payday loans

Updated Aug. 27, 2019, 9:55 a.m. ET

The Trump administration is moving forward with a wave of new rules and regulations that would make it more difficult for low-income Americans — especially those in families that include non-citizens — to get government aid. NPR detailed many of the proposals in June, but there have been several developments since then.

During a recent lunch hour in Springfield, Va., a medical assistant named Angela walked into a branch of Advance America at a strip mall and asked for a loan. She'd borrow $300 and promise to pay it back within 30 days, with an additional $73 in interest and fees.

This loan would help cover a family trip to New York, said Angela, who asked NPR not to use her last name for privacy reasons. She says she prefers payday loans because she doesn't trust herself with credit cards and she would rather not approach her family for help.

At Trump National Doral Golf Club near Miami this week, executives with the nation's payday loan industry are holding their annual conference with receptions, breakout sessions and a golf tournament.

Outside the gates of the resort Tuesday, a smaller group gathered to hold a protest. They were trying to shame an industry that they say preys on the vulnerable, by lending them money at interest rates as high as 200 percent to 300 percent a year.

Payday lenders appear to have a powerful friend in Washington.

Former Republican Rep. Mick Mulvaney is the interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He was appointed by President Trump amid an ongoing a power struggle for control of the bureau.

A few years ago, a man came to pastor Wes Helm at Springcreek Church in Garland, Texas, and opened up about his financial troubles. Helm looked through the man's budget and noticed one major monthly expense: a payday loan fee three times more than the amount of the loan itself.