Why Do Some States Ban Western Sky Loans?


Quick Answer

Western Sky loans were banned in a number of states due to their interest rates and additional charges that were impossible to find before completing the application, says Anisha Sekar for NerdWallet. However, as of April 2015, Western Sky Financial no longer exists.

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Full Answer

Western Sky Financial, which was also known as Big Sky Cash, Great Sky Cash and Red Stone Financial, came off as a legitimate alternative to payday loans. It touted an APR of 89.68 percent as opposed to traditional interest rates of 300 percent or more, notes Sekar. The company did not present itself as a short-term lender; it offered loans ranging from one to seven years with no upfront fees and average interest rates from approximately 135 percent to 139 percent.

Western Sky did not charge an upfront fee but instead added a loan fee to the loan balance, meaning the individual paid even more interest. When an individual applied for a loan, the loan was direct deposited into the applicant's bank account. This is why the cash was obtained so fast. The downside is Western Sky withdrew the repayment money out of the same account without the applicant's consent, and if there was not enough money in the account, this resulted in bank over-draft fees, says Sekar. Western Sky closed due to the regulations and laws developed by many states across the country designed to protect consumers.

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