I just listened to a great podcast from NPR’s On Point that handily sums up the recent attention payday loans have been getting. They start off with Google’s recent ban on payday loan advertising and the recent Atlantic article on payday lending, then dive into a far-reaching discussion about the payday loan industry and its effects.
Plenty of attention is given the systemic issues leading to people taking out payday loans (even the payday industry rep agrees). Lots of attention for postal banking as a potential alternative, too.
There’s a beautiful moment in the piece where one of the guests fields a call from a financial planner. The caller trots out the tired personal responsibility line, in response, the guest makes it known that low-income people are, generally, Good with Money, and the problems go far beyond the individual.
One of the guests is Mehrsa Baradaran, author of How the Other Half Banks: Exclusion, Exploitation, and the Threat to Democracy. This looks like a great book for the summer reading list.