What Good Are Payday Loans?
Lisa Sevron, a professor at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at the New School, describes the experiences of payday borrower Azlinah Tambu, a twenty-two-year-old single mother: Ms. Tambu's car had broken down, and she needed it to drop her daughter off at day care and get to work. Tambu had no savings or credit card; no family or friends who could help. So she took out five payday loans from five different lenders knowing she would not be able to pay them back on time. When the lenders tried to withdraw the money she owed from her checking account, she did not have sufficient funds and was hit with overdraft fees that mounted to $300. Tambu paid off the overdraft charges and closed her account. Still, Ms. Tambu feels the loans were a necessary evil. “I think they should still exist," she said. "You know it’s undoable to take out five loans and be able to pay them back. But sometimes you have no choice. The reason I’m working so hard to pay these loans back is that I want to be in good standing, in case I ever need another one."