STATEMENT: Governor’s veto the right decision for consumers

Oklahoma Policy Institute released the following statement in response to Governor Fallin’s veto of SB 817, a bill that would have raised fees on short-term, high-interest, unsecured loans (commonly known as ‘B’ or ‘signature’ loans):

We applaud Gov. Fallin for making the right decision for Oklahoma consumers by vetoing SB 817. ‘B’ lenders in Oklahoma can already charge an annual percentage rate as high as 225 percent. Financially vulnerable borrowers are offered unlimited “renewals” on these loans and too many Oklahomans get caught in an escalating debt trap with few options for a way out.

In many other states, sensible consumer protections have reduced borrower costs while still providing lenders the opportunity to turn a profit. For example, North Carolina’s signature lenders operate profitably under interest rate ceilings and fee caps that amount to a fraction of what signature lenders routinely charge under Oklahoma law.

Far from allowing interest rates to rise again, Oklahoma should limit fees and interest to reign in predatory lending. Oklahomans need access to affordable credit and sound products that help them stand on solid financial ground, not debt traps and predatory products.

We hope the Governor’s statement on SB 817 will spur policymakers to reexamine the full range of high cost credit products in the state (including payday loans), which drain residents’ income and increase their financial insecurity.


Gene Perry worked for OK Policy from 2011 to 2019. 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.

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