Our View: Say No to Payday Loans

June 9, 2013
payday lending news

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering a measure that would legalize payday loans, with Senate Bill 975 having moved from the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee to the Senate Appropriations Committee despite opposition from numerous nonprofit organizations. This editorial criticizes the proposed Micro Credit Modernization Act, stating, "By pairing 'micro' with 'modernization,' the legislation is positioned to look as though it's meeting a pressing need in Pennsylvania to update credit laws and expand credit options for people who have a hard time obtaining loans. But opponents point out that payday loans keep poor people in perpetual debt because of the excessive interest, the quick repayment terms, and the lender's ability to gain direct access to the debtor's bank account if the loan is delinquent." Close to 100 organizations, including the United Way of Erie County, AARP Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania War Veterans Council, belong to Stop Predatory Payday Loans in Pennsylvania, a coalition whose members help educate consumers about managing their money and avoiding debt. Del Birch, vice president of community building for the United Way, calls the bill "nothing more than a wolf in sheep's clothing that would legalize 300 percent APR (annual percentage rate) loans." The coalition has sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Senate in opposition to the law, calling payday loans a "barrier to self-sufficiency and financial stability."
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