Petition to Cap Payday Loan Interests

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COLUMBIA - Missourians for Responsible Lending continued working on Wednesday, toward a petition to place a cap on interest rates for payday and car title loans.

The secretary of state's office approved the wording of the group's proposed ballot on Tuesday. The approval allows the group to start gathering signitures for a petition to have Missourians vote on the cap in November 2012.

The organization's treasurer, Jim Bryan, said the petition is an effort to caution Missourians about avoiding long-term risks of getting in financial binds, and to urge businesses that give payday and car title loans to lower interest rates.

"Don't look for an easy way," Bryan suggested to potential loan customers. "Don't spend money you don't have, read the fine print, stay away from payday loans."

Kelsie Smith, on Missouri-dweller, said she's careful about taking out loans.

"My reservations on taking out loans period," Smith said, "is just the trap they set for [you]. You have to pay this much as toon as possible."

Critics of the petition are concerned with the protection of Missourian's financial freedom. Payday loan-issuers have yet to comment on the petition and the interest cap.