Payday loans appeal to people who fall into a financial emergency and need quick cash to pay a bill or put food on the table, but borrowing can quickly cascade into deep debt. Payday loan outlets in Hamilton often locate in lower-income neighbourhoods and use misleading advertising to hide high interest rates. Estimating from provincial figures, at least 16,000 Hamiltonians borrow about $50 million worth of payday loans annually.
Learn more about predatory payday lending in this report from Hamilton’s Social Planning and Research Council:
Read the Roundtable’s letter to the Minister of Consumer Services about the need to crack down on payday lending:
“While payday loans are regulated by the province of Ontario, for more than two decades this industry has operated in a vacuum of lax government oversight while expanding its base and exploiting consumers”. – City Councillor Matthew Green and Roundtable director Tom Cooper in Toronto Star
In 2016, City Councillor Matthew Green and the City’s Licensing Department supported by the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction led efforts to make Hamilton the first municipality in Ontario to license payday loan outlets. As a result, payday lenders must now post the real costs of borrowing as an annual interest rate (currently 391%) and provide credit counselling information to all customers. More needs to be done.
Our Plans For 2018:
In 2018, the Roundtable will push the provincial government to lower payday loan interest rates and seek to end the aggressive and misleading advertising used by lenders. We’ll work with the City of Hamilton to bring in even tougher municipal regulations and put an end to the predatory tactics used by the payday loan industry!