Heave you ever heard of Clark Howard? Mr. Howard is a nationally syndicated radio show host talking about consumer finances and protection. His show is full of advice on how to save money, invest money get out of debt and find great deals. I love it.
But once in awhile, he gets on a topic and stays there. Time after time he comes back and just continues to hammer it.
And one of my pet peeves is his take on Payday Loans.
I get where Clark is coming from; he’s upset that the folks issuing these loans are gouging the borrower. But here’s the kicker; these payday loan agencies are often, if not always, the last resort for the folks that need the money.
Now, you can hear Clark here, he does a daily Clark Howard’s Minute. This is the one where he speaks out against the Payday loan industry.
Now listen, he’s right; no one would wanna wake up and take out a loan at 400%, or more. But the thing is, these businesses, these agencies, are providing a service to a clientele that is certainly capable of making rational decisions based on their perceived marginal value.
I remember that very often sometimes very rarely while I was in college I would bump into some financial issue. My car would go Tango Uniform and I needed money to pay for the repair, or tire or whatever. I HAD to have that money. Or, an electric bill would be overdue and the notice came in the mail, or phone bill. Or whatever. The point is that I would find myself in need of a one time, small and immediate use of money. I could cover the bill, that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that I was living in such a state of hand to mouth that a single bump in the road could lead to disaster.
I could, of course, go to the bank and ask for a more reasonable loan, but I didn’t have collateral or a decent credit score. No traditional bank in the land was gonna borrow me that money.
I could, however, go to the Payday loan and get the cash I needed very easily.
Often times people need money. They need it quickly and they need it on the spot. Further, it is very VERY likely that these folks tend to fit a certain profile; risky borrowers.
These Payday lenders are providing a service to the folks who aren’t able to take advantage of more traditional banks and to do that, have to charge a rate that allows them to stay in business.
I, for one, am glad to have been given a loan, by a stranger, without a history of paying loans back and unable to provide even a titch of collateral.
And so was my dad.