Payday Campaign Update: March 2, 2015

New Poll: Strong Bipartisan Support for Reigning In Abusive Payday Lenders

According to a new, bipartisan national poll sponsored by the Center for Responsible Lending, huge majorities across party lines hold unfavorable views of payday lenders, and support regulations to keep payday and car title lenders from making dangerous loans.

Voters across the political spectrum are deeply concerned about a loan product with interest rates that average 300 percent. Republicans, Democrats and Independents want payday and car title lenders to make sure borrowers can repay before they make a loan, just as other responsible lenders do.

  • 78 percent of Americans – including 80 percent of Republicans – would support a rule that payday lenders be required to check a borrower’s ability to repay a loan within that loan’s stated time period.
  • Seven in ten voters oppose the current system of allowing payday lenders direct access to borrowers’ bank accounts.
  • Over 7 in ten voters, across party lines, agree that car title lenders should be subject to rules capping the interest rates they can charge, and be required to assess borrowers’ ability to repay their loans.

The survey of 800 likely voters was conducted by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting.


New York Times: Consumer Protection Agency Seeks Limits on Payday Lenders
In the world of consumer finance, they are chameleons: payday lenders that alter their practices and shift their products ever so slightly to work around state laws aimed at stamping out short-term loans that can come with interest rates exceeding 300 percent.
Such maneuvers by the roughly $46 billion payday loan industry, state regulators say, have frustrated their efforts to protect consumers.
Now, for the first time, a federal regulator is entering the fray, drafting regulations that could sharply reduce the number of unaffordable loans that lenders can make…

Boston Globe: Hit Payday Lenders with New Rules — and New Competition
The payday loan industry preys on the poorest working Americans, who take cash advances and often find they can never catch up with debts that keep spiraling higher. In much of the United States, payday lenders reap huge profits by charging triple-digit interest rates and high fees, all the while sending borrowers into an inescapable cycle of debt.
In Massachusetts, strict regulations have kept payday lenders mostly at arm’s length. The federal government will soon follow suit with proposed rules and tighter lending standards issued by the Consumer Financial Protetion Bureau…


Great editorial from Faith and Credit Roundtable member Andrew Feil
“As a pastor and member of our community I have had enough. That’s why I have become part of a movement of churches, nonprofits and individuals that are spreading a faith-based financial literacy curriculum called Faith and Finances.”

Baptists in Kentucky support cap on payday loans
“…if your business depends on usury, depends on a trap, if it depends on exploiting your neighbors right when they are at their most desperate and vulnerable – then it’s time for you to find a new business model.”

Capping Interest at 36% Is Ethical, Just
“As people of faith, we share deep convictions grounded in scripture warning against predatory usury, which has plagued humankind since biblical times and has reached crisis proportions in New Mexico.”