POSTED: Thursday, January 5, 2012 - 10:32pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 - 10:34am
TYLER — "They have bad credit, they generally cannot get a loan anywhere, they're in a desperate situation for something right now and they can walk into these places just like an ATM," said Ann Harris with the Better Business Bureau in Tyler.
She tells KETK that she doesn't know of any payday lender locations in the area that are accredited with the BBB.
Harris says with an average 400% interest rate, they get a lot of complaints about the businesses.
One East Texan called them just yesterday after calling a lender to check his balance.
"He had been paying on his loan for over a year and the balance -- the principal on his loan was the same as it was when he borrowed the money," Harris said.
Now the Texas Tribune reports new Texas laws aimed at curbing predatory lending will require all payday and auto title loan businesses to post a list of their fees in a visible place -- like a restaurant menu board -- and they'll have to be licensed with the state.
KETK spoke with Rob Norcross. He's with the Consumer Services Alliance of Texas -- they represent payday lenders.
He says most of the locations already post their fees.
"The ones that don't will be required to do so and it will give consumers the ability to comparison shop between different stores," Norcross said.
As for the accusations that payday lenders prey on the needy, Norcross sees it differently.
"This option is typically less expensive than bouncing a check, or floating a check at the end of the month or getting a cash advance on a credit card, so most of the customers - of the options available to them, this is the least expensive of the realistic credit options that are available to them," Norcross said.