For Third Year, Advocates Press Their Case Against Payday Lending

May 28, 2013
Rhode Island Public Radio  
payday lending news

Rhode Island resident Margaux Morisseau became a vocal critic of payday lending after seeing its impact in the working-class Woonsocket neighborhood, which has seen a recent comeback. Since a payday lending shop opened for business there about three years ago, however, Morisseau says that the neighborhood has started to backslide. “We saw a large spike in residents getting behind on rent, and when we started looking at budgets, we started seeing a budget item for payday loans," Morisseau explains. "People were paying their payday loans before they were paying rent, before they were putting food on their table, before buying such necessities as medicine.” Critics of payday loans call them a debt trap for people living paycheck to paycheck and point out that the cost of the loans equals an annual percentage rate of between 260 percent and 280 percent. The Rhode Island Payday Lending Reform Coalition, which Morisseau co-chairs, is trying to lower the annual rate on payday loans to 36 percent.
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