By Equal Voice Action
On February 6, 2019, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released its proposal to roll back key protections for individuals and families against predatory lending and payday loan debt traps. Read on for more information, and stay tuned for the opportunity to speak out against this policy change that will hurt poor and low-income families.
All families should have access to credit through fair and reasonable lending practices. Yet poor and low-income families remain targeted by predatory payday lenders whose high-interest, short-term loans serve to exploit and entrench financial hardship rather than relieve it.
Continuing our work to defend payday loan regulations and other consumer protections, Equal Voice Action joined allies from the Woodstock Institute and Illinois PIRG in late January for an advocacy visit to the office of freshman U.S. Congressman Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, who represents Illinois’s 4th district.
Together, we continued to call on Congress to defend the Payday Loans Rule from proposed changes that would weaken vital protections for borrowers.
Established in 2017 but yet to be implemented, the Payday Loans Rule requires lenders to reasonably and realistically determine the borrower’s ability to pay back a loan within the loan period without sacrificing the ability to meet basic living expenses and other major financial obligations—and without having to re-borrow within 30 days of having paid back the loan.
However, under the Trump administration, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is poised to remove the important ability-to-repay standard set for short-term lenders, thereby gutting the bill’s core protections before the rule goes into effect.
In short, borrowers would still be subject to payday lending debt traps, receiving loans they cannot reasonably repay and then needing to borrow more to pay off their debt as it quickly grows.
Research by the CFPB shows that four out of five payday loans are renewed or rolled over within two weeks, and half of all payday loans are borrowed by consumers who take out at least 10 loans in a row.
This is not good-faith “access to credit,” like the payday loan industry says. It is predatory lending, plain and simple, that hurts people and families who are already struggling.
Without fair and equal access to credit, families who are already struggling miss out on vital opportunities to lift themselves up or to keep themselves afloat in difficult times. Struggling families should be supported, not exploited. The Payday Loans Rule should be protected, not weakened.
Stay tuned for the opportunity to speak out against this proposal to roll back important lending protections for poor and low-income families.
For more information, view the following resources: