Today I saw an ad for Westernsky.com. This is a company owned and operated by Native Americans. The ad offered about $2500 in a loan. They will put the money in your checking account overnight. No collateral is required and there are no fees for early pay off.
I was curious, this sounded suspiciously like payday loans I talked about here or the Cashwell company I talked about here. When I found their website, I saw that they claim to have lower rates than payday loans. From looking at their rates, they are lower than Cashwell.
But they aren't cheap. For a loan of $2525, you'll pay a $75 fee right off the bat. Then you start paying almost 140% in interest. If you pay it off over the required 36 months, you'll pay over $10,000.
The website explains that Western Sky operates "within the boundaries of the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, a sovereign nation located within the" USA. I don't know if that means they operate under different rules. I wonder if they can pursue US citizens who don't pay them in the same way US companies. Or maybe they get to play under US rules in some cases and their own rules in other cases.
It would scare me to work with a company that might not operate under US laws. It would scare me even more to pay 140% interest. (I should note that this was their least offensive loan. If you only borrow $1000, you'll pay almost 195% interest)