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Jan 4, 2010
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Toronto

Is Money Mart evil?

I have never been desperate to use one of these places but I wanna know what are they all about and what kind of people use them and why do people hate them?
enon
31 replies
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Dec 3, 2004
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Edmonton
Money Mart is disliked because they provide the same services, at a significant cost, that most banks basically charge for free or a very small fee. They are also disliked because they give out loans to desperate people at huge interest rates which are even higher than credit cards.

As far as why people use them? Well, their clients mostly consist of 3 types of people

#1) People who like the convenience of cashing cheques at money mart (nights/weekends). These are often people who also cannot have a bank account for whatever reason (bad credit, no ID, etc).

#2) People who need to borrow a "payday loan" and are willing to pay high interest on it
weekends.

#3) People who are trying to launder money or hide assets from creditors.

That's basically the jist of what money mart does and who their clients are. People on RFD are often quick to judge people from the #1 group, but don't quite understand just how hard it is for these homeless people to get bank accounts. Homeless people LOOK homeless. They wear crappy clothes, carry backpacks with them, often are not in the best groomed state and a lot of the time they don't have any ID with them (I doubt most homeless people have DL, passport, SIN card, etc.). So how can they open a bank account? Even if they had the ID, imagine the trouble they would have opening an account. There would be holds put on all of their chequing accounts and deposits, etc. These people can't be bothered, so they just use money mart. And money mart takes a nice big chunk of change, around 5% or more to cash a govt cheque.

There was talk a few years ago about the govt issuing DEBIT cards to people instead of cheques. That way, the people could use debit cards fee-free to withdraw cash, and MM would go out of business. But I guess MM slipped the premier a few hundred grand and all of a sudden that idea went away.
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Sep 26, 2007
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i speak for myself but i dislike them because they are such a big rip off when it comes to payday loans. the rates they charge and just insane...and there should be no reason for that.

i had a co-worker who needed cash fast for an apartment she wanted to get. she wasn't big on savings but needed to do a deposit and the first month's rent. she went to moneymart and the rates were insane.. and they wouldn't even loan her enough money.

i just lent her the money myself interest free.
Deal Addict
Jul 8, 2009
2028 posts
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Edmonton
I hate Money Mart because they take advantage of: 1. Stupid people, or 2. People who are seriously down on their luck. But, evil? Maybe not, but borderline evil.
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Jun 6, 2009
955 posts
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Montréal
To be fair, MM's clientele is surely labeled as high risk and wouldn't be given a second though at any bank. They probably lose a fair chunk of money out of bad cheques and bad loans. Add to that their more convenient service, so no wonder their service is more expensive.

Like a previous poster said, their service is widely used by people who cannot open a bank account, but I suspect money laundering to be the primary reason.

As for government cheques, those can be cash in at any bank at no cost. This is a government policy. I'm not even sure if MM is allowed to charge a fee for it.
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Jan 14, 2004
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Markham
I guess it might be evil, but they do cater to that certain market.

Government cheques can be cashed at any bank for free, but ID is often required unless it's a bank you have an account at.
Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2010
6555 posts
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Toronto
To play devil's advocate: No, they're not evil because their customers have probably been rejected from every bank there is. As others have stated, no one really wants to use Money Mart. They're a last resort for people who have exhausted every other option. Yes they charge high fees, but they also take on a lot of risk that no bank is willing to take.

It's like one of those car dealerships that promises "no credit, no problem" and charges high interest on a beat up used car. Are they evil? Well they target people who are down on their luck yes, but at the same time these people need a car for work, for school or for family and no one else will give them a chance to get one. I guess they're just a business, everyone gets on them because they charge fees to poor people, but they're not a charity.
[OP]
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Jan 4, 2010
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Toronto
Manatus wrote: To play devil's advocate: No, they're not evil because their customers have probably been rejected from every bank there is. As others have stated, no one really wants to use Money Mart. They're a last resort for people who have exhausted every other option. Yes they charge high fees, but they also take on a lot of risk that no bank is willing to take.

It's like one of those car dealerships that promises "no credit, no problem" and charges high interest on a beat up used car. Are they evil? Well they target people who are down on their luck yes, but at the same time these people need a car for work, for school or for family and no one else will give them a chance to get one. I guess they're just a business, everyone gets on them because they charge fees to poor people, but they're not a charity.
They shouldn't be driving if they can't afford it. Good alternatives include walking, biking, and public transportation. If they are getting a car, the car dealership is just taking advantage of them and robbing them with sky-high interest rates. They are not doing anyone a favour. Just like Money Mart.
enon
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Dec 28, 2008
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Toronto
epiphano wrote: As for government cheques, those can be cash in at any bank at no cost. This is a government policy. I'm not even sure if MM is allowed to charge a fee for it.
You need government ID to do that and the cheque can't be more than $1500.00
Member
Jun 28, 2004
438 posts
65 upvotes
Toronto
There's 2 sides to the argument.

a) Money Mart exploits people down on their luck with high Payday Loan fees, high interest rates and high cheque cashing fees. They create a never ending debt spiral that becomes harder and harder to dig out of. The longer you use their service, the worse your money situation becomes. It's not uncommon for people to end up paying 2, 3 or 5 times the money they owe to Money Mart because of the high transaction fees they charge.

or

b) Money Mart provides a valuable service to people who otherwise wouldn't be able to cash a cheque or get a no hassle, quick cash loan in minutes. If you need 5, 6 or $700 at 8pm and don't have a credit card, there aren't many places you can go to get that amount of money in less than 5 minutes. You need to cash a cheque and your bank usually puts a 5 day hold, Money Mart gets most of your cash to you in minutes.

If you plan to use Money Mart for a service it should be with a plan in mind. Only borrow what you absolutely need and try and manage your money a bit wiser. The problem is that most people use Money Mart as a long term solution to their debt problems. Money Mart is legalized loan sharking, they aren't there to help you fix your credit.
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Sep 11, 2006
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epiphano wrote: To be fair, MM's clientele is surely labeled as high risk and wouldn't be given a second though at any bank. They probably lose a fair chunk of money out of bad cheques and bad loans. Add to that their more convenient service, so no wonder their service is more expensive.

Like a previous poster said, their service is widely used by people who cannot open a bank account, but I suspect money laundering to be the primary reason.

As for government cheques, those can be cash in at any bank at no cost. This is a government policy. I'm not even sure if MM is allowed to charge a fee for it.
Haha sorry that doesn't quite make sense to me. How would someone use Money Mart to launder money? They're just lending cash to you at very high interest rates and not even a lot of cash at that.
Deal Expert
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Aug 18, 2005
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Burlington-Hamilton
Cheque cashing places are often frowned upon because they can be used to facilitate the finances of illegal immigrants.
- casual gastronomist -
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Jun 17, 2007
196 posts
18 upvotes
Very Evil......

The typical borrower from these places borrows every 2 weeks (on payday).

I have seen it personally as I worked for a similar company. They will come in and get a $500 loan, 2 weeks later they pay back $600 ($500 plus $100 interest) and borrow the $500 again. They do this over and over again, it's pathetic. So on a typical $500 loan, the customer pays $2400 in interest over the year. These idiots are what keep these places in business, about 60-70% of the customers I had did this. It's unreal.


Also to borrow money, you need to have a bank account. Customer leaves a post dated cheque for principal plus interest.

Foz
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Nov 7, 2005
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Fozard wrote: Also to borrow money, you need to have a bank account. Customer leaves a post dated cheque for principal plus interest.

Foz
They really gotta be dumb then if they have a bank account and can't get a small loan like 500$.
Deal Addict
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Sep 26, 2007
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legendofxix wrote: They really gotta be dumb then if they have a bank account and can't get a small loan like 500$.
bank's don't usually lend out small loans.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 21, 2006
5148 posts
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Money Mart provides a service for a fee, and obviously there's a demand for it. Why not call the big banks evil because they won't provide their services to all Canadians?
Deal Fanatic
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Apr 16, 2006
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If there's a market for it and if that market is being catered to, and if in catering to said market no laws are being broken, I find it hard to believe that the organization (MM) could be considered "evil".

Every organization that tries to turn a profit is taking advantage of the consumer one way or another. There just happens to be a larger stigma against MM and similar places.
Deal Addict
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Aug 30, 2006
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I actually used money mart a couple of times to buy $100 US dollars. The exchange rate was the same, but they charge an extra $2.95 per transaction

Everything else was already closed so I let them rape me.
shaka braddah!
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Sep 23, 2009
1342 posts
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Brampton
Its like Hitler, many kids nowadays didn't fight in the war, or even learn about him in school, some are dumb enough to think he was good, but we all know better...


Wait, like the devil, the greatest trick he preformed was convincing the world he didn't exist, just like your money once Money mart gets a hold of it...

or like an ex-wife who took you for everything, but still wants to remain friends...
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Jan 14, 2004
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Markham
A related question would be, how does Money Mart get people to pay back these payday loans? The nature of their business is high risk, hence the high fees, but still it's gonna be hard tracing down some people.

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