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McMahon: Jaws

You know, I’ve been scuba diving with sharks twice but I wouldn’t want to borrow money from them. That’s how I feel about the payday loan industry.

To me, ever since they’ve been in existence, payday loan stores have been practicing legalized blood sucking. But thankfully, it appears the Arizona state legislature has driven a final stake through their hearts — assuming they have hearts.

The industry only had until June to have legislation renewed that would allow it to continue loaning money to desperate people at ridiculous interest rates. Oh, excuse me. Payday loan operators refer to them as fees because, if they were interest rates, the laws never would allow them to continue in business.

Why am I celebrating at the apparent departure of the payday loan stores? With a 15 percent fee attached to a $300 loan for eight days, that 15 percent equates to an APR of 490 percent. And, as happens as often, you need another loan and you rapidly become a victim of financial quicksand. As we see payday loan stores sink into the sunset, let’s hope credit unions step up to assist people with short-term needs.

Hear Pat McMahon on News/Talk 92.3 KTAR at 6:30 a.m. and midnight Sundays and 1 a.m. Mondays on ‘The God Show’ and 4-5 p.m. Sundays on ‘The McMahon Group.’