Need to Know, May 18, 2012: Financial inclusion

This week's host Jeff Greenfield

Need to Know’s Stacey Tisdale travels to Missouri, where activists are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would cap payday loan rates at 36 percent. (Some now charge more than 400 percent.) Supporters of the measure say the measure would protect the poor from usurious loans. Opponents say it would hurt the very people it’s designed to help by denying them the only loans they can get.

Anchor Jeff Greenfield interviews journalist Gary Rivlin, who has written extensively about extra charges placed on the poor. He says “it’s expensive being poor.”

The “American Voices” essay features Cy Richardson. He is a vice president at the National Urban League, where he is responsible for programs that “promote asset building and wealth creation for people of color in urban America.”

What’s on this week:

Loans on the line

Need to Know’s Stacey Tisdale travels to Missouri, where activists are collecting signatures for a ballot initiative that would cap payday loan rates at 36 per cent. They are now more than 400 percent.

Gary Rivlin

Anchor Jeff Greenfield interviews journalist Gary Rivlin, who has written extensively about extra charges placed on the poor. He says “it’s expensive” being poor.

American Voices

Vice President of the National Urban League Cy Richardson.

Watch more full episodes of Need to Know.

 

Comments

  • Calamitysamsams

    One thing you may not know. These payday ripoff businesses are all owned by major banks. Here in New England the Payday loan place in W. Lebanon is owned by Mascoma bank.

  • Calamitysamsams

    One thing you may not know. These payday ripoff businesses are all owned by major banks. Here in New England the Payday loan place in W. Lebanon is owned by Mascoma bank.

  • Calamitysamsams

    Oops, Lebanon, NH is what I meant to type.  Thanks.

  • Calamitysamsams

    Oops, Lebanon, NH is what I meant to type.  Thanks.

  • Scott Gabbard

    I live in Charleston Sc,here loans, for car title is the going thing 300 percent interest. I paid 2100 dollars on a 700 dollar loan.I guess no body twisted my arm.

  • Theonlychef Cynthia

    I am glad you aired this issue/episode. I found it quite interesting that “CITI” is an underwriter for this issue/episode.  I knew someone who had worked for this company, who had informed me that they (CITI), along with other big financial institutions, are the ones behind keeping poor people poor by creating these types of so called businesses. They get more out of keeping people down by breaking their spirits versus their knee caps.

    In response to your American Voices segment: I remember “civics classes” in school and within my community, along with my parents helping poorer people than themselves find work and/or bringing them food and my parents had 11 kids! They also had a basic “integrity” about human life that has been shattered by the likes of people from “CITI.”  Their (CITI) organizational philosophy has a major impact on and to everything or person within its influence.

    This wonderful nation has been in decline for over 40 years.  I am not a scholar or hold an academic PhD, but I have seen and listened to people change not only their geography but their hopes and beliefs that opportunities to become a productive member of society are no longer possible in their lifetime as the likes of “CITI” has lost more than their moral compass when it comes to the basics of caring for the vary people who most likely have helped them become so rich; before those same individuals became so poor.  How many of us live in a world called the “pathology of denial?”

    Thank you for your work on making issues like these rise up into the community consciousness so more people can find their power to take the necessary actions to improve the quality of their lives.

  • Mafta

    What a shame, a rich country that allows this to happen. I am embarrassed.

  • Barbara

    It’s heatbreaking to know that people are taling advantage of because they are poor.  I don’t see how CITI or anyone else with a moral conscience could sleep at night.  This stoy really breaks my heart.

  • Ernie

    It’s true that payday loans provide a service to a segment of the population that has no other options. I am from AZ and I can tell you that while we voted the cap on interest rates here, there are still pay day loan stores on every other corner. The cap didn’t cause them to go away as was feared by that industry. Far from it.  Please.

  • Anonymous

    I cannot believe that anyone can argue against the fact these payday loans are ripoffs to not just the poor.  I would venture to say that the reason the economy is so bad off is because the middle-class have found themselves entangled in this web.  This country is moving in a direction where middle-class is almost obsolete.  I would challenge journalists to research the bankruptcy logs and tally the majority of cases filed because of multiple payday loans.  It is absurd to state that 36% cap would caused them to go out of business.  If anything, it would probably bring more business because of the ease of obtaining one of these loans.  The government needs to do the right and stop this madness which they undoubtly help to create.  I know that there is a usury statute that governs these transactions, so someone in government had to allow this attack on the poor.  Just like everything else, when you start by targeting a specific group, the problem spread like wildfires.

  • mandyw12

    I would not want to be in there shoes, taking advantage of the poor, however, it is still their choice, no one is forcing them to get the loans and I don’t think we want to start down the road where the government determines how we run our businesses.  I agreed with the owner of Payday Loans who said, If it’s too high, and we go out of business because people stop using us, then so be it.    Chances are high, that if you don’t have the money now, you wont in two weeks.  It’s the same reason I don’t own credit cards.  If I don’t have the money for it, I don’t buy it.  I learn to budget better, and do without.  Don’t let America control yet another thing.  This is afterall, land of the free!  If people didn’t use them, they would go out of business.  I think the interest rate is insane, as is all interest.  You buy a 100 thousand doller home, and when all said and done you really pay 300 thousand or more.  If government is allowed to do it, so should anyone.

  • JenP123

    Heres the deal, if people would just use the loans the way they are designed to be used, the fees and hassles are a lot less than that of the gas or electric company shutting your service off and then charging you to turn it on again.  I received a $300 loan and paid it back earlier than scheduled.  The company gave me a break on the fee since I did that and it ended up costing me only $45.  I dont think that $45 is a bad deal concidering the electric company wasnt willing to give me any grace.  Complain all you want, I am glad their are options out there. 

    Has anyone thought about the fact that a bank will charge you $34 dollars for being negitive $.50 cents?  Tell me that percentage is better than a payday loan and no one is throwing a fit about that.

  • Vnell9

    I personally am on Disability and the loans help in emergencies but other than that they charge way to much interest on such a small loan. Decrease the interest rate and they would be much better to deal with.

  • Sexysue71

    Payday loans has helped me alot. They only  charge me $20.00 to barrow $100.00. My bank charges me $35.00 if im overdrawn by $0.25.

  • guest

    payday loans prey on people that cannot afford them they need to be out lawed

  • guest

    payday loans prey on people that cannot afford them they need to be out lawed

  • Private Private

    Two mice sit in a cage. The owner of the cage has intentionally neglected the mice and failed to provide them with access to necessary resources. Along comes a cat with cheese, who places the cheese comfortable out of reach of the mice. Seeing the cheese, the mice starving mice inch closer to the edge of the cage and begin eyeing it longingly. Fully expecting such a reaction, the cat tells the mice that for just an arm and a leg he will let them have a small piece of the cheese. Both mice stop to look at one another and begin to ponder. Seeing their current situation and vulnerability, it does not take long for them to agree to the terms. Upon the gathering of one mouse arm and one mouse leg from each of the mice, the cat does as promised and hands the mice their cheese. They scarf down the morsels and sit back happy for a short while.

    Two days later, the still neglected mice are wiggling around getting use to life with one arm and one leg, when again comes mr. cat. Here again he places the cheese for all to see. And for only and arm and a leg it is theirs to have.