Airman Ryan Johnson

Oak Harbor, WA

Airman Ryan Johnson

I was raised in Florissant, Missouri, a suburb of St Louis. I went away to college and worked at a local fast food establishment. While I was away at school, I did take out a few payday loans that I eventually paid off. But I decided I needed to make a career and lifestyle change, so I joined the US Navy and attended boot camp right outside of Chicago. I was deployed to the Middle East for six months and am now stationed at a military base as an airman in Oak Harbor, Washington.

Upon returning stateside, my superior officer called me into his office to let me know that I had outstanding delinquent payday loan debt. I obviously did not get the loan because the alleged transaction took place in Springfield, Missouri while I was serving overseas. Apparently someone used my identity to borrow $230 dollars and the loan went into default. I was even threatened with arrest on two counts of felony fraud for not paying back a loan that I never took out in the first place!

The payday lending store-front’s flawed business practices almost cost me my military career. The whole ordeal inflicted great stress and financial worry on me. I ended up paying all the late fees and charges accrued for the debt (that I did not request) along with the initial $230 dollars to avoid a military court case and the strong possibility a civilian court action may be brought against me.

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