Editorial: Pa. Lawmakers Should Lose Interest in Payday Loans
LOVE AND MONEY make people crazy. Love of money makes them even crazier, especially if they are lawmakers.
That must be the explanation for why our own state lawmakers are back at the table talking about allowing payday lenders to practice their predatory loansharking in Pennsylvania. It's probably no coincidence that the payday industry as a whole has been on a spending spree of lobbying and campaign contributions, especially at the federal level.
Payday loans are marketed as quick loans that allow someone with a paycheck but few other resources to get quick cash; the presumption is they pay the loan back with their next paycheck. But with high fees and even higher interest rates - sometimes exceeding 300 percent APR - borrowers are often trapped in a long cycle of loans they can't afford.
In fact, a recent Pew report says the typical borrower takes out eight payday loans a year, spending about $520 in interest with an average loan size of $375. And though some ignorant lawmakers insist that it's not fair to look at the "annual percentage rate" when comparing these loans with more conventional ones, the fact is that APR is a legitimate measure of comparison, especially since few payday borrowers are in it for just a week or two.
Read the full article at philly.com.