While our troops enjoy the support of the vast majoriy of Americans, whether for or against the fiasco that has US military mired in Iraq, it seems that our troops are supporting usury on the part of America's banks.
These payday loan stores are increasingly becoming a problem near military bases, too, where soldiers seeking an advance on their (paltry) paychecks or a loan to fix their car are being charged exorbitant rates. The issue grew so acute that Congress commissioned a study on the rates. The researchers found that soldiers are being charged $15-$25 for a two week, $100 loan(!), and annual rates of up to â€” ready for this? â€” 780 percent(!!). The average borrower pays backs a total of $834 (!!!) on a $339 loan, and the debt problems can grow so urgent that they lose their security clearances (assumedly under the rationale that debt renders one susceptible to bribery).
So we have two forces at play here: The first is that we pay our service members so little theyâ€™re forced to enter into debt if they want a chance at middle class lifestyles. The second is that we sequester them on remote bases, where the available financial options fleece them. This must be really demoralizing for our troops. Oh, and let's remember the Bankruptcy Only for the Wealthy bill passed by the Republican Congress last year. Long after our soldiers and Marines have served the country, they'll still be servicing their debt to the banks who are preying upon them. In other words, their Duty and Honor will be privatized and subject to collections.