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Closing the Door on Payday Lenders in Oregon

March 29, 2007

Oregon voters want the doors closed on payday lenders in the state. A new poll from AARP Oregon shows nearly 80 percent of voters say the state needs cap interest rates at 36 percent annually on all payday and similar loans. Gwen Curran with AARP Oregon says without the cap, payday lenders will find a way to continue charging triple digit interest.

"Thirty-six [percent] sounds really high, but they can and do charge over 500 percent."

The House Consumer Protection Committee is expected to vote soon on a bill (HB 2871) that would cap the rates. Payday loan companies say they're providing a needed service, and additional regulations will put them out of business.

Curran argues that the restrictions set to go into effect in Oregon in July haven't worked in other states, and the only good solution is an interest cap.

"These kind of high interest consumer loans are risky and jeopardize the economic security and peace of mind of Oregonians of any age."

Dondrea Warner/Eric Mack, Public News Service - OR