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Responsible Use of Short-Term Credit

Friday, September 21, 2012 • ONR

PBS Oklahoma affiliate’s ONR examined the price of payday loans in the state with the following broadcast segment that aired earlier this week. In this piece, Oklahomans talk about their use of the product, how often it’s used, and why they are choosing to use it over “traditional” alternatives. Though the cost is more expensive than a credit card, 13 percent of Oklahomans have used a loan store in the last five years. Not only has the product become more mainstream, but Oklahomans don’t always have access to credit cards (due to credit ratings or lack of access), and prefer a payday loan for its convenience, reliability, and upfront disclosures.

When asked why she would choose a payday loan over a credit card, Billie Adams, an OK payday loan customer said:

“This I can control if I need it for a week, if I need it for two weeks. I can take control and pay it back.”

And how do complaints stack up against storefront payday lenders in Oklahoma? Well, they’re virtually nonexistent. According to Rick Brinkley of the Tulsa Better Business Bureau, in the last three years, only complaints about some online payday loan companies have skyrocketed.

“We’ve seen nearly 3,000 complaints on tribal payday loan companies,” he said. “We have seen one complaint, I believe, on a traditional payday loan company.” “I would personally prefer to have storefront payday loan companies in the state, with restrictive laws that are pretty limiting to what a consumer can get. Cause if we do away with payday loan companies in this state, we are literally pushing the poor to these websites where they will be—in my opinion—taken advantage of,” Brinkley said.


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