2018 Policy Priority: Stop the Expansion of Predatory Lending

Background

In Oklahoma, high-interest payday loans are advertised as a way for people who may not have access to traditional forms of credit to get needed emergency funds. In reality, these loans are a form of predatory lending with exorbitant fees and extremely high interest rates that keep borrowers in a cycle of debt that can be nearly impossible to break.

Last year, the payday loan industry attempted to expand their predatory practices with HB 1913, a bill that would have allowed a new high-cost loan product called installment loans. These new installment loans would have allowed borrowers to take out loans of up to $1,500 for up to 12 months, with an annual percentage rate (APR) of 204 percent. Thankfully Governor Fallin stepped in to veto this harmful bill, but it’s expected that the industry will try again this year to push through new and harmful high-cost loan products in Oklahoma.

The Solution

The answer to the harms of predatory lending is not more loan products with exorbitant interest rates and longer cycles of debt. We must fight any attempts to introduce new high-cost loan products in Oklahoma or expand existing products. Oklahomans already use payday loans at a higher rate than residents of any other state.

What You Can Do

Please contact your state Representative and Senator and urge them to reject any legislation that would expand or create new predatory loan products such as “flex loans” or “installment loans.”

You can look up your Senator and Representative here, call the House switchboard at 405-521-2711, and call the Senate switchboard at 405-524-0126. To receive SMS advocacy alerts on important economic security issues, text OKECON to 51555.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Gene Perry joined OK Policy in January 2011. He is a native Oklahoman and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. He graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a B.A. in history and an M.A. in journalism. Gene also serves on the board of the Oklahoma Sustainability Network, is a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, is a member of Investigative Reporters and Editors, and has chaired the communications advisory committee for the State Priorities Partnership, a nationwide network of state fiscal policy think tanks. He lives in Tulsa with his wife Kara Joy McKee, who is a Tulsa City Councilor.

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