Local couple says crooked company charged 116 percent interest for $5,000 loan


by Mike Colombo / News 4 and KMOV.com staff


Posted on January 22, 2013 at 5:30 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jan 22 at 5:42 PM

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo. (KMOV) – A St. Charles couple is angry after they tried to get easy money after seeing a commercial, then learned expensive strings were attached.

A few weeks ago. Tony Gibson and his wife thought they had found a quick and easy way to consolidate some bills when they saw an ad for the Western Sky loan company.

Gibson’s wife called the number displayed on screen.

“My wife said, ‘I’d like to see about borrowing $5,000’ and she said, ‘well, I need your information such as name, address,” Gibson recalled.

Western Sky offered a loan of $1,500, but there was a catch.

“And she said ‘well, I tell you what, though, we take $500 of that for a user fee,” said Gibson.

The Gibsons were later shocked at the exorbitant interest rates: A $5,000 loan at 116 percent interest comes with 84 payments of $486 a month.

The total cost for that $5,000? $40,872.72.

And there’s another problem. Western Sky isn’t supposed to be making loans to anyone in Missouri.

The Missouri attorney general has an injunction barring the company from doing that.

Missouri is one of five states taking legal action against Western Sky.

News 4 is in contact with the attorney general on the case, and are forwarding the Gibson’s information to them.

Western Sky operates from within the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe Indian Reservation in South Dakota. It’s important to note the company is not officially affiliated with the tribe.