Beyond Payday Loans

A quagmire of debt and a billion dollar company: The story from Propublica

Marketplace Staff May 10, 2013

One day late last year, Katrina Sutton stood at a gas pump outside Atlanta and swiped her debit card. Insufficient funds. But that couldn’t be. She’d been careful to wait until her $270 paycheck from Walmart had hit her account. The money wasn’t there? It was all she had. And without gas, she couldn’t get to work.

She tried not to panic, but after she called her card company, she couldn’t help it. Her funds had been frozen, she was told, by World Finance.

Sutton lives in Georgia, a state that has banned payday loans. But World Finance, a billion-dollar company, peddles installment loans, a product that often drives borrowers into a similar quagmire of debt.

Katrina Sutton on getting her loan:

Katrina Sutton on renewing her loan:

Katrina Sutton on what happened when she couldn’t pay:

Read the rest of the story from Propublica.


 Read other stories from the Marketplace and Propublica joint investigation “Beyond payday loans: Installment lending and the cycle of debt.” Explore the whole series here.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.