These payday loan stores are increasingly becoming a problem near military bases, too, where soldiers seeking an advance on their (paltry) paychecks or a loan to fix their car are being charged exorbitant rates. The issue grew so acute that Congress commissioned a study on the rates. The researchers found that soldiers are being charged $15-$25 for a two week, $100 loan(!), and annual rates of up to — ready for this? — 780 percent(!!). The average borrower pays backs a total of $834 (!!!) on a $339 loan, and the debt problems can grow so urgent that they lose their security clearances (assumedly under the rationale that debt renders one susceptible to bribery).
So we have two forces at play here: The first is that we pay our service members so little they’re forced to enter into debt if they want a chance at middle class lifestyles. The second is that we sequester them on remote bases, where the available financial options fleece them. This must be really demoralizing for our troops. So much so that I might need more than a second bumper magnet; this might require a miniature American flag, too."
The N.C. Legislature actually cracked down a bit on the pay-day lenders this session, though there was much wailing and squealing.