Veterans Wishlist 2021: Cracking down on predatory lenders feeding off of young soldiers

It’s remarkable how many lenders come out of the woodwork and want to be your friend when you’re a young soldier.

“Hey buddy. How about a new car? You’ll ride today guaranteed.”

“Hey trooper. How about a new credit card. The way we’ve got it set up, it’s like free money.”

“Hey soldier. How about a new gaming computer? You won’t have to pay for it for a while. You’ll have plenty of time to prepare for payments.”

The reason why many of these 18 or 19 year old soldiers can get a new car or line of credit so easily is because lenders know they’ve got guaranteed money coming in. And they know that if they turn up the heat, they’ll have to get their money.

These young soldiers, not knowing any better and many of them without a financial education are quick to sign up.

And they don’t understand the skyrocketing interests rates and poison pill conditions behind these loans.

Next think you know, the cars are getting repoed. The collection agencies are calling. And these young men and women won’t be able to get credit for anything else, even after they get out of the military.

No vehicles. No homes. Maybe not even help for school books.

But hey, they can still go to school. Because there are plenty of private for-profit schools that can give them another high interest loan that needs to be fed with an amount that exceeds GI Bill limitations.

It’s quick sand that lures in it’s victims with the promise of something that offers serious consequences for the unprepared.

That’s why our elected officials need to put in place tougher regulations that doesn’t allow these predators to get near our veterans.

There should be more of an investment made in educating our veterans to make better financial decisions and lenders shouldn’t be allowed to do business without meeting tough criteria. And if they don’t, they shouldn’t even be zoned anywhere near a military installation.

Doing this will not only protect our veterans on a short term basis financially but set in place a foundation of fiscal awareness that will last them the rest of their lives.

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