Leave it to the USA to come up with this one.
Apparently, there is a new service in the USA where you can actually apply for, and get approved for, a payday loan right from your phone. That’s right. A payday loan. From. Your. Phone.
The lender, Extloans, has published an iPhone application that will let users take out a loan of hundreds of dollars at a time. Run the app, make the application and within an hour or two you can have money direct deposited into your bank account.
This opens up the imagination to all sorts of scenarios. You’re in an electronics store and you’re shopping for a stereo. You know you’ve only got $400 in your bank account, but you see a stereo that’s $800. You pull out the iPhone, take out the payday loan, and within a couple of hours, you’ve got your loan and your stereo.
One of the downsides to this sort of arrangement, however, is the danger of impaired borrowing. Perhaps you’re out on the town for a night, and have had one too many. No payday lender would give you a loan if you walk in stinking of beer and stale cigarettes. Your iPhone, however, doesn’t know the difference.
Of course, as with everything, there are fees involved.
The fees on these loans, however, aren’t your typical 20% that you might find with a credit card. They’re not even the 300% you might find with a typical payday loan.
The average APR for a loan from Extloans is 2,589%. And, no, that wasn’t a typo. That’s a comma. Two THOUSAND, five hundred and eighty-nine percent.
So, before you jet across the pond to London just so you can use Extloans from your iPhone, thank your lucky stars you live in America. Yes, we have predatory lending. Yes, we have outrageous interest rates for payday loans.