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Putting It On The Line

Providing “payday loans” has become one of the most rapidly-expanding ventures in today’s financial world. This is the case in the United States, Canada, Australia, England, New Zealand and other democratic nations. Some estimates predict that more than $40 billion dollars in payday advance revenue will be accrued by lenders this year, with some 100 million transactions taking place (impacting nearly 2 million households).

 

The Banks: No More Mr. Nice Guy

More than anything else, excessive and punitive bank fees have driven the growth in the payday lending business. As usual, certain state and local governments have reacted harshly and against the wrong entity. In Arizona, for instance, payday loans have been outlawed based on a belief that they amount to usury, but never are the banking giants assailed for their brutal $35-a-transaction overdraft fees, which were so onerous as to have been regulated by the federal government.

 

Solutions in Hard Times

In any given geographical area, thousands of people may find themselves in need of an advance prior to their next paycheck. Due to high unemployment and the lingering woes of the housing market, there is a glut of people whose credit has been marred through no real fault of their own. Payday loans may be the only viable solution for them, as banks and credit card companies have slashed consumer credit lines in the wake of the damage that they – the banks – largely caused.

 

This amounts to an act of betrayal against consumers, especially considering the hundreds of billions of dollars that were laid on the line by American taxpayers. Payday lenders, however maligned they may be, have picked up the slack in the wake of the financial giants’ turning their backs on the consumers they exist to serve.

 

Originally posted 2004-04-26 08:42:32.