As the NFL lockout enters its second month, players from at least 16 teams have already sought out extremely aggressive short-term loans with high interest rates, has learned.

According to a financing source, these interest rates range from 18 percent to 24 percent, and upon default, they can rise as high as 36 percent.

All of this comes as the NFL Players Association announced nearly two weeks ago it would begin payouts from its war chest -- a lockout fund designed to help keep players afloat during the work stoppage. But while that lifeline was created in part to keep opportunistic lenders at bay, the finances offered by the NFLPA -- as much as $60,000 for some players -- won’t solve all financial ills. And much to the chagrin of some members of the union, the high-risk loan market has begun to attract players.

"There are a lot of people out there pitching these things," an attorney who has advised players on such loans told on the condition of anonymity. "It’s almost predatory lending. It's people going to guys who they know are already in debt, or don’t have the ability to pay their bills during the year and [lending them money] at such obscene terms, that you say, 'Hey, no one would ever sign something like this.' But a lot of players are."

Much was made of the NFLPA's preparation for the current lockout, which focused on raising players' financial awareness and surviving a months-long battle with no paychecks in sight. The union even went as far as asking players to save a minimum of three game checks from the 2010 season, in hopes of staving off any financial peril this off-season. But one prominent financial adviser, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity, told that it's becoming clear many players didn’t follow the union's advice.

"I know at least 16 different teams that have had players go out and have to set these [high risk loans] up," said the adviser. "Guys on the Dolphins, Saints, 49ers, Panthers, Chargers, Bears, Vikings."

The adviser said he believes as many as 10 percent of the nearly 1,800 players in the league have secured some form of lending at this point, and estimates at least another 20 percent are in the process of securing lending now. Based on conversations he has had with other leading figures in the industry, he believes close to half of the players in the NFL will secure some form of lending if the lockout continues past Labor Day.

Legal and financial sources with ties to players say many affiliated with the high-risk loan industry are soliciting individuals close to cash-strapped players.

"[They] are your gray-area guys who aren't agents, aren't managers, aren't financial advisors," the financial adviser said of the loan industry middlemen. "And [they’re] getting fees of $100,000-$150,000 for getting players to sign off on the loans."

In order to ensure payment on the loans, financial sources say lenders are also requiring that players purchase insurance policies which guarantee payment in the event a player gets hurt. Sources say the premiums on those policies may reach as much as $200,000, which also provide additional kickbacks for middlemen.