Payday blues: Rural Michigan and the quick-cash debt hole

By Ted Roelofs: For More Info, Go Here…

Four years ago, Merenda Vincent was desperate for cash.

She had an overdue car payment, along with a medical bill she couldn’t pay. Living on a monthly Social Security check of less than $1,000, she had no money in the bank.

Vincent recalled that she walked into a payday lending store called Check ‘n Go outside Ludington, a small Lake Michigan community north of Muskegon. She said she wrote a post-dated check to Check ‘n Go and came out with $100 in cash. A month later, she still could not meet her debt. So she took out another loan. And then another.

Before she knew it, Vincent said, she was in over her head with overdue bills and mounting payday debt costs that in Michigan can carry annual interest rates in excess of 400 percent depending on the size and term of the loan.

Standing outside that store years later, Vincent recalled: “I just got in deeper and deeper. They make it sound so easy, but it really takes advantage of low-income people and people on Social Security.

“I was like, ‘Oh my God, how do I repay this?’”

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