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Payday Loans And Debt Traps

18,000 PAYDAY
NPR

Millions of Americans have used payday loans. These are small, short-term loans known for charging staggering interest rates — sometimes in the 300 to 400% range.

While the loans can provide quick financial relief to people who need it, the loans can quickly spiral and send borrowers into a cycle of debt. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is responsible for overseeing payday lending — and earlier this month, it announced it was delaying changes to payday regulations. Today on The Indicator, we look at the business of payday loans, and what it's like to get into a debt cycle with payday lenders.

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Cardiff Garcia is a co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money podcast, along with Stacey Vanek Smith. He joined NPR in November 2017.
Stacey Vanek Smith is the co-host of NPR's The Indicator from Planet Money. She's also a correspondent for Planet Money, where she covers business and economics. In this role, Smith has followed economic stories down the muddy back roads of Oklahoma to buy 100 barrels of oil; she's traveled to Pune, India, to track down the man who pitched the country's dramatic currency devaluation to the prime minister; and she's spoken with a North Korean woman who made a small fortune smuggling artificial sweetener in from China.