Monday, February 15

Defending 79.9% APR?

Yep, the company with the eye-popping 79.9 percent card actually defends its methods in a recent Yahoo article. The article explains in quite a bit of detail, but essentially the company is saying that it's the only way it can continue to make money in the subprime lending market.

By now, I'm sure most of you have heard at least a little about this piece of plastic, but let's just recap quickly. The card is targeting people with credit problems. For the rate of 79.9 percent, you get a $300 credit limit. Oh, and a $75 fee for setting up the account. (That's 25 percent of the credit limit, which is the new maximum.)

It's usury, plain and simple. Sure, it's not the stereotypical loan sharking. The interest isn't 100 percent, compounding weekly. And you don't have to worry about Vinny coming over "ta break yo' t'umbs" if you can't pay.

Otherwise, how much difference is there? Both take advantage of desperate people who can't get credit/loans through the normal means.

The problem is that these companies, like loan sharks, will never die off, no matter how many laws we make. There will always be desperate people who don't know enough about their options. There will always be a population to prey on.

All the proof you need is in the results: Two percent of the people who received this offer have responded. That's twice the normal rate.

Of that amount, 83 percent were fully aware of the terms. I'm not sure which is scarier: that so many people accepted these conditions, or that 17 percent of them responded to an offer without reading the terms.

Seriously, has no one heard of secured credit cards?



Blogger eemusings said...

I have no words for this, except: that's OUTRAGEOUS.

February 15, 2010 at 7:59 PM


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