National Geographic : 1928 Sep
Beware of Spiders j ACK of a partition S where passers-by can not see him, the loan shark spins his web-and waits. In his show-windows he displays generous-sound ing proposals. He says, "We will trust you when nobody else will-if you have a job." Sometimes he boldly tells his story on posters and handbills-"Money for salaried men. No mortgages-no indorsement-no collateral-no questions asked. We let you have money at the time you apply for it." He pledges strict secrecy and low rates of interest. He describes himself as "the wage-earner's only friend in time of need" -spider-webs to catch the unwary. The loan shark knows that the world is full of unfortunate men and women who will promise to pay almost any price in the future for a little cash in hand now. Driven by extravagance or unexpected mis fortune, the needy one, when caught, pays a truly terrible price. The loan shark knows that many of his victims will be unable to pay on the appointed date. He, therefore, extends the time but increases the amount of the loan. Month by month it grows till it crushes. The loan shark's favorite lash on the unhappy victim is "Pay-pay more-or I will expose you. Pay or I will make you lose your job." Sadly enough, sometimes his threat is carried out and the job is lost. Imagine a frightened employee paying $2.00 a week "interest" on a $10.oo loan for three years - 156 weeks-and still "owing" the original $10.oo although he had paid $312.oo. The man who paid this lived in the capital of a great State. A man who made $60 a month borrowed $75 from a loan shark. For a period of three years, he paid each month $21.85 interest-more than one-third of his wages-without reducing the principal debt. The man past middle age who has never saved a cent can hope perhaps for but little more than continuing health and steady employment, but younger men and women can and should plan complete financial independence for themselves in their later years of life. © 128 M. L.I.CO . If you must borrow, make sure the lender is licensed and supervised by the State. A booklet prepared by the Metropolitan will be of assistance in showing how to avoid the loan shark's web. It will be sent free and without obligation on your part. Address Booklet De partment, Metropolitan Life Insurance Com pany, Number One Madison Avenue, New York City and ask for Booklet No. 98N. Haley Fiske, President. Many millions of dollars are loaned annually by loan sharks. These mil lions in loans cost borrowers as much more in interest, together with untold mental distress. Prosecution, though helpful, is not a permanent remedy for the loan shark evil. People still need money and will make any promise for the future in return for present relief. Legitimate remedial and business institutions are therefore necessary. Most States per mit the chartering of limited-dividend, semi-philanthropic remedial loan societies. The Uniform Small Loan Law drafted by the Russell Sage Foundation is in use in twenty-three States and has done much to bettercommercial money l g t h a. lending conditions in those States. This Foundation has also assisted in the development of credit unions which are mutual loan and thrift asso ciations. The credit union collects the '"if ' savings of its membership and reloans ' these savings to finance the individual ," needs of the same group. ,: The Department of Remedial Loans offers its assistance in organizing credit unions and remedial loan associations or in advising loan shark victims. Ad dress, Russell Sage Foundation, 130 East 22nd Street, New York, N. Y. METROPOLITAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY-NEW YORK Biggest in the World, MoreAssets, More Policyholders, More Insurance in force,More new Insurance eachyear "Mention the Geographic-It identifies you."