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Payday blues: Rural Michigan and the quick-cash debt hole

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Ted Roelofs | Bridge MI

LUDINGTON—Four years ago, Merenda Vincent was desperate for cash.

She had an overdue car payment, along with a medical bill she couldn’t pay. Living on a monthly Social Security check of less than $1,000, she had no money in the bank.

Vincent recalled that she walked into a payday lending store called Check ‘n Go outside Ludington, a small Lake Michigan community north of Muskegon. She said she wrote a post-dated check to Check ‘n Go and came out with $100 in cash. A month later, she still could not meet her debt. So she took out another loan. And then another.