February 16, 2013

Western Sky Financial investigated

I-Team: Western Sky Financial's practices called into question

By Jim TaricaniNBC 10's I-Team has uncovered the questionable practices of a loan company called Western Sky Financial.

The company is run by an individual Sioux Indian, who is a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Timber Lake, S.D. However, the tribe claims it has nothing to do with Western Sky Financial.

The loan company has been advertising on television and the Internet in more than 100 markets across the country. NBC 10 has also been running the ads.

Western Sky Financial offers "quick cash" loans, but charges exorbitant interest rates.

For example, according to the company's website, an $850 loan carries and interest rate of 342.86 percent, plus a $350 loan fee. The person getting the loan has to agree to pay it off in 12 payments of $150 each. That means that the $850 loan, will cost a person $1,800.

If you take out a $10,000 loan, that loan carries an interest rate of 89.68 percent. It has to be paid off in 84 payments of $743.49 each-resulting in a whopping $62,432 cost for the loan.
Comment:  I think I've seen a Western Sky Financial commercial a few times. It features what looks like a Native woman touting "quick cash" in glowing terms.

If she is Native, that's a sad commentary on the state of diversity in network television. The most prominent Native is in a commercial touting a shady loan company.

For more on payday loans, see Payday Lenders to Stop Deceptive Practices and Court Upholds Tribal Payday Loan Companies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's actually funny. I thought of her as something like Carmen Sandiego. Carmen Sandiego was a Latina gamer's role model in the 80s, because she's clearly a competent businesswoman (even if her business is stealing literally everything), and she doesn't try to seduce the hero (that is, the player character) the way most Latina villains do.

So if an Indian is a scammer, clearly not the stereotype, that's...progress?