October 29, 2006
“It’s a jungle out there!”
That’s the warning in a cartoon book on predatory lending just published by Southern Mutual Help Association.
The publication is designed to make consumers aware of the perils of dealing with payday loan, rent-to-own and other predatory lenders.
The colorful, 62-page booklet is one in a series of HomeToons. It was published as part of SMHA’s Rural Recovery Hurricane Response and will be used in SMHA’s Financial Fitness Academy for homeowners.
“It is particularly relevant now for families impacted by the hurricanes who have limited income but are having to replace most of their possessions. They are increasingly targets of predatory lenders,” SMHA Executive Director Lorna Bourg said.
However, Bourg said, “predatory lenders prey on vulnerable consumers everywhere — around college campuses, in low-income areas, near military bases, etc. In fact the Pentagon commissioned a study of the problem and has a training program for military personnel.”
Through an entertaining cartoon format, SMHA’s “Predatory Lending” publication explains the tactics and exorbitant interest rates of predatory lenders and gives consumers tips on how to avoid getting “picked clean.”
The publication, which was written and illustrated for SMHA by Helen Wagster, also explains the language of loans and how to compare the cost of borrowing money or buying on credit.