We recently reached out to our participants and recent graduates in order to invite them to a participant-led listening session. There was much excitement from participants, like Chelsea, to attend because they were eager to share their experience.
Similarly to thousands of Minnesotans, Chelsea struggled to pay off her payday loans. “I was very relieved to have found Exodus. I had gotten caught in the trap of the never-ending cycle of re-upping the loans each month because I could never seem to get enough cash all at once to pay them off.“
While reflecting on her personal experience, Chelsea sees that the payday loan crisis is a systemic issue. “Most people, even those who would not necessarily consider themselves ‘poor’ are only a few lost pay periods away from a financial crisis.”
At Exodus Lending, we agree wholeheartedly. As a society, we must restructure our institutions so that they meet everyone’s needs, including those struggling with financial hardship. Chelsea, for example, imagines a microloan program offering matching grants to help low-income people save.
Living wages. Affordable housing. Financial education for children and adults. Access to affordable credit. Certainly, all Minnesotans deserve these things and more to live a life of dignity. What they don’t deserve? Exploitative, usurious loans with triple-digit interest rates. That is to say, no one should struggle with predatory payday loans. In short, that’s why we’re fighting to get a 36% effective interest rate cap (including fees) for small-dollar loans in Minnesota.
After battling with payday lenders for far too long, Chelsea is happy to join this fight for legislative justice. “I am happy to know that you are working on legislation to limit interest on these types of loans. I hope that it passes!”
*We have changed the participant’s name because of confidentiality.