Last month, we hosted our first listening session with program participants, with the hopes of learning how to improve our current and future systems. In a small group setting, several participants shared their honest opinions of their experiences with our program. We are incredibly honored to work with such thoughtful, passionate Minnesotans. It is a privilege for us to learn from their expertise as we work together to fight against predatory lending.
Participants who were unable to attend were still eager to share their thoughts. For example, Chelsea* spoke with staff about her nightmarish experience in the debt trap. Unable to get enough cash all at once to pay her loans off, she found herself trapped in a never-ending cycle of re-upping the loans – until she found Exodus Lending.
“Exodus was my saving grace!”
Reflecting on her personal experience, Chelsea sees that the payday loan crisis is a systemic issue. She believes predatory lending is not an issue of personal irresponsibility, but one of injustice. At Exodus Lending, we agree wholeheartedly. As members of the Consumer Federation of America, we stand with like-minded non-profits to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education.
That’s also why we’re fighting to get a 36% effective interest rate cap 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.
While our participants continue to shape our programmatic focus, our Board of Directors envisions and executes our strategic plan toward economic justice. We are excited to welcome our new board members – Kit Fordham, Michelle Grosz, Gene Hummel, Sonia Palmer, Cindra Vang, and Vienna Wilson! Our newest members joined our other directors at our annual board retreat last month, bringing their fresh ideas to this collective learning opportunity.
Thank you to our continuing board members, Gary Hess, Eric Howard, Missy Juliette, Anne Leland Clark, Nick Scheibel, and Sarah Schoolcraft, as well to our outgoing board members, Nicole Haverly, Meghan Olsen Biebighauser, Laney Ohmans, and Chris Romano, for your leadership over the last several years!
Are you a Thrivent member? If so, you can have until March 31st to allocate your Thrivent Choice Dollars to support Exodus Lending. Learn more on Thrivent’s website.
We are in the early stages of planning our annual summer fundraiser, so mark your calendars for June 2nd. More details still to come!
In case you missed it, here are some of the latest news on predatory lending:
Exodus Lending E-Newsletter: March 2020