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If You're Hiding It From Your Wife, That Payday Loan's 'Gotta Be Bad News'

A payday store in Madison, Wis.,
Ryan J. Foley

Much has been reported in recent years about payday loans and the huge fees and sky-high interest charges that borrowers can rack up if they use such services.

And though their demise has been predicted, they live on.

Petula Dvorak talks with guest host Allison Keyes

Earlier today on Tell Me More, columnist Petula Dvorak recounted the sad story of Tyrone Newman and his "holiday splurge" that lead to a 651 percent interest rate and the $1,500 he borrowed that turned into what could have been an $18,000 bill if his boss hadn't stepped in to help him get out of that financial mess.

Now, the perils of taking out payday loans to cover expenses and getting further and further into debt if you can't make the payments have been well documented. But what stands out to us from Newman's story is this:

He didn't want to tell his wife that he'd gone to payday lenders to get money for the family's Christmas presents. And as he told Dvorak, "that's all you gotta know. Anything you gotta hide from the wife has gotta be bad news."

Click here to find a station that broadcasts Tell Me More.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.
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