Payday lenders made about $49 billion in high-interest loans last year. More than a third of those loans were made online. I wondered what happens when you apply for such a loan, so I decided to find out.
In the course of reporting a story earlier this year, I logged on to a site called eTaxLoan.com and filled out an application.
I asked for $500 and, to be safe, I made up an address, a name (Mary) and a Social Security number. The site asked for more sensitive stuff — a bank account number and a routing number — and I made that up, too.