We’re thrilled to share this op-ed in the Sahan Journal by our executive director, Anne Leland Clark. In it, she describes how seemingly innocuous short-term loans can ensnare people in debt traps because of high-interest rates and inflexible terms. These predatory business tactics have their roots in racist economic and residential policies. That’s why we must change the system and reform lending practices.
“Although thousands of Minnesotans feel that they are drowning from the effects of predatory loans with interest rates averaging 273 percent, this is entirely legal. No one would be struggling with high-interest loans if we had better lending laws with more affordable interest rate caps.”
– Anne Leland Clark, Executive Director
Thank you, Engagement Manager, Anika Riewe, and partners at NewPublica for their work on this project.
Our steadfast commitment to eliminating predatory lending in the U.S. is driven by the stories we hear every day from Minnesotans caught in the vicious cycle. When one of our participants, Daniel, took out a title loan from an out-of-state lender, he recalled being “just baffled at how much interest they charged on that loan. I think it was upwards of 300 percent”. Per his loan agreement, his $400 loan would cost him over $1,000 in interest and fees!
Through LSS Financial Counseling (LSS), Daniel discovered Exodus Lending. Our interest-free loan was “like the best scenario”. It allowed him to continue his financial empowerment journey with us, LSS, and Prepare + Prosper. Thanks to this Minnesota financial capability trifecta, he is making steady progress toward financial stability.
“I’ve only been in the program for, I think, six months and… It changes everything. It helps tremendously because now you look at your budget and go, hey, I don’t want to ever be in that position ever again. Your program helps me stay focused on what I need to do to not be in that position again. I can’t say enough about you guys. You guys are awesome.”
– Daniel, Exodus Lending program participant
Additionally, Exodus Lending’s Board of Directors recently met virtually for its annual Board Retreat. Please join us in welcoming new board members James Unglaube, Latichia Harper, SueLyne Hok, and Youa Lee. Also, we’d like to thank them and continuing board members Vienna Wilson, Gene Hummel, Nick Scheibel, Gary Hess, Joan Riley, Jyoti Gidwani, Missy Juliette, Ryan Smith, Sola Olateju, and Tonia Brinston for their leadership. Thanks as well to outgoing board members from last year, Eric Howard, Relesha Billups, Sonia Palmer, and Sarah Schoolcraft for their dedication to our mission.
Are you a Thrivent member? If so, you have until March 31st to allocate your Thrivent Choice Dollars to support Exodus Lending. Learn more on Thrivent’s website.
In case you missed it, here are some of the latest news items on predatory lending:
Exodus Lending E-Newsletter: March 2022