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Protesters target local loan businesses

June 4, 2006 - Wichita, Kansas

Some Wichitans are furious over the fast cash places popping up all over the city. On Saturday, protesters went from one payday lender to another, protesting their business. Lenders say they're just doing their job.

Diana Yerton knows all about the problems payday loans can cause. Yerton and her husband took out a payday loan they weren't able to pay back on time. It went from a $300 dilemma to a $600 disaster.

"It just kind of got out of control, and we just let it snowball because we couldn't get money anywhere else," said Yerton.

Lenders say it's a risk, but a small one. A-OK president Bruce Harris says companies like his provide a good and necessary service.

Payday loans are like instant cash. If you can't wait until payday, all you do is write a postdated check to one of the lenders. The loan is paid off on your payday when they cash your check.

Kansas law caps interest at 15 percent, but credit counselors say that can skyrocket to more than 400 percent over the year in late fees. More than one loan can leave you in a money mess. Lenders say so long as you can pay the loan, there's nothing to worry about.

Credit counselors say it's best to avoid loans altogether, but if you do take one and default, talk to your lender. Most have payment options available.

News Source

KAKE News, Staff Writer

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