Dana Ratcliff went online and took out a $500 loan to be paid off in 18 days. She agreed to pay $150 in finance charges.
"When you are in a desperate situation, you go okay," Ratcliff said.
A few days later, the online lender automatically extended the loan, adding on another $120 finance charge.
Many states across the country have banned payday lenders due to the excessive fees. But online payday lending continues to thrive as lenders avoid state laws.
Earlier this year, Maryland congressman Elijah Cummings co-sponsored a bill that would force online lenders to abide by the state laws in which they are lending. It would also allow the federal government to help enforce a state's rules.
"We want the federal government to be able to step in, and help out." the congressman said.
The online lenders alliance opposes the safe lending act and says it would "effectively eliminate online access to short term credit for millions of Americans."
It adds that it supports the consumer credit access, innovation and modernization act, which it says would "create a federal framework for online lenders to be regulated and chartered."
Dana Ratcliff ultimately paid $210 to borrow $500. She says she will never go through that again.