When discussing the topic of payday loans — or other high-cost, short-term financial products like auto-title loans and check-cashing — there can be a tendency to treat them like something that only a small percentage of Americans use. But a new report from the FDIC confirms that 25% of us have turned to one of these potentially predatory services in the past year, and that this rate has not been going down. [More]
Several cities in Texas have recently enacted laws intended to drive out or rein in short-term, high-interest lenders offering auto-title loans, in which borrowers put up their cars as collateral for short-term loans averaging around $1,500. But one lender has figured out a way to get around those laws — by giving away free cash and redirecting customers elsewhere when they need to refinance. [More]
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]
If you live in any of the 21 states where car-title loans are available, you’ve probably seen the TV commercials touting the ease of this short-term borrowing option. But a new report claims that the average car-title loan results in revolving door of debt and a mountain of interest payments. [More]
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]
Meet Scott. When builders in financial trouble stopped paying him the money he was owed as a brick and stone contractor, he became desperate. He needed a loan to buy him time while he tried to collect the money he was owed. Thinking he understood the risks, he used his wife’s 2004 Ford Expedition to get an auto title loan of $2,000 at an interest rate of 25% per month — or 300% APR.