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Shortchanged by Howard Karger

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The millions who are poor in the United States tend to become increasingly invisible. Here is a great mass of people, yet it takes an effort of the intellect and will even to see them.–Michael Harrington, The Other America

6Alternative Services: Check Cashers, the Rent-to-Own Industry, and Telecommunications

A robust and growing industry has emerged in America for those with bad or no credit. Most services, such as telecommunications, apartment rentals, and store credit cards, require a credit check. Those who score low on this check are forced into the alternative services sector. This chapter examines how America’s down-and-out are shortchanged through expensive alternative services, such as furniture and appliance rentals and telecommunications. ...

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