If you are desperate for $20 and $200, that probably means you or your kids are hungry or need medication to stay alive. Your friends at Square are here to help. Square's peer-to-peer payment service, Cash App, is testing a new feature that offers loans between $20 and $200. You have four weeks to pay the loan back at 5% interest. If you miss the payment, you get a one week grace. After that, Square will add 1.25% interest every week. That turns out to be a 65% annual interest rate (fortunately non-compounding).
"I don't think I could concoct a more predatory scheme if I tried. This was modern-day indentured servitude." That's what Roger Bertling, the senior instructor at Harvard Law School's clinic on predatory lending and consumer protection told The New York Times about sleazy operators who hyper-inflated the price of taxi medallions (which allow you to… READ THE REST
Yesterday, Senator Bernie Sanders and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez jointly introduced The Loan Shark Prevention Act, which will cap credit card interest rates at 15% (and closes the loopholes that lets credit card issuers exceed their stated APRs with the use of hidden fees) and which re-establishes American post-office banking. READ THE REST
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (previously) is practically the only US regulator we can be proud of — founded by Elizabeth Warren before she ran for the Senate, the CFRB is a consumer protection agency that has been at the forefront of reining in criminal activities like Wells Fargo's nationwide frauds and Equifax's dox attack… READ THE REST
With January here, it's easy to think that the worst of winter is over. Unfortunately, as recent years (like last year) have shown us, it can remain pretty steadily chilly all the way into April and May. If you've got central heating, you're going to be getting pretty sick of those bills by then. The… READ THE REST
It's likely that there's never been a New Year's resolution focused on vacuuming more. However, plenty of people want to clean up the clutter and tidy up their lives to start a new year. The investment in a quality vacuum and other cleaners can be a good way of ensuring that much-needed cleaning work gets… READ THE REST
If you've ever started a business, it probably wasn't so you could process invoices and fill out payroll checks. Yet, accounting is the absolute lifeblood of any enterprise – and unless a company is paying thousands to have a certified professional take charge of their finances, it's easy to feel like the entire accounting arena… READ THE REST