In hard times, are payday loans a necessary evil?

By Ron Gilbert

Over the last six days, this paper has explored the impact of payday loans on working Alabamians. You've learned that Alabama law allows payday lenders to charge fees equivalent to an annual percentage rate of 456 percent for small short-term loans. You've learned how Alabama consumers, struggling with rising prices and flat earnings, turn to these legal loan sharks and find themselves trapped in debt for months or years. In hard times like these, are payday loans just a necessary evil?

This Anniston Star op-ed by ACPP senior policy analyst Ron Gilbert examines recent developments in consumer protection aimed at payday lending, along with so-called "reforms" that would only further protect the industry from meaningful regulation.

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