I hope the title of this article brought you to it. Here’s my take on the proliferation of payday loans and payday loan companies over the last 10 years. Payday loan lending is a way for a lender to make a lot of money. We have 50 states in the Union. Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, West Virginia, and DC…
What do these states have in common?
These 12 States and one Commonwealth have deemed payday lending illegal. That’s 13 out of 50. That’s only 26%.. The other 37 States welcome payday loan lenders with open arms. There is one caveat to the illegality of payday loan lending in the above-mentioned 12 plus 1 areas. Native American tribe lenders are able to circumvent these laws. They claim sovereignty and advertise their payday loans online, allowing them to work in areas that should be protected from predatory lending. This raises some very interesting issues. In the real world, where does sovereignty end? Native American tribes have been legally running casinos on their land for years. They certainly have the right to do that.
What is crossing the line?
That’s certainly not my decision to make but I do believe that every privilege should have its limits. Why can native Americans loan money at rates up to 700% but for years loan sharks have gone to jail for doing the same thing. Why is it legal for some and illegal for others? These are all rhetorical questions but good ones and certainly merit some thought. We as a nation need to decide what certain things are harmful to people. If something is universally harmful shouldn’t our lawmakers agree that nationwide sweeping changes need to be made? There’s really no sense in some states believing that their residents should be paying 700% interest on payday loans and other states believing those loans are criminally usurious.
Intelligent law making needs to be based on factual evidence. Laws need to be proposed and ratified by people who have no horse in the proverbial race. We can’t have law makers in this country who are more afraid of what their constituency thinks, instead of deciding based on logic whether or not the law is good for all the people. When politics come into play and superseded judgments based on people’s well-being you have a politician who’s just looking to get reelected. Payday loans ruin lives. That is a fact. We, as a civilized Nation should not be taking advantage of people in dire financial circumstances who tend to be desperate. The system has been broken for years and needs to be fixed.