you do? A growing number of Americans in that predicament are turning to rent-to-own tire stores, where they pay overinflated prices on consumer-unfriendly terms. [More]

(eyetwist)

Report: Some Credit Unions Are Still Involved In Payday Lending

Loans from federal credit unions are currently capped at 18%, though some qualifying short-term loans can go as high as 28% (plus a $20 fee). These numbers are far below the standard three-digit APRs you see on payday loans, but a small number of credit unions are still figuring out ways to hook customers up with these questionable, high-interest loans. [More]

(frankieleon)

How Predatory Lenders Get Around The Law To Loan Money To Military Personnel

In spite of the Military Lending Act, a law intended to prevent predatory lenders from gouging military personnel with exorbitant interest rates and mountains of fees, some of these lenders have figured out ways to work around the very specific limits of the law, targeting active-duty service members with loans that are almost indistinguishable from the ones forbidden by the Act. [More]

(ChrisGoldNY)

Installment Loan Borrowers Being Saddled With Unnecessary Insurance Add-Ons

Installment loans are typically, shorter-term, high-interest, loans to borrowers with severely damaged credit. These loans usually have longer terms than the 2-3 week turnaround for payday loans, and the borrower agrees to pay the money back in equal, monthly installments, but some of those who have worked at installment lenders say these loans are laden with charges aimed at getting around interest-rate rules and keeping the borrower in a cycle of indebtedness. [More]

(her name is meg)

Report Claims Payday Loans Result In Net Loss Of Money, Jobs

Among the reasons given in support of payday loans — short-term, high-interest loans intended to get the borrower through to the next paycheck — is that they ultimately provide a net good to the economy, allowing the borrower to keep spending and earning interest for the lender. But a recent report casts some doubt on that belief. [More]

(afagen)

State Lawmakers Consider Limits On ‘Payday’ Lawsuit Loans

We’ve written a lot over the years about standard payday loans — short-term, high-interest loans from non-bank lenders — and similar deposit-advance loans offered by some of the nation’s largest banks. But there is a growing form of short-term loan that lawmakers are concerned about — loans to plaintiffs of pending lawsuits. [More]

The Average Payday Loan Borrower Spends More Than Half The Year In Debt To Lender

The Average Payday Loan Borrower Spends More Than Half The Year In Debt To Lender

The idea of the payday loan — a short-term, high-interest loan intended to help the borrower stay afloat until his next paycheck — is not inherently a bad notion. However, a new study confirms what we’ve been saying for years: That many payday borrowers are taking out loans they can’t pay back in the short-term, and that lenders rely on this revolving door format to keep the fees rolling in. [More]

(Mike Rollerson)

Is It Legal For Employers To Make Employees Pay For Uniforms?

Millions of Americans have jobs that require them to sport a uniform of some sort. This is especially true in retail, food service, hospitality, and other public-facing industries where uniforms further the brand and aid customers in identifying employees. But should — and can — employers require that workers fork over their own money to cover the costs of these outfits? [More]

Worst Company In America Round 1: Chase Vs. Wells Fargo

Worst Company In America Round 1: Chase Vs. Wells Fargo


The tournament’s first banking battle gets Day Three of WCIA competition off with a bang! [More]

Are your LinkedIn connections a good judge of your creditworthiness?

Getting A Car Loan Might Someday Depend On How Well-Updated Your LinkedIn Page Is

Whether they admit to it or now, we all know that some employers and schools stalk applicants’ Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and all the other ways in which someone can make a fool of himself online. But should your social media connections be involved in applying for a loan? [More]

(Spoott)

Bank Employee Explains Why It Takes So Dang Long To Process Debit Card Fraud Claims & Disputes… And Other Fun Stuff

We hear a lot from readers who say their debit cards were charged for services they didn’t receive — whether by fraud or by ineptitude on the part of a merchant — and who are now waiting for their bank to please put back the money that was wrongfully taken from them. [More]

(TaberAndrew)

Professor Tries, Fails To Defend Payday Lending As Legitimate Form Of Credit

Most regular readers of Consumerist know that we’re not exactly fans of payday loans, which charge upwards of 25 times the interest of a high-interest credit card and hundreds of times the interest on a standard loan. And yet, there are people — well-educated people at that — who stick with the argument that payday loans are a good thing. [More]