On January 18–less than 3 weeks ago–I wrote a plea here and on Facebook on behalf of one of the women I met in Louisiana–who now faces a different kind of drowning. I asked you for money–as little as $10 or as much as you wanted to give–to help “Violet” get out of debt. I knew her situation was dire when I heard she had to pay $99.99 a month toward a $1000 loan and that not one cent of her monthly payments had gone toward the principal. But imagine my shock when I saw the actual contract, stating an annual percentage rate of — I exaggerate not — 116.52%.
But the point of this update isn’t to lament a country in which such “poor-people’s loans” are legal, but to fill you in on what good came of the plea–good that reflects the kindness and power of consequential strangers. Continue Reading »