Excerpt via KQED News - Che Al-Barri remembers feeling like he was drowning in debt last year. He had taken out a $70,000 loan for his small cleaning company, but was struggling to repay it.
The lender, a financial technology — or fintech — company, automatically collected $331 from his bank account daily, Monday through Friday. The frequent hits depleted his income and took a toll on his business, he said.
“If you get hit every single day you have no time to breathe,” said Al-Barri, 45, who grew up in Richmond. “It put me up against the wall. There was many times I pulled the covers over my head and just laid there like, ‘Oh my gosh, what am I going to do?'”
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