Consolidating internet loans

Vanderhoff said she called the lender to try to pay off the loan in full, but her requests were ignored.

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In all, the $350 loan could cost Coons more than $1,000. He quickly got in touch with the state Department of Financial Institutions and was told that Ameriloan is not licensed in the state of Washington to make payday loans.

As a result, Ameriloan could not make Coons pay back the loan. “It’s illegal to make a loan without a license,” explained Deborah Bortner, the department’s director of consumer services.

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Because the lender could draw directly from her bank account, Vanderhoff felt she had no control.

When she was in an accident, she says she called them to arrange to delay a payment.

“If someone makes you a loan that’s illegal, either because they don’t have a license or they violate usury laws, you’re not under any obligation to pay it back,” said Norman Googel, an assistant attorney general in West Virginia.

Googel advises all borrowers who might be tempted to get a payday loan online, “Just don’t do it.” Rick Brinkley, the head for Better Business Bureau of Eastern Oklahoma, agreed.

He’s heard from more than 2,000 consumers who were caught off guard by the terms of online payday loans.

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