I Want Money!

By: Amy Gleason
By: Amy Gleason

According to a local economist, we have a large, so-called un-banked population. That's people who aren't well established at a regular bank and maybe just can't make it til that next payday. Payday loan stores offer cash that's "quick, easy and confidential."

"Maybe your children need new clothes for school, maybe you bounced a check and need to get some money to off set the fees," said Britton Payne of Payne Check Cashing.

But other fees will be involved.

"The fee for a payday loan is around $15 per 100, that may not sound too bad, but that will be an interest rate that will get up into the 100's of percents," said Dr. Bill Wood, a local economist and author of a personal finance book.

Let's compare. If you take a cash advance out on your credit card, the interest rate will be around 50-percent annually. For a small bank loan, 36-percent. A pay day loan will be 390-percent.

So why would anyone pay a higher interest rate when they can walk across the street and pay a lower one? The answer is simple.

"It's convenient," said Payne. "It only takes five to 10-minutes and you can walk out of here with $100 to $500."

But both Payne and Wood agree, it's a short term fix.

"The rates may look good over the short term, but they really do add up over time. So people who do use these services need to make sure they don't make it a habit," said Wood.

Payday loan stores are required to explain the high interest and that it's not a long term solution.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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