Mind Your Own Business: Yay Google, for dumping payday loan ads (News OK)

By Paula Burkes

Like numerous consumer advocacy groups, I applaud Google’s announcement this morningthat they’re banning ads for payday loans and other predatory lending.
It’s been 11 years ago, but I’ll never forgot the story I wrote on one Oklahoman who was taken in by these loans that carry triple-digit interest rates. He literally was borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.
After declaring bankruptcy, the man didn’t qualify for traditional loans, so he turned to payday lending. For his first loan of $200, he wrote a check for $230 that the payday lender deposited two weeks later. And it got worse from there.
David Blatt, director of public policy for the Community Action Project of Tulsa County, told me then, “Though they’re promoted as short term loans to pay for the occasional broken pipe or other emergency, they’re not being used that way.” Some 80,000 Oklahomans used them. And the average borrower took out 12 to 13 loans a year.
Here’s a sampling of responses to Google’s announcement:

“Banning predatory payday loan ads shows that Google is willing to put people before profits.” — Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

“Google is demonstrating how profitable enterprises can also be ethical and supportive of financial fairness.” — Keith Corbett, Center for Responsible Lending Executive Vice President

“The Internet should not be a place that profits from your weaknesses. If you’re broke and search the Internet for help, you should not be hit with ads for payday lenders charging 1,000 percent interest.” — Alvaro Bedoya, executive director of the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law
Hear, Hear!
I can put a face to the payday loan problem, after interviewing victim B.C. Pennington.  I also have a poem he wrote to remember him by.  It’s pictured below; I’m using it as a bookmark.


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