February 20, 2019

Committee Passes Cap To Reduce Payday Lending Interest Rates

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr

Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr

Legislation that would slash allowable interest rates for payday lenders will now go to the Indiana Senate floor.

The Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee passed the bill 6 to 2 Wednesday.

The bill would limit payday lenders to a 36 percent interest rate, a reduction of more than 90 percent from the current limit of 391 percent for a two-week loan of $650 or less.

Indiana Institute for Working Families senior policy analyst Erin Macey says she hopes the bill making it to the Senate floor helps create more awareness of the risks of payday lending.

“I think the reality is this is like a garden with weeds in it," Macey says. "Payday loans are right there, they’re aggressively marketed to low-income families and if we can get these out of the marketplace, borrowers will find some of the more affordable and better options that exist.”

Some of those opposed to the bill claim the loans are cheaper than having a check bounce and would put Hoosiers at risk of turning to online and tribal lenders to get the money.

While Macey says this is a step forward, another bill dealing with small loans could cause a step back.

“While we saw victory today, we could see an even more dangerous, more predatory product passed out of a different committee tomorrow,” she says. “So the fight is clearly not over.”

The bill has until Tuesday to move out of the Senate.

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