Payday lending drains nearly $1 billions from communities
Written by Charlene Crowell
(NNPA)—One of the worst ironies of the nagging economic recession is that consumers with the fewest financial resources have lost the most. Now, a new report finds that payday loans not only strip much-needed income from low-income families, but harms the economic viability of the communities where they operate, draining nearly $1 billion a year. Written by the Insight Center for Community Economic Development (Insight Center), it also reveals other net negative impacts of these small-dollar, high cost loans on economic growth and personal bankruptcy filings.
The Insight Center examined the net economic impact of the $3.3 billion in interest that borrowers paid to non-bank payday lenders in 2011. The study found that if consumers collectively had an additional $3.3 billion in discretionary spending, it would have resulted in $6.34 billion in economic activity and created 79,000 jobs. In comparison, payday lending activity added $5.56 billion to the national economy and created 65,000 jobs.
Combining these figures shows a net loss from payday lending of $774 million in economic growth and more than 14,000 jobs. That’s in addition to $169 million lost through Chapter 13 bankruptcies.
“This nearly $1 billion loss in economic activity should serve as a strong signal that, in addition to the well-documented harm to the families directly receiving payday loans, payday lending harms local community economies and the overall economy,” the report states. “Payday lending drains over $2.5 million from the economy each day. In addition, we estimate that more than 38 people lose their jobs each day due to the economic drain of payday lending.”
Payday lending has been a centerpiece of the Center for Responsible Lending’s research and policy efforts over the past decade. CRL also supported the new report’s development.
Earlier CRL research determined that each year 12 million Americans become entrapped in payday loans, taking out an average of nine loans per year. With more than 22,000 locations, there are more than two payday stores for every Starbucks coffee store.
CRL has also documented how storefront payday lenders tend to concentrate locations in low-income and communities of color. The Southern states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and South Carolina had the highest number of payday stores per 10,000 residents. Outside of the Deep South, Missouri and Nevada were the only states with comparable density of payday storefronts.
Similarly, the Insight Center found that five states charged the greatest amount of payday loan interest were California, Texas, Florida, Mississippi and Illinois. In these locales, financial payday losses ranged from $135 million in California to $55 million in Illinois.
Remarking on the Insight Center’s new findings, Keith Corbett, CRL executive vice-president said, “Payday lending is really financial assault on communities of color. By preying on consumers with few resources, this predatory product takes what little they have and winds up leaving borrowers worse off than before these loans.”
Corbett’s comments are underscored by the Insight report’s finding: “Far from creating opportunity, payday lending creates impoverished households and endangers local economies.
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 05:59
Say NO WAY to PAYDAY LOANS
Written by Damon Carr
Payday loans are offered under various alias: payday loans, cash advance loans, check advance loans, post-dated check loans or deferred deposit check loans. I will add another alias, “Legalized Loan Sharking”. Loan Sharking is defined as a person who lends money at excessive rates of interest. Unlike Loan Sharking, if you default on a payday loan, you do not have to worry about “Mr. Guido” hunting you down to cause bodily harm. However, the ill effects brought on by Payday loans will bring a black eye to an already bruised checking account.
Payday loan companies are one of the fastest growing segments in the Financial Service Industry. Initially payday loan companies set up shop in areas dominated by low-income households. Today you will find payday loan companies located in the suburbs and near college campuses. Many states have usury laws, which prohibit lending institutions charging exorbitant interest rate. As a way to mitigate usury laws many payday loan companies have partnered with national banks that are exempt from such laws. As a result payday loan companies are in every state. These companies focus on branding itself as a helping hand for you during the hard times. Be on the lookout for wolves in sheep clothing! The industry has forecasted $2 billion dollars in revenue this year. Chances are there is a payday loan company coming soon to a location near you.
How do payday loans work?
As long as you have a pulse, you will more than likely qualify for a payday loan. There are no credit checks or verifications done. Qualifying for a payday loan requires only a paycheck stub, photo ID, and a utility bill. You are required to sign a loan agreement and write a postdated check for the amount borrowed plus a fee. Fees for payday loans ranges anywhere from $15-$25 for every $100 borrowed. Upon payday, the lender will deposit the postdated check. For example, you borrow $500 with a fee of $20 per $100 ($20 x 5: Fee = $100). Therefore you write a postdated check for $600. On payday, which is usually 2 weeks later, the lender will cash the $600 check. The annual percentage rate on this loan is 520 percent. If 520 percent annual percentage rate is not usury (above legal limits), WHAT IS? There have been rates recorded as high as 2000 percent.
As the old adage says “easy come, easy go.” In general, people who borrow from these check-cashing companies has exhausted their credit cards and depleted whatever savings they had. They seek payday loans because it is easy to qualify for the loan. Within five minutes you can walk away with money. Note: I mentioned fast and easy. One would think that AFFORDABILITY would be factored into the equation. In most cases borrowers are borrowing money without the means to pay back the loan. When the lender deposits the check, it often sets off a string of bounced checks causing penalties and late charges and NSF fees on other credit obligations. If you do not repay the loan the payday loan companies will take you to court seeking a judgment. As the contract you signed indicates, you will be sued for late charges, interest after maturity and NSF fees in addition to the money borrowed. Many people who do pay back the loan sacrifice payment of another bill. Many others try avoiding penalties by extending the loan term for another 2-week period. The payday loan companies will add an additional fee for granting you the extension. The end result in each case is a never-ending debt cycle.
I view payday loans as throwing money at the symptoms. Many people who seek payday loans have yet to diagnose the cause of needing payday loans.
They simply recognize that they need more money and seek payday loan services to pacify the situation. Like all aliments left unchecked it will continue to come back causing further strain to your condition. The symptom in most cases is “Too much MONTH left at the end of YOUR MONEY!” The problem is overspending, no savings, poor money management, and no financial game plan. Unfortunately there is no quick cure. Only TIME and an EXECUTED PLAN will cure your ailment. I will share solutions in upcoming columns.
(Mortgage and Money Coach Damon Carr is the owner of ACE Financial. Damon can be reached at 412-216-1013.)
Last Updated on Thursday, 04 April 2013 09:58
Business Calendar 4-3-13
Written by Courier Newsroom
Financial Planning Workshop
APRIL 4—The African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania will host a Financial Planning Workshop at the Koppers Building, Penn Room, 436 Seventh Ave., Downtown. Representatives from the Luther Financial Group, Merril Lynch, Fragasso Financial Advisors & Janney will discuss the importance of financial planning as a business owner and the resources available to assist you. Registration is required. For more information, call 412-392-0610 or visit www.aaccwp.com.
The Human Factor
Business Opportunity Fair
APRIL 11—Highmark will host a Business Opportunity Fair at 8:30 a.m. at 120 Fifth Ave., Downtown. This is in regards to the Wexford Medical Mall Project. There will be prime contractors on site to answer specific questions related to diverse partnership opportunities. Pre-registration is required by March 29 and seating is limited. For more information, visit www.highmarkbcbs.com.
Business Trends 2013
Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series
APRIL 12—Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship will host the Women Business Leaders Breakfast Series from 7:30-9 a.m. at Chatham University, James Laughlin Music Hall, Woodland Road, Pittsburgh. Susan Gregg Koger, of ModCloth, will speak on the topic “Dresses and Successes: Turning a Passion for Vintage into a Global Business.” She will discuss how she turned a hobby into an e-retailer known for its innovative social shopping experience. Registration is required and the cost is $25. For more information, visit www.chatham.edu/cwe.
Career Development Series
Job Fair and College Expo
APRIL 19—The Community College of Allegheny County Boyce Campus will host a Job Fair & College Expo from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the CCAC Boyce Campus, Student Union, 595 Beatty Rd., Monroeville. There will be a job fair and a professional dress fashion show at 11 a.m. by the Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 724-325-6771.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 05:59
Pittsburgh Pirates strive for diversity in programming
Written by Diane I. Daniels
TEAM WORK—Chaz Kellem, Pittsburgh Pirates manager of diversity initiatives, center, shares a moment with former Pirate pitcher Grant Jackson and the Pirate Parrot during their recent Diversity Networking Reception. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)
Spring is upon us and it’s time for hotdogs, peanuts and baseball.
April first kicked off the Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 baseball season. A season filled with hopes passion and pride. But to Chaz Kellem it is a time and season to continue building and supporting diversity for the organization.
Kellem has spent eight season with the Pirates. the last five as manager of diversity initiatives. It’s a job he understands and takes very seriously. Recently hosting the annual Pirates Diversity Networking Reception, he says community relations and diversity is important to the Pirates organization.
Pleased with the crowd of more than 150 entrepreneurs, professional and non-profit executives, Kellem says it is important for the organization to be in the forefront and to be involved within the total community. “A community which includes the Black, Latino, Asian, disabled, lesbian, gay and bisexual transgender population,” he pointed out. “Together we are stronger. The fact is that no matter what, without each other, the uniqueness of each other, we would not be able to flourish.”
The Pirates Diversity Program is a part of the team’s community relations initiative falling under Pirates Charities. Considered the catalyst that brings the Pirates front office, coaches, players, corporate partners, community leaders and fans together, Pirates Charities, a non-profit charitable organization was established in 2006. Kellem says the initiative makes a meaningful impact in the communities. The Pirates Diversity Networking Reception he says is one way to bring groups together to meet each other and to learn about our programs. “Forming strong partnerships is important to the Pirates Organization.”
As the manager of diversity initiatives Kellem describes his duties as being responsible for managing the ball club’s interaction with various minority constituencies. A primary focus, he says is the development and engagement of targeted minority communities in various opportunities that will increase minority participation within the organization.
Enjoying his job, Kellem says he feels he is accomplishing his mission because diversity has become his life. “I love diversity and as I live it, enjoy it, and learn from it, I understand it.” Diagnosed with a rare bone disorder at birth, he knows what discrimination is like. Not letting his disability or the use of a wheel chair to limit or define his life or activities, Kellem is an Edinboro University graduate and has a Master’s Degree from Robert Morris University. He is a member of several boards of directors of non-profit organizations and is the co-owner of Unbreakable Drive which is designed to inform people about the possibilities that life can bring when people have passion, determination, and motivation to succeed. Its mission is to change lives every day by leading by example, showing up, and making change. Kellem also enjoys public speaking on topics including motivation, self-advocacy, teamwork, diversity leadership, self-respect, breaking barriers and determination.
In their 127 season as a member of Major League Baseball, originating as the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, the Pirates have won five championships and played in four stadiums. Playing in PNC Park since 2001, the facility last month was ranked as the top ballpark to visit by TripAdvisor, which is considered the world’s largest travel site. Designed by HOK Architects of Kansas City who also designed Heinz Field and the Consol Energy Arena, Kellem says PNC Park is considered one of the country’s most accessible Major League sporting facilities. Pleased with the stadium’s amenities and layout, he pointed out that concessions and restrooms are fully accessible, that every level has rotunda areas providing adequate space for wheelchairs and that there is wheelchair-accessible seating in all areas of the ballpark as well as power sources.
After a 79-83 season last year, Kellem says the Pirate organization is excited and looking forward to 2013. His department is planning the Heritage Weekend for May 31 to June 2 and he says they look forward to all of this years’ diversity activities.
“We plan to continue working with the Josh Gibson Foundation as well as celebrating Jackie Robinson Day with Major League Baseball,” he said. “I want to continue to build relationships and to demonstrate the organizations’ commitment to strengthening community relations by way of our diversity and sustainability focused initiatives.”
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 April 2013 09:18
Belkin Netcam helps keep watchful eye on business
Written by Courier Newsroom
by Cornelius Fortune
Your smartphone just got smarter.
As we depend more on technology for the simplest tasks from recipes to finding directions, our smartphones are an integral part of our lives, and shouldn’t we be able to see what’s going on at home even if we’re hundreds of miles away?
That’s the concept of Belkin NetCam with Night Vision, which is now available from Verizon Wireless.
The Belkin NetCam Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision makes it easy to check in on your kids after school, or keep an eye on your room while you’re away, and the camera connects to your Wi-Fi router without the need of a computer.
Think of it as a stand-in for your home monitoring system. Although the box doesn’t come with multiple cameras, you can at least set it up in a “hot spot” of your choosing.
Simply download the free NetCam app on your iOS or Android device to keep an eye on your home anytime, anywhere. The camera’s wide-angle video captures large spaces while its clear digital audio keeps you from missing conversations or noises. With night vision for recording in low light, NetCam is also ideal for baby monitoring.
With access to your home from wherever you are, this camera is not only a cool gadget to add to your arsenal of gadgets, it has plenty of practical applications worth diving into. It also lets you save video directly to your mobile device, so you can share your favorite memories. NetCam requires a Wi-Fi router with an Internet connection and an Apple device with iOS 4.2+ or an Android device with version 2.2+.
While the Belkin NetCam certainly wouldn’t replace your home security system, it does function as a plausible add-on worth considering if you’re looking for something unique, or even a conversation piece over dinner, the NetCam is obviously ground zero for a bigger technology round the corner.
Last Updated on Friday, 29 March 2013 10:07
Digital Daily Signup
Sign up now for the New Pittsburgh Courier Digital Daily newsletter!