Predatory lenders targeting NFL Players
As the NFL lockout enters its second month, players from at least 16 teams have already sought out extremely aggressive short-term loans with high interest rates, ThePostGame.com has learned.
According to a financing source, these interest rates range from 18 percent to 24 percent, and upon default, they can rise as high as 36 percent.
All of this comes as the NFL Players Association announced nearly two weeks ago it would begin payouts from its war chest -- a lockout fund designed to help keep players afloat during the work stoppage. But while that lifeline was created in part to keep opportunistic lenders at bay, the finances offered by the NFLPA -- as much as $60,000 for some players -- won’t solve all financial ills. And much to the chagrin of some members of the union, the high-risk loan market has begun to attract players.
"There are a lot of people out there pitching these things," an attorney who has advised players on such loans told ThePostGame.com on the condition of anonymity. "It’s almost predatory lending. It's people going to guys who they know are already in debt, or don’t have the ability to pay their bills during the year and [lending them money] at such obscene terms, that you say, 'Hey, no one would ever sign something like this.' But a lot of players are."
Much was made of the NFLPA's preparation for the current lockout, which focused on raising players' financial awareness and surviving a months-long battle with no paychecks in sight. The union even went as far as asking players to save a minimum of three game checks from the 2010 season, in hopes of staving off any financial peril this off-season. But one prominent financial adviser, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, told ThePostGame.com that it's becoming clear many players didn’t follow the union's advice.