Payday loan store or loan shark?

January 26, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

Download Story
(AP/Ted S. Warren)
Payday loan stores are popping up across the country but many believe paydan loans can be a debt trap.

President Obama’s State of the Union was in large part about the state of our economy and the need to create jobs. With so many struggling, it’s no wonder that payday loan stores have become as familiar and frequent a sight as the corner tavern. But what should be made of the business they do? Do payday loans help people who can’t get money any other way? Or are they a diabolical debt trap?


Robert Mayer has the answer to those questions and more in his new book Quick Cash: The Story of the Loan Shark. When Eight Forty-Eight spoke to Mayer, he began by talking about the large role Chicago has played in the history of the industry.

Music Button: Ray Charles, "Busted", from the CD Ultimate Hits Collection, (Rhino)