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Ministers Want New Restrictions On Pay Day Lenders

Rev. James T. Golden speaking at Florida's Capitol building.
Nick Evans

A handful of faith leaders wants the Constitution Revision Commission to place new restrictions on payday lenders.  The ministers want drastic reductions in the costs for borrowers.

Florida already places a number of restrictions on short term lenders—loans are capped at $500, the top interest rate is 10 percent, and verification fees can’t cost more than five bucks.  But Reverend James Golden says when those rates are annualized they quickly reach triple digits.

“Every other entity doing money lending business in the state of Florida is subject to greater restraints,” Golden says.  “We strongly believe that is long past the time for the pay day lending industry to join them.”

Because the term of the loan is so brief, the cost per day is far higher than traditional borrowing.  The ministers want to limit the annual percentage rate at 30 percent for all loans in the state, and they’re calling on the Constitution Revision Commission to put it on the 2018 ballot.

Nick Evans came to Tallahassee to pursue a masters in communications at Florida State University. He graduated in 2014, but not before picking up an internship at WFSU. While he worked on his degree Nick moved from intern, to part-timer, to full-time reporter. Before moving to Tallahassee, Nick lived in and around the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. He listens to far too many podcasts and is a die-hard 49ers football fan. When Nick’s not at work he likes to cook, play music and read.