As payday lenders charge up to 391% interest, community leaders call on Kansas legislators for change

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 3:50 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - As payday lenders are able to charge up to 391% in interest in the Sunflower State, community leaders have called on Kansas legislators for change.

Topeka JUMP says community members from local and state organizations gathered together to demand reform for payday lending practices across the Sunflower State on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

Kansans for Payday Loan Reform organized the rally to call the community and Kansas Legislature to action.

“Predatory lending puts people who are already at an economic disadvantage further behind,” said Rabbi Moti Rieber of Kansas Interfaith Action. “It takes money out of hard-working poor people’s pockets.”

KIFA joined the coalition because members wanted to ensure borrowers are protected against outrageous lending practices that charge as much as 391% in interest and fees in the State of Kansas.

Elizabeth Lewis, Director of Maternal and Infant Initiatives for March of Dimes, said her organization si concerned the burden that poverty has on mothers, babies and families. She said MOD’s National Strategic Plan is to disrupt lifelong economic insecurity which has negative impacts on the financial well-being of families and contributes to the mistreatment of moms and babies.

“These types of short-term loans are connected to people of color, individuals living in poverty and single-parent families needing money for food and medical expenses,” said Lewis. “There’s scientific evidence that Increased stress can contribute to low-birth-weight, malnutrition, and other poor health outcomes like high blood pressure, obesity and shorter life expectancy.”

Currently, JUMP said payday lenders are allowed to charge Kansans as much as 391% in interest. It said borrowers can borrow up to $500, but many are forced to reborrow to keep the money for rent, bills, food and gas.

The rally was held virtually with speakers and key stakeholders gathered at Grace Episcopal Cathedral.

To watch the rally, click HERE.

To view the coalition’s petition, click HERE.

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