Your opinion counts. Tell the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to stop debt-trap payday loans once and for all!
Would you want a credit card with an APR of nearly 400%? As part of my internship with the Center for Responsible Lending, this summer I’ve been canvassing on street corners, talking to people about predatory lending. Most people I’ve met are shocked to learn that 391% is the average annual interest rate on payday loans—small loans marketed as quick fixes for cash-strapped families. Unable to afford such expensive loans while also covering necessities, borrowers are forced to repeatedly re-borrow, accumulating more debt each time.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) just released a preliminary rule intended to end this cycle. While the rule is a great start toward keeping consumers safe, it includes loopholes that will allow lenders to continue business as usual. However, there’s still an opportunity to improve the rule. For the next few months, anyone can submit their thoughts on payday lending to the CFPB for them to consider. That’s why I’ve been canvassing—to gather comments so we can make the rule as strong as possible.
This is my first time canvassing, and I’ve been grateful at how, even in the muggy humidity of a D.C. summer, many people have been so willing to stop and share their stories. One woman eagerly signed a comment, telling me that each week at church it seems like she discovers yet another family struggling to escape their payday loans.
Other passersby sometimes doubt that their comment matters. However, the director of the CFPB himself, Richard Cordray, has said otherwise. When he recently spoke to state activists, Director Cordray stressed how much putting faces to the statistics on predatory lending helps him truly grasp these loans' devastating impact.
By sharing your stories and opinions, you too can help the CFPB understand that consumers want to stop predatory payday loans.
Claire Fishman is an intern at the Center for Responsible Lending's DC office. She will be a sophomore at Brown University this fall and plans to study history.