Is It So Bad to Have Payday Loan Affiliate Ads on Your Site?
Financial bloggers are no strangers to affiliate programs. Indeed, for most financial bloggers (and many other bloggers) affiliate programs are what pays (some of) the bills. While most of us like to feel as though we are helping others improve their financial habits, and their lives, it never hurts to make a little money while doing it.
However, some people draw the line at some affiliate programs. The response to the payday loan representative, during the affiliate panel at the Financial Blogger Conference, is rather indicative of how many financial bloggers feel about payday loans, and the affiliate programs associated with them. (In truth, I felt bad for the guy. He was pretty brave to come at all.)
But, is it so bad to have payday loan affiliate ads on your financial blog?
Are There Those Who Need Payday Loans?
One of the points payday lenders make is that they serve a specific population. This isn’t an exaggeration. In some cases, the only place someone has to turn is the payday lender. If your lines of credit are maxed out, and you don’t qualify for a loan at the bank, and you want the cash fast, a payday loan is one of the best options. As long as you can show that you have a checking account, and a job, it is usually possible to get a payday loan. So, if you are in a tight spot, and looking for the money to get you through the next week, you might not have another place to turn. And, of course, payday lenders point out that these are meant to be short term loans — not to be rolled over.
The flip side, though, is that payday loans have steep fees, and they are often easy to roll over, resulting in more fees, and increased indebtedness. Many financial bloggers argue that payday loans should be an absolute last resort. And, because they allow those who are usually already in debt to get into more debt — debt they really probably can’t afford — they are inherently wrong. Even if they do provide a service for those who would not normally be able to get a loan, the argument is that perhaps some people shouldn’t be able to get loans in some cases.
Which brings us back to this question Is it wrong to advertise the services of a company that encourages further debt in people who should be trying to get out of debt? Or are you merely advertising a service that can help people get access to the cash they might need?
What do you think? Do you think financial bloggers who try to help people make good financial decisions should have payday loan affiliate ads on their sites?