By Kaitlyn Szabo • January 24, 2019
Our Story: “Exodus Lending Strengthens Communities”
We are honored to be a Mary’s Pence Grantee, and we love the video they’ve created highlighting our program. Hear from our executive director, Sara Nelson-Pallmeyer, about how Exodus Lending works to help Minnesotans break free from payday loan debt.
“We are improving lives and creating social change by taking money from the pockets of payday lenders and putting it back into our community.”
Our People: Participant Feedback
In every aspect of our work, we strive to focus on our participants. That’s why we utilize a two-part survey – taken during program enrollment and again following successful repayment – to illuminate our participants’ experiences with payday lending.
Here are some of these findings and how we’re using these numbers to improve our work:
- Nearly a quarter of our program participants took out a payday loan to cover their bills (23%). Other commonly cited reasons include paying for medical expenses (13%), unexpected expenses (12%), or car maintenance (11%). By understanding why participants turn to payday loans, we’re able to direct them to relevant non-predatory alternatives and resources through our Money Management blog.
- The vast majority of participants said taking out a payday loan made their financial situation worse (73%). Participants complained about the expensive interest rates, being stuck in a renewal cycle, and how difficult it was to meet other obligations while still paying their loan. Our desire to rein in this predatory industry is fuel by these troubling firsthand accounts of life in the payday loan debt trap.
- Graduates feel more secure after completing our program: 93% of respondents say they are “somewhat” to “absolutely” more equipped to be financially successful and healthy than when they first enrolled. With financial stability being a core value, we’re thrilled to learn our program is effective!
- Our participants are our best ambassadors. On a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely), 100% of surveyed graduates said they’d likely recommend us to a friend or coworker. Most (85%) answered with a 10! With their positive affirmations, we’re able to spread the word about our program and break the cycle of payday loans for more Minnesotans.
Our Purpose: Advocacy Work
As the video and our participant survey highlight, Exodus Lending halts unjust economic exploitation and empowers harmed borrowers to become advocates for change. In 2019, we’re building on that energy and making progress on our efforts to pass a 36% interest rate cap on payday loans issued to Minnesotans.
Stay tuned in the next few months for more information!