Prison is easy to get into but hard to get out of. The same thing is true of payday loans. A new course from the Consumer Education Council of North America explains the risks and suggests how to avoid falling into the trap.
The course is free and is available at the CECNA Learning Center (fill out free registration form at sign-in to get access). It takes less than an hour and helps cash-strapped consumers consider their options before committing themselves to what too often turns into a revolving door of ever-increasing debt.
"Congress has repeatedly failed to protect American consumers from payday lenders and states have struggled because the Internet undercuts local efforts to contain the threat," said CECNA Chairman James R. Hood.
"Consumer groups do their best to warn consumers but their voices is drowned out by the big ad budgets and clever marketing of modern-day loan sharks. We're hoping our brief instructional course will help close the gap for at least some consumers," Hood said.
The CECNA course, "Avoid the Payday Loan Trap," is among the first publicly offered courses on the Consumer Education Council's new online learning center. Others include courses on home safety, financial planning and online security.
The CECNA Learning Center also offers courses aimed at professional consumer advisors and counselors. Most consumer-grade courses are priced under $50 while the professional courses start at $1,800.