Talk about a captive market: For most of us, it's next to impossible to work, shop or go to school without a car. Auto lenders are taking full advantage.

Today, Americans owe more than $1.2 trillion (that's trillion with a 't') on auto loans. That's the key finding of U.S. PIRG Education Fund's  "Driving into Debt," a report that found widespread evidence of predatory, abusive and discriminatory lending practices.

"Predatory lending practices and a lack of real transportation options leave many households trapped in debt with few ways out,” U.S. PIRG President Faye Park told the Washington Post.

U.S. PIRG and our national network are calling on federal, state and local officials to enact stronger protections against predatory lending. But we can't stop there. We're also supporting better transportation systems and options that allow more of us the freedom to live without the burden of a car.

Read the report here.

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