High Cost of Payday Loans, Small Loans …Until Next Payday…
An Old Evil is Trying to Rear its Ugly Head in North Carolina Again! Payday loans, small loans marketed as a quick, easy way to tide borrowers over until the next payday, come with a very high cost: an annual percentage rate of over 400%.
Which is whypayday lending has been illegal in North Carolina since 2001, thanks to years of hard work by a coalition of organizations, led by the N.C. Coalition for Responsible Lending, a group of over 200 North Carolina-based organizations—including Self-Help Credit Union—representing 3 million North Carolina voters.
But now, in the interest of moving backward instead of forward, Senators Jerry Tillman and Clark Jenkins recently introduced Senate Bill 89, inviting predatory payday lenders back into North Carolina with open arms. This bill is moving fast and could be up in the Senate Commerce Committee soon. Senator Tom Apodaca has also signed on as a co-sponsor.
Even though storefront and internet payday lenders have been illegal in NC since 2001, it took five more years and considerable legal action to get these predatory lenders out of our state for good.
And we must act now to prevent their return.
Call your N.C. State Senators and tell them to oppose 400% annual interest rate loans and to vote NO on SB 89. We spent years getting these predatory loans out of our state. Do not let them back in.
We know that payday loans worsen financial problems. Loan terms that require full payment in as little time as two weeks plus an average 400 percent annual interest, catch borrowers in a turnstile of debt. Before long, payday’s cycle of debt denies dollars for household budget items like child care, groceries or utilities.
Consider these stories from the time when payday lending was legal in North Carolina:
Arthur Jackson, a grandfather from Raleigh, whose payday loan from Advance America was flipped at least 100 times over five years. He paid over $5000 in interest on a $300 loan.
Betty W., living on social security income of $564 a month, got caught in the payday debt trap, paying half of her income in interest fees. Her phone was disconnected and she needed emergency help to pay her rent.
N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper said it best:
“This is the same old rip-off we ran out of our state years ago. These overpriced loans trap borrowers in a cycle of debt many cannot escape. Payday lending was a bad idea then, and it’s a bad idea now.”
Please call your State Senators and tell them the same.
If you have any questions, please contact Jane Hatley at Self-Help Credit Union: firstname.lastname@example.org (828-676-2196)
Jane Hatley is the Western North Carolina Regional Director for Self-Help Credit Union (www.self-help.org), as well as the Business Development Officer for Child Care Lending. Previous to this position, Jane worked as a Commercial Lending Officer with Self-Help in Asheville for 10 years, lending to small- to medium-sized companies across Western North Carolina. Self-Help is a community development lender, credit union, and real estate developer that works with individuals, organizations and communities traditionally underserved by conventional markets. The funds that support our work come from deposits, grants, and other investments made by individuals and institutions across the U.S.