National Football League
Report: NFL players using risky loans
National Football League

Report: NFL players using risky loans

Published Apr. 12, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Players from at least 16 NFL teams have turned to short-term loans with high interest rates as a way to keep cash flowing amid the month-old lockout, reported Tuesday.

The NFL Players Association started payments to players from its lockout "war chest" nearly two weeks ago, but according to the report many players are still in need of the risky loans.

"There are a lot of people out there pitching these things," an attorney who has advised players on the loans told on the condition of anonymity.

"It's almost predatory lending. It's people going to guys who they know are already in debt, or don't have the ability to pay their bills during the year and (lending them money) at such obscene terms, that you say, 'Hey, no one would ever sign something like this.' But a lot of players are."


According to the report, interest rates on the loans range from 18 to 24 percent, and can go as high as 36 percent upon default.

As many as 10 percent of the NFL's nearly 1,800 players have already signed off on such loans, and at least another 20 percent are in the process of doing so, according to a prominent financial adviser who spoke to on condition of anonymity.

"What's going to happen here, and it's going to happen to a lot of people, is these guys who are getting loans aren't going to have the means to pay them back," the financial adviser said about the potential long-term consequences of such loans.

"They're going to lose their homes. Their credit is going to be shot. It's unfortunate and not the way it should be, but it is the situation we find ourselves in."

The NFLPA has not commented on the loans.

The NFLPA warned players during last season to start putting money aside to brace for a potential lockout. One notice reportedly advised players to save at least three game checks in order to avoid financial problems.

Mediation in the labor stalemate is set to resume Thursday before federal magistrate Arthur J. Boylan in Minneapolis. The new round of talks will come as federal judge Susan Richard Nelson weighs the players' request for an injunction to end the lockout.

Nelson is presiding over the players' antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.


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