Is the cost of being poor on the rise? Lower-income families have long paid more for food, housing and other basic necessities. But corner bodegas, pawn shops, and rent-to-own furniture stores, often staples of poor neighborhoods, have been joined by some newer, bigger competition in recent years. The finance industry that brought the nation subprime mortgages has now come to town seeking riches in the form of high-interest, high-fee loans. Holding out the promise of credit for everything from cars to computers to medical bills, these new businesses - backed by some well-known financial industry players - have moved in, leading low-income consumers into a potentially unending cycle of debt.moreless
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