Face to Face with Inequality

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Preying on Would-be Retirees

The New York Times has an article about “pension advances,” which may carry interest rates as high as 106 %. Here’s a little extract: “A review by The New York Times of more than two dozen contracts for pension-based loans found that after factoring in various fees, the effective interest rates ranged from 27 percent to 106 percent — information not disclosed in the ads or in the contracts themselves. Furthermore, to qualify for one of the loans, borrowers are sometimes required to take out a life insurance policy that names the lender as the sole beneficiary.

lumpsumHere’s the website of the most polished one I could find. The company is mentioned in the NYT article. They seem to go to some length to make it appear not to be a loan–possibly because a loan is associated with an interest rate, and people might make uncomfortable inquiries when they realize they are taking out a loan. If you visit the website, a rep will attempt to chat with you after a few seconds. Maybe we should try it and see what they have to say for themselves.