Thursday, June 14, 2007

Raping the poor

Last night I was working on my computer while Patty was watching TV. As she got up to go to be she turned off what she was watching on the tivo, but left the TV on. A commercial came on with Gary Coleman pimping "Cash Call" and talking about how easy it was to get money put straight into his checking account.

A screen filled with tiny print came up at the end of the ad and I paused it (the glory of tivo) and read what it had to say:

"Cash Call has an average APR of 99.25%. A loan of $2600 has 42 monthly payments of $216.55"

An AVERAGE APR of 99.25%???? If you actually pay this thing off you will pay $6495.10 in interest in 3 and 1/2 years on a debt of only $2600. There are only three groups of people who would ever do this:

(1) People who think they can take the money and run.
(2) People who can't do math
(3) Poor people who have absolutely nowhere else to turn and have no other choice.

Now, I have no sympathy for #1. People who work the system to steal from everyone deserve to be hunted down by cretins like Cash Call. But the other two groups are simply being exploited by this company.

My dictionary defines usury as "the illegal practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest"

Now obviously they have found a legal loophole to walk through, but nobody could argue that their rates are reasonable. You can find God's opinion about people who oppress the poor and lend money to receive unreasonable amounts of return in Ezekiel 18. I get very angry when I see commercials like this. We are allowing people to exploit the poor for money and oppress them by making them a slave to a loan they really can never hope to repay.

Proverb's 19:17 reads: “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed."

God wants us to be generous to the poor, not keep them down.



Roberto Comparan said...

Great insight Joel! They have probably used the same scam to contract Gary Colman into making these awful commercials. Preach it brother!

Daryl said...

So true. We've got tons of places like Cash Call here in Alaska, and it always makes me sick. Raping the poor is right.