Advocates brave the snow to warn consumers of payday loan dangers

On a cold Monday morning under a persistent snowfall, strains of holiday carols could be heard outside of a Chicago payday loan store. These were not your usual carols celebrating sleigh rides, mistletoe, and peace on Earth; indeed, these carols had a less cheery message.

“Payday Loans, Payday Loans

It’s Christmas Time in the city

Hear them ring, ring-a-ling

Soon there will be bankruptcies!”

Advocates from the Monsignor John Egan Campaign for Payday Loan Reform and a real-life Payday Grinch put the traditional holiday carol to work to warn consumers of the dangers of payday loans during the holiday season. With the pressures of holiday shopping, it’s an especially tempting time of year to take out loans.

As Woodstock Institute President Dory Rand pointed out, payday loans can have severe consequences and come with high fees and interest rates. Cecilia Salinas of Bethel New Life recounted how payday loans had sapped her clients’ financial resources and gotten them into a debt trap. Citizen Action/Illinois Co-Director Lynda DeLaforgue recommended that consumers seek out help with budgeting from reputable credit counselors or less expensive forms of credit in the case of emergencies. Laura Dean Friedrich of Protestants for the Common Good emphasized the moral responsibility to oppose usurious lending that harms low-wealth people. Secretary Brent Adams of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation described the new consumer protections for payday loans that were signed into law by Gov. Quinn this year, but reminded consumers that these protections will not be in place until March.

For more information on alternatives to payday loans and the new payday loan protections, please click here.

 

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