9. Loans You Don’t Want to Get—or Give

High-rate loans were once the province of loan sharks, who worked on a fairly simple business plan: Pay us back, or we’ll break your kneecaps.

Today, however, high-rate loans are big business. Even after regulatory crackdowns reduced their numbers, there are still more payday loan outlets in the United States than there are McDonald’s restaurants. Attracted by the 400%+ annual interest rates these outfits charge, many big banks have gotten into the act by funding or owning payday lending arms. Other high-rate lenders are easy to find, as well. Title lenders and rent-to-own outfits can be found in most communities or quickly located on the Internet.

All are capitalizing on people’s desire for quick cash, ...

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