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Community Groups Urge Nevadans to Learn Risks of Payday Loans

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Nine Nevada organizations are joining together to host a forum next week about payday lending. (Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr)
Nine Nevada organizations are joining together to host a forum next week about payday lending. (Taber Andrew Bain/Flickr)
 By Katherine Davis-Young, Public News Service - NV, Contact
September 20, 2018

LAS VEGAS — A free workshop in Las Vegas on Monday is aimed at educating people about the risks of payday loans.

Short-term, high-interest, payday lending is prohibited in several states - and many states that do allow these loans put limits on the amount of interest that can build up on them. But that isn't the case in Nevada. In the absence of those regulations, Robin Collins with Nevadans for the Common Good said many low-income people in the state are getting caught in cycles of debt.

"Once someone gets a payday loan, because the way it's serviced and the interest rate, it is hard to get out of it,” Collins said. “As a matter of fact, the statistics show that when a person gets a loan, they might get a loan, and then they might get a loan to pay off that loan - and then it just continues, continues, continues."

Several states have created databases of payday-loan borrowers, meant to help prevent them from entering into multiple deals they can't afford. Collins said Nevada doesn't have any such system to enforce borrowing rules before a loan is issued.

The Monday evening forum will be held at Las Vegas' University United Methodist Church. It's co-hosted by nine Nevada community groups to help the public understand how short-term lenders operate in the state.

Collins said one goal of the workshop is to make clear that high interest rates mean borrowers often get stuck owing much more than they bargained for.

"Those people who are affected, we want them to come and tell us their stories and talk to us, so that we can show them that there's some hope, and show them how to get out of it,” she said.

For those who can't attend the workshop, the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada offers information on payday loans online at lacsn.org, as well as free payday-loan classes once a month.

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