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Let My People Go: South Dakotans Stop Predatory Payday Lending

October 31, 2018
Payday and Other Small Dollar Loans
Policy & Legislation

A 30-minute documentary produced by the Center for Responsible Lending, in cooperation with South Dakotans for Responsible Lending

Before November 2016, payday and car title lenders in South Dakota charged annual interest rates up to 574%, trapping people in debt and often ruining their financial lives. The state legislature wouldn't pass reform, so South Dakotans put a 36% interest rate cap on the ballot.

In a true David and Goliath story, payday lenders spent $3 million and put a competing measure on the ballot, a fake interest rate cap intended to fool people into thinking they were voting for an 18% cap.

With little money but lots of passion, a bipartisan, largely faith-based campaign worked to get the word out to voters by election day. This is the story of that battle, featuring former payday and car title borrowers who describe the hardships inflicted on their families by predatory lending, and the relief of being freed from the trap.