The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Community Groups Rally Outside Payday Lending Stores to Protect Consumers from Predatory Loans

New Ad Pushes Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to Act As Activists Protest Payday Lenders


Community activists across the country rallied Tuesday outside payday lending storefronts to encourage protections for consumers against short-term, high-interest loans that trap millions of Americans in a cycle of debt while a new ad pushed the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to crack down on the payday lending industry.

Events in Idaho, Michigan, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Illinois and Nevada featured local community advocates in hazmat suits taping off "toxic" payday loan stores they called deadly to their communities as they pushed for stronger protections against devastating loans from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The day of action was coordinated by Americans for Payday Lending Reform, a project of the racial and economic justice group National People's Action, which also released the new advertisement calling for strong protections from the CFPB as it weighs new regulations to reign-in high-interest payday and car title lenders.

The video advertisement, which will run online in the cities with events pushing back on predatory lending, says payday lenders are "poisoning our communities" and calls on consumers to tell the "Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to clean up this toxic payday loan mess."

  • Click hereto see the new video ad calling for strong and lasting protections against predatory payday loans from the CFPB.
  • Click hereto see photos from events across the country including consumer advocates in hazmat suits taping off "toxic" payday loan storefronts.

"It's time we started treating predatory payday lenders like the danger to our communities they truly are," said Liz Ryan Murray, policy director at National People's Action. "These high-interest lenders rob communities and families of their livelihoods and are every bit as toxic as an environmental disaster. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau was created to protect working families from just this kind of abusive financial practice. Now it's time for action. The CFPB should implement real and lasting protections that will free consumers from the payday loan debt trap."

Across the country, 35 states authorize payday lending in some form. While some states and cities have worked to pass local laws capping interest rates, federal laws still largely allow payday lenders to prey on vulnerable communities and benefit from borrowers' financial hardship.

Each year, payday lenders make more than $10 billion in fees by trapping an estimated 12 million consumers in a cycle of debt with annual interest rates near 400 percent. Payday lenders have been known to use tactics like threats, harassment and intimidation in order to push customers to take out more loans.

People's Action builds the power of poor and working people, in rural, suburban, and urban areas to win change through issue campaigns and elections.