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PNS Daily News - October 23, 2020 


President Trump and Joe Biden square off in their final debate; warnings that "dark days" of the pandemic are yet to come; and food assistance now available for some wildfire victims.


2020Talks - October 23, 2020 


The second and last presidential debate was much more controlled than the first; President Trump keeping to his main themes, calmly rebutted by Biden.

VA Payday Loan Cap: Ten Times Higher Than You Think

March 10, 2008

Richmond, VA – Critics of payday lenders say prospective borrowers shouldn't rush to the quick-and-easy loan store just yet. It's true that the Virginia Legislature capped payday loan interest rates at 36 percent -- however, that doesn't really mean it's all that borrowers pay.

Doug Smith with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy says the new law includes a fee of $20 for each $100 borrowed, as well as a so-called "verification fee."

"Well, if they take out a $500 loan, what they're really paying is $600, plus the $5 verification fee, plus 36 percent interest on top of that."

Smith belives that, while the bill that cleared the legislature was a compromise between lawmakers and lenders, it still doesn't provide all the protections that borrowers need.

"It expanded the loan term to two pay cycles. When they did that, though, the industry insisted that they should have an increased amount of money that they could charge borrowers."

Smith adds when the new fees are included, the bill only cuts the cost of a payday loan slightly. Overall, it's now the equivalent of paying an annual interest rate of 362 percent, rather than 391 percent. The bill is now on Governor Kaine's desk; Smith hopes the governor will request amendments and return the bill to lawmakers for another look, saying it must also address borrowers' inability to pay, in order to break what Smith calls the "cycle of debt."

John Robinson/Craig Eicher, Public News Service - VA