Time runs out for payday lenders in Arizona

A sign for a "payday advance"

TEXT OF STORY

Bill Radke: Today is the official end of payday loans in Arizona. They've been allowed there for 10 years -- these are loans with high interest rates given to people with few options. Arizona is letting that license expire today. Lenders will be limited to interest rates of 36 percent. But Marketplace's Jeff Tyler says
they will probably find ways around that.


Jeff Tyler: Hundreds of stores in Arizona will no longer be able to charge triple-digit interest rates. Consumer groups hail the new protections for Arizona borrowers, but:

Kelly Griffith: We know that winning the victory is only half the battle. Enforcement is very important.

That's Kelly Griffith, co-director of the Center for Economic Integrity in Tucson:

Griffith: The payday lending industry itself is pretty good at adapting and finding loopholes in our laws.

Fifteen other states have laws that cap interest rates. But in some cases, lenders have repackaged loans under different names. They charge the same high interest rates for prepaid debit cards or auto-title loans.

Griffith's group has organized volunteers who will spy on lenders and report abuses to state officials. Arizona's attorney general has created a task force to crack-down on lenders who continue to charge more than 36 percent interest.

I'm Jeff Tyler for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeff Tyler is a reporter for Marketplace’s Los Angeles bureau, where he reports on issues related to immigration and Latin America.

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