Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Savings app aims to combat predatory payday loans

Peggy Lowe Aug 9, 2019
Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Payday loans are a short-term, high-cost way to borrow money; 12 million Americans used them last year, often for one-off expenses like car repair or medical bills. According to the Consumer Federation of America, the loans typically run at about a 400% annual interest, and finance charges can range from $15 to $30 on a $100 loan.

Astry Sosa, 25, is a lead on the manufacturing line at Prier Products in Grandview, Missouri. Using Onward, she has saved enough money to pay for the taxes and licensing on her truck. (Peggy Lowe/KCUR)

There are now a growing number of efforts underway to help consumers avoid the need for those kinds of loans. One of them is Onward, a program still in pilot stage that allows workers to save small amounts of money over time, building a small nest egg for emergencies and creating credit.

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