Is it immoral?

You are a single mother of two, working as a secretary in the offices of Eagle Loan company. It is hard work but pays reasonably well. It provides you just enough to get by while you try to finish a college degree and qualify for a better job.

Eagle is not a very pleasant place to work, and this is not just because of the tedious nature of the job. The company exists for the sole purpose of making high-interest loans to people whose income and/or credit histories would never get them past the door of more conventional loan agencies.

That in itself is not unreasonable. This is a loan market that needs to be served, and the high interest is only commensurate with the high risk that such loans carry. What bothers you is that Eagle particularly targets older people for home Equity loans. Typically, these are individuals who have worked long and hard to build an equity in their homes. These homes sometimes need expensive repairs.

Eagle works hand-in-glove with so-called “tin men,” home repair contractors who go door to door or work the phones to persuade the homeowners to put up their homes as security for home repair loans. Often the repair work is shoddy and overpriced, and in any case, the loans tend to be more than these people can handle.

So they often lose their homes, or, at best, they are saddled with huge repayment burdens for inferior or unnecessary repairs. These people usually don’t have the resources or the know-how to fight back in court, and in the rare case that they do, Eagle can more than match them.

Your office is right next to the boiler room. It really bugs you to listen to the salespeople relentlessly pressing their high-pressure tactics. The, later on, you hear them laughing it up about their pathetic victims.

Your boyfriend is always lecturing you about this. “You’re an accomplice,” he says. “You’re aiding and abetting this fraud. It’s immoral for you to work there.” But you realize it might not be that easy for you to get another job that pays as well. And after all, you’re not the one doing the selling; you’re not the one doing the shoddy repair work or foreclosing on the homes.

Is it immoral for you to work there?