Below is a letter printed in the Kansas City Star, written by a member of the clergy, that reviews the need for short-term credit options in our communities.
As a pastor of a mostly African American congregation, I don’t understand why Lewis Diuguid in a Feb. 20 column, “Payday lending too often hurts KC’s people of color,” would want to further restrict access to credit among minorities already “experiencing the biggest drops in access to mainstream credit.”
He suggests that payday lenders have targeted minority communities and exacerbated their financial struggles, but a recent study by the Federal Reserve Board of New York refutes Diuguid’s contention.
The report found no evidence that payday lenders target minorities and concluded that “blacks and Hispanics are not significantly more likely than whites to use payday credit.”
While the rate cap as proposed by the ballot initiative sounds great, in reality it would eliminate this credit option in Missouri.
We have seen it happen in other states. Consumers turn to more costly and credit damaging substitutes.
I agree with Mr. Diuguid that minority communities should have greater access to fair and reasonable credit options, and everyone should concentrate on that objective.
But eliminating this existing credit option will only hurt minorities, leaving them with more costly and credit-damaging options.
Bishop James D. Tindall Sr.
Church of Christ