Postcard from Cashland

So we just got a postcard in the mail for the previous residents of our house. It should be noted that our house was a foreclosure and we bought it from the bank.

The postcard is from CASHLAND, a paycheck loan place in town. It says “Because we have missed seeing you for a while, we are making a special offer that we hope you’ll find atractive. Right now, you may be eligible to get a loan for up to 21 days.

21 days. That means it covers 2 pay periods. So you could go in there on a Monday (after using up your paycheck from friday) and then get a loan. In 2 weeks, when you got paid, you could pay it back, or wait 3 WEEKS to pay it back, and ‘accidentally’ blow your next paycheck!

All of that is Class A disturbing and worrisome. But that’s not the worst part.

At the bottom of the postcard is the fine print.

It lists the interest rates they are able to charge in each state.

First make a note of this:
In Kentucky, 16% of the people live at the poverty rate and in Indiana 11 % of the people do. Only 3 states have higher than 17%, to put that in perspective. Ok here we go.

You can borrow $500 in Indiana at 382% interest. That’s right, You pay $344 and they give you $300. If that is confusing, I’m sorry, but that’s the example on the card. (maybe it’s some intentional confusion!)

But that’s just for Hoosiers. Kentuckians are poorer, and there are more poor people in Kentucky. The limit in Kentucky is lower, only $425. That should help keep people from getting into trouble. HOLD ON! The interest rate in Kentucky? 458%  Their example is that you can get $300 for $352.75.

As I read this I think about taking advantage of the poor, the fatherless and the widow. Who are the most desperate in our community? Who are the people that are going to these places? I know some people would have low mercy for the people that are foolish w/ their money and drink up their paychecks or whatever, but I just wonder how many people that visit CASHLAND would desire some lifestyle help, instead of just a check?

CASHLAND is a business and as a business needs to stay in business. What if we had a SERVICE that would help in this way, but not exploit the poor? What if we gave grocery certificate loans at 5% interest, or actually gave out the groceries? I guess the breakdown would be if the person wrote the check and you cashed it, the bank would then oppress them with a insufficient funds fee.

I’m not sure about the solution to this, but I know the solution is sitting in the Church.

  • Greg

    We inherited these awful places after the ‘boat’ which all of our political leaders claim is a ‘benefit’ to our city. My desire for easy answers looks at the Old Testament and says I understand a little more about what is attractive to those who submit to living under law! These folk would have been stoned.

    But, you are right. It is the church (us) that is supposed to be rising up with a message of life, hope, and renewal — not reaction and death. After 2000+ years, it just seems like we could be doing it better by now.