Below is a video testimony given at the "The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values" Birmingham service on June 6, 2016, about predatory payday loans. A summary transcript of the video follows:
When someone falls on hard times and needs money quickly, they trust that a loan will help improve their financial situation. But once they take out that first loan, it is almost impossible to climb out of the debt trap created by the interest rates, and living in debt is too often living in fear.
I was once part of the payday debt trap; as though it was not enough that I was living from paycheck to paycheck. One day I couldn’t see my way out of what I thought was a desperate situation. My money was already gone before it hit my account. I needed help NOW! Someone told me about a cash advance loan company. The more I pondered over the idea of going to apply, the more I became desperate. I thought to myself this will only be a one time request. When reality hit me like a brick, I realized that I was in over my head. At one point I would say, ”I’m not going back, this is my last loan.” One day I came in to pay off a $500 dollar loan with the increased amount of $85.50 from the interest rate; that is the date that I got a wake up call from God. When my eyes behold the large file that was accumulated from the numerous times I had received loans. I decided at that moment I was done! I got in my car, prayed, and gave that addiction over. As of today I never looked back or considered ever returning.
We see payday and title loan stores target communities of color, and strip wealth from our communities and out of the pockets of middle to low-income Alabamians. This debt becomes another monthly expense, stopping borrowers from saving money.