Topeka JUMP Holds Rally Against Payday Loans

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – With payday lenders able to charge up to 391% interest in the Sunflower State, community leaders have called on Kansas lawmakers to change.

Topeka JUMP says community members from local and state organizations came together to demand reform of payday lending practices across the Sunflower State on Wednesday, January 19.

Kansans for Payday Loan Reform organized the rally to call the community and the Kansas Legislature to action.

“Predatory lending puts people who are already economically disadvantaged even further away,” said Rabbi Moti Rieber of Kansas Interfaith Action. “It takes money out of the pockets of the hard-working poor.”

KIFA joined the coalition because members wanted to ensure borrowers are protected from outrageous lending practices that charge up to 391% interest and fees in the state of Kansas.

Elizabeth Lewis, Director of Maternal and Child Initiatives for March of Dimes, said his organization was concerned about the burden that poverty places on mothers, babies and families. She said the MOD’s national strategic plan aims to disrupt economic insecurity across the lifespan, which negatively impacts the financial well-being of families and contributes to the abuse of mothers and babies.

“These types of short-term loans are linked to people of color, people living in poverty, and single-parent families in need of money for food and medical expenses,” Lewis said. “There is scientific evidence that increased stress can contribute to low birth weight, malnutrition and other health issues like high blood pressure, obesity and shorter life expectancy.”

Currently, JUMP said payday lenders are allowed to charge Kansans up to 391% interest. He said borrowers can borrow up to $500, but many are forced to re-borrow to save money for rent, bills, food and gas.

The gathering was held virtually with key speakers and stakeholders gathered at Grace Episcopal Cathedral.

To watch the rally, click HERE.

To see the coalition’s petition, click on HERE.

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