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2015 update: predatory lending money flowing through Missouri politics



JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Progress Missouri released its latest report on how the payday loan industry is spending millions on consultants and donations to Missouri legislators, of both parties, to continue disenfranchising low income Missourians.

The facts are startling:
From the report:
  • An incredible $1.53M moved through the payday lenders’ main front group, Missourians For Equal Credit Opportunity (MECO) during the 2014 ballot initiative campaign cycle, even though there was no payday lending ballot measure that cycle.
  • The installment lenders’ “Stand Up Missouri” front group, funded almost entirely by out-of-state companies who charge triple-digit interest rates to Missourians, also remains active. In fact, they’ve moved almost $450,000 into their campaign committee this cycle, allegedly to fight the same non-existent ballot measure.
“This report highlights how the payday loan industry will go to any length to protect their business that misleads and preys upon low-income Missourians or those in a desperate position,” said Kevin Garner, communications director for Progress Missouri.
Claimed as a “quick fix” to help people in tough times, payday loans are actually putting Missouri families one step closer to bankruptcy with the average interest rate at an obscene 455 percent and endless fees.
“If Missouri lawmakers are too busy receiving campaign donations from the payday industry, then Missourians need to contact their legislators and support ballot initiatives that will cap the interest rate at a fair level,” stated Garner.

A downloadable copy of the report can be found here.