March 9th, 2017
HB 1913 (Rep. Kannady/Sen. Leewright), the Oklahoma Small Loan Act, would create a new predatory loan product in Oklahoma, known as a Small Loan. These loans would allow interest to be charged at an annual rate of over 200 percent, which is four times more than what can be charged under current law. Like payday loans, these loans are designed to trap people in unaffordable debt.
Protecting consumers from dangerous financial products is a long-standing role of state government. HB 1913 would strike down existing rate caps and put the financial health of economically vulnerable Oklahomans at greater risk. There is simply no need in Oklahoma for another high-cost predatory loan product.
Where Things Stand (as of 3/25/17)
HB 1913 passed the House of Representatives on a 59-31 vote on March 13th. You can see how your Representative voted here. The bill now moves to the Senate, where it has been assigned to the Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee . The Senate will have between March 27th and April 13th to hear HB 1913 in committee.
What You Can Do
There are several things you can do to fight HB 1913. You can use the talking points below to help craft your message. If you or someone you know has been affected by high-cost loans, please share your story.
- Contact Senate Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee chair Sen. Dan Newberry and ask that he not hear HB 1913 in committee. email@example.com (405) 521-5600
- Contact Sen. James Leewright, the Senate author of HB 1913 and express your opposition to HB 1913. firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 521-5528
- Contact members of the Business, Commerce and Tourism Committee and urge them to vote NO on HB 1913.
Sen. Dan Newberry, Chair email@example.com (405) 521-5600
Sen. James Leewright, Vice Chair firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 521-5528
Sen. Micheal Bergstrom email@example.com (405) 521-5561
Sen. Stephanie Bice firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 521-5592
Sen. Nathan Dahm email@example.com (405) 521-5551
Sen. Julie Daniels firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 521-5634
Sen. Chris Kidd email@example.com (405) 521-5563
Sen. Anastasia Pittman firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 521-5531
Sen. Paul Scott email@example.com (405) 521-5522
Sen. Joseph Silk firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 521-5614
Sen. John Sparks email@example.com (405) 521-5553
Sen. Gary Stanislawski firstname.lastname@example.org (405) 521-5624
4. Contact your own Senator to express your opposition to HB 1913. You can find your Senator here. Be sure to identify yourself as a constituent.
Download the talking points as a fact sheet
This bill is not about providing consumers with better choices
- HB 1913 would allow lenders to charge interest rates 6 times higher than what is allowed under current law.
- These loans would simply provide the payday loan industry with a way to make more money by preying on economically vulnerable Oklahomans.
These loans would be unaffordable for many borrowers
- HB 1913 allows lenders to charge 17 percent interest per month. This amounts to an annual interest rate of 204 percent.
- A borrower would be required to make payments of $301 every month on a 12-month $1,500 loan. Over the course of the loan, a borrower will have paid cumulative interest of $2,108.
These loans are not a safety net – they are a debt trap
- Payday lenders attract new customers with teaser rates – they can make loans without conducting any income checks to determine if the borrower can afford to repay the loan.
- When a borrower cannot afford to repay the loan, the lender can offer a second loan to pay down the first loan. Each new loan comes with new fees and interest, dragging to borrower deeper into debt.
Consumers can get by without payday loans
- Fifteen states (including Arkansas, Georgia, West Virginia, and North Carolina) and D.C. ban or severely restrict predatory lending and residents have found alternative ways to cover unexpected expenses.
- 95 percent of would-be payday loan borrowers find other, more responsible ways to cover expenses (like borrowing from friends and family, cutting back on other expenses, or asking their employer for a salary advance). [PEW Research]
Leaders of the faith community strongly oppose HB 1913
- A statement signed by 19 denominational leaders, that are part of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches affirms that HB 1913 is “predatory usury which harms, rather than helps, the poor and which is unacceptable in our society.”
- An Open Letter to Oklahoma Legislators from Oklahoma Clergy on Predatory Lending Practices, signed by over 100 clergy, states that “we find these predatory lending practices an affront to our moral center and in violation of the most basic tenets of our faith.” They “urge our legislators to reject HB 1913, as an act of faithfulness and in the best interest of all Oklahomans.”
Learn More / Do More
- Fact Sheet on HB 1913
- "Small loan" bill means big debts for Oklahoma families
- Open letter to Oklahoma Legislators from Oklahoma Clergy on Predatory Lending Practices
- Oklahoma Conference of Churches Statement on HB 1913
- Lifeway Poll: Conservative and Faith Voters on Predatory Lending
- Rev. Mitch Randall: Predatory lending needs to stop (Oklahoman op-ed)
- William Mark Bonney: Legislation makes poor Oklahomans targets for expensive borrowing (Tulsa World op-ed)
- Red Dirt Report: Payday loan bill passes House with 17 percent per month interest rate