Life happens really fast, and it often seems to speed up when something dark is afoot, at least lately. That’s what today’s episode is about: how quickly and devastatingly you call fall into debt.

Especially when you’re in debt—in New Mexico—to an installment lender.

New Mexico is one of the last states in the country to allow triple-digit interest rates on short-term, small-dollar installment loans—not to mention the fees and all the other costs tacked on by the mostly multi-state corporations behind the storefront lenders you see all over low-income neighborhoods.

But there are people who are trying to do something about it in a bid to protect borrowers.

Namely legislators and advocates who are trying to move a bill through both the state Senate and House right now that would cap the rate at 36%, which is more in line with the majority of the country.

I interviewed two people whose stories epitomize what can happen when you’re exposed to debt during a vulnerable time.

I’m going to introduce you to one of them in this episode of Reported—a 34-year-old who slipped into thousands of dollars of debt in a matter of months.

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Theme music: Lone Piñon