So far in 2022, our refinancing program has served 54 Minnesotans and paid off $61,371 of payday, auto title, installment, and pawn loans. That’s an average of $1,137 per enrollment – the highest yearly average in our program history! This spike is due to more borrowers struggling with title or installment loans with larger balances than payday loans. The majority of the loans we refinanced in 2022, both in terms of number of loans and dollar amount of payoff, were for installment loans.
Alongside the higher loan balances, more and more Minnesotans are approaching us with loans from unlicensed and/or underregulated lenders. By this, we mean people are acquiring loans with even higher finances charges than what is currently legal in Minnesota though lenders based in neighboring states (some of whom partner with FDIC-insured banks to evade rate caps), another country, or under American Indian tribal authority.
In the face of rising need, Exodus Lending continues to rise to the challenge. We are a responsive, resilient, and reliable resource for Minnesotans ready to break free from debilitating debt. Our refinancing program team regularly reviews our participant data and internal policies to make real-time adjustments that better address the systemic issues of predatory lending and more fully meet the financial needs of our community. At the same time, we continue to push forward on our small-dollar loan pilot. This new loan can help Minnesotans avoid these gnarly, exploitative financial products in the first place.
In order to create the equitable financial future we envision, our team is committed to continual learning and growth. Recently, Exodus Lending’s staff and advocacy partners attended a “Credit As Asset” Training hosted by Neighborhood Development Alliance (NeDA). The training was facilitated by NeDA’s Financial Counselor and Educator, Roxanny Armendariz. We had a wonderful time together and will carry all that we learned into our organization and communities.
We’ve got an exciting update to share with you all… in just a few weeks. Stay tuned for next month’s newsletter!
In case you missed it, here are some of the latest news items on predatory lending:
Exodus Lending E-Newsletter: September 2022