A financial services company founded in 1995, 1-800-BAR-NONE was started to provide subprime lending to people with bad credit or no credit. Like many such companies, they have become well-known by fans of daytime TV for their ubiquitous low-budget commercials.

Catering to low-income customers presents its own set of cost-cutting measures, while still maintaining a 24/7 call center to take calls from those people who work non-standard hours. They also accept applications from their web site (www.barnone.com) which enables fast connections to credit agencies like Experian and Equifax without the need for human intervention.

In addition to insuring people with low incomes, 1-800-BAR-NONE is known for employing spokespeople who are down on their luck. Two notables come to mind: MC Hammer explains that he now sympathizes with people who frittered away all their money like he did, and the Pets.com sock puppet explains how he's down on his luck after the dot-com boom ended.

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