RENO COUNTY, Kan. – Community organizations and leaders in Hutchinson and Reno County will come together to hear stories and learn more about the impact of payday loans, including the need for payday lending reform. Concerned citizens are invited to this opportunity to learn more and give testimony to their experiences with predatory lending in the state of Kansas. In collaboration with Topeka JUMP and the Kansans for Payday Loan Reform, the following organizations in Reno County have come together to host a community conversation: Circles of Hope Reno County, Hutchinson Community Foundation, United Way of Reno County, Beyond Barriers, and the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church.
A Community Conversation on Payday Loan Reform
Thursday, October 13, 2022 at 6:30 p.m.
Trinity United Methodist Church
1602 N. Main
Hutchinson, KS 67501
Marla McKee of Circles of Hope Reno County says, “The Payday lending industry has a negative impact on individuals we help who are already struggling to achieve financial stability. It hinders people from taking positive steps to get out of debt.”
Circles of Hope Reno County brings people of different socioeconomic backgrounds together to build intentional relationships that help lift people out of poverty. Circles of Hope also works to change systemic issues in the community that keep people in poverty and wants to ensure borrowers are protected against lending practices that charge as much as 391% in interest and fees in the state of Kansas.
Rev. Jeanne Koontz with the Great Plains Conference of the United Methodist Church is concerned about the ways that predatory lending affects trauma and mental well-being.
Rev. Koontz notes “there is evidence that increased stress leads to poor health outcomes and shorter life expectancy.”
The community conversation will allow attendees to share testimonials about the impact of payday loans. Borrowers are likely to experience eviction, garnishment, job loss and loss of transportation when they can’t repay high-interest loan amounts.
Currently, payday lenders can charge Kansans as much as 391% in interest. Borrowers can borrow up to $500 but many of them are forced to reborrow to keep money for rent, bills, food, and gas.
The group that organized the community conversation invited state and local elected officials and candidates to attend. They hope they will be present as community members engage in a meaningful dialogue regarding solutions.