Archive for the 'Missouri' Category

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Battle Over Payday Loans Gains Momentum in Missouri, Headed to Washington for Ruling

By J.J. Cameron
Payday Loan Writer

Credit counselor Yolanda Dixon is familiar with payday loans. She spends a majority of her time trying to help soldiers at Fort Leonard Wood who have taken out short-term, military payday advances.

"Over the years, we've seen it growing worse," said Dixon, who works at the Consumer Credit Counseling Service in Springfield, Mo.

A Military Payday Loan Battle BrewsAs we've previously reported, military payday loans cause financial problems, distract soldiers from their mission and compromise military readiness, while costing some soldiers their security clearance for reasons of financial irresponsibility.

Such quick cash lending by instant payday loan stores, often found outside military bases, is drawing increasing national attention - and appears headed for a showdown in Washington. Citing "predatory" lending practices, Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., has guided a bill through the Senate that would cap the annual percentage rate of loans to military personnel at 36 percent.

The payday advances industry vehemently opposes the legislation, saying it would deny military personnel an option for paying short-term bills or covering bank checks. A typical case may involve a soldier, needing cash to fix a washing machine or pay a bill, who goes to a payday store and agrees to pay $230 when he gets his next paycheck of $200, in exchange for an advance on it.

Later, unable to make the payment on this miltary payday loan, he rolls it over for another couple of weeks, as interest accumulates.

For the past decade, Dale Buckingham has warned airmen about the payday loan spiral. A retired chief master sergeant at Whiteman Air Force Base, he teaches business at two nearby colleges.

"Young folks who come into the Air Force, sometimes they get a little tight, and they go out looking at these payday loan companies - and they end up in trouble. It's a slippery slope," Buckingham said.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Missouri Senator Urges End to Military Payday Loan Lending

By J.J. Cameron
Payday Loan Writer

As concerns over military payday loans spread across the ocean, the issue remains heated at home, as well. 

In Missouri, for instance, Senator Jim Talent is urging instant payday loan companies to stop taking advantage of military personnel and their families. Talent was recently in St. Robert, not far from Fort Leonard Wood, to outline a plan to stop outrageous interest rates for cashing personal checks before payday.

He says some payday loan companies charge up to 800 percent annual interest on loans, while targeting young military personnel in need of quick cash. The republican's solution?

Talent has proposed legislation that would put a 36 percent interest cap on fast payday loans to those in the military and their wives. The proposed law wouldn't help civilians, but would be a welcome step for critics that blame cash advance lenders for forcing those serving our country into debt.

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Missouri Payday Loan Industry is Booming

By Desmond Carlisle
Payday Loan Writer

Missouri Payday Loan Business BoomsQuick cash is easy to get in Missouri. But it's not cheap.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the payday advance industry is booming in the Show Me State, with agencies offering short-term consumer loans — no credit check required — with a two-to-four-week maturity. The average costs of payday loans in Missouri are $15 per $100 borrowed.

At an annual percentage rate (or APR), that translates to 391 percent. Missouri has one of the highest interest rate caps in the country — up to 1,950 percent annualized. By comparison, an Illinois payday loan reform bill was passed in December, capping loans at $1,000 or 25 percent of a customer's income, whichever is less.

Nationally, payday cash advances generate $45 billion per year. In Missouri, businesses have popped up in middle-class suburbs in addition to the low-income neighborhoods where they are often seen.

"If you look at our customer base, it's defined as the middle-income working American," said Jamie Fulmer, spokesman for Advance America. "In order to have an account with us, they have to have an open and active checking account and a regular source of income. These are everyday working people."


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