Missouri group pushes for payday loan reforms
COLUMBIA — Faith Voices of Columbia met on the steps of the First Baptist Church as a call to action for Missouri State Legislators regarding payday loans.
Payday loans are referred to as “debt traps” by Faith Voices of Columbia and their initiative is centered on the “Family First” principle they use to raise awareness.
“I think the discarded values of the past need to be rediscovered, family first, take care of your brother first. These legislators I think are really out of touch, that’s got to be the bottom line they are out of touch,” Joseph Wilson said.
Joseph Wilson is a co-facilitator for Faith Voices of Columbia and has experienced first hand the debt that payday loans can bring.
“We did pay off 3 of our loans and then after losing a car, we just did our jobs. I had some odd jobs, I did painting, grass cutting, you name it, whatever I could find,” Wilson said.
Brian Ford is the executive director of Church Net, which is a statewide Baptist church network. Ford spoke at the led the speaking at the press conference this afternoon and highlighted the need for payday reform in the state.
“Some bills have been written that will bring real payday reform in our state and capping the loan rate for payday loans at 36%. We are just a few days away from the end of our session in 2017 and it is not scheduled for committee for a vote,” Ford said.
The current rate is 463% on average so the people who gathered, shared stories of payday loan debt to continue the conversation about possible reform.
Faith Voices have met and continued to spread the word of reform for the past few days and plan to continue to voice their concerns to the state in hopes of payday reform bills reaching committee when the session closes.