Rafael has been in the taxi business for fifteen years. After renting for many years, he decided to purchase a taxi.
When he bought his taxi, Rafael found no options for financing other than a high-interest loan from an informal moneylender, also known as a "prestamista" or "loan shark." Because these loans have a very high interest rate -- between 60-120% APR (sometimes charged weekly) -- many borrowers, like Rafael, cannot stay current with payments. Rafael was paying several hundred dollars a week just in interest. He is currently asking for an ACCION USA loan to help pay off this predatory debt for his taxicab and begin to improve his livelihood.
He has a very long-standing relationship with his taxi company and, in the future, he hopes to have a taxi corporation of his own with 20-30 drivers! In this video, he talks about how he started out as a "taxista" and how he purchased his vehicle.