Group Rallies Against Payday Loan Ballot Initiative

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JEFFERSON CITY -A group of more than 400 people rallied at the state capitol today against a payday loan ballot initiative.

The initiative, backed by Rep. Mary Still (D-Columbia), calls for a statewide payday loan reform. It would limit the annual rate of interest for payday loan to 36 percent. Currently, the average APR in Missouri is 444 percent, according to a latest Missouri Division of Finance report.

Stand up Missouri, organizer of the rally, called the initiative misleading, saying it would eliminate consumer choices for credit options, harm traditional consumer installment loans and cause great job losses.

Rep.Don Wells (R-Cabool) spoke at the rally. As a former loan lender himself, Wells asked the supporters to stand up for their interests and stop the initiative from making its way onto the ballot.

The initiative would require about 90,000 signatures in order to qualify for the November ballot.