Tribal Lending Company Charging Almost 250% APR on Loans

By Stephanie Parkinson

July 5, 2013 Updated Jul 8, 2013 at 11:21 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Imagine paying back more than double for a loan. A company from Oklahoma is targeting Fort Wayne residents as new customers for their high interest loan business.

Great Plains Lending is mailing pre-qualified letters to people for instant loans and then directing them to their company website. But the catch is the money comes with a 249.30 percent annual interest rate.

This may sound illegal but it's not. Great Plains Lending is based in Edmond, Oklahoma. It's a tribal lending company owned by the Otoe-Missouria Tribe.

According to the Better Business Bureau, Indiana Reservations are exempt from loan laws because reservations are sovereign nations within the U.S.

The BBB classifies Great Plains Lending as a payday loan type of business. However, the company requires 30 bi-weekly payments on most of their loans, meaning it will take customers more than a year to pay back their loan.

"In this instance, if they're not reading the fine print, they are getting really socked with interest rates. For instance, if you have like a $900 loan, if you want a $900 loan, in two years you'll pay over $3,000 for that loan," Marjorie Stephens, BBB Northern Indiana.

The company has an F rating with the BBB. They have 58 complaints against them and 41 of those have gone unanswered.

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