Payday loan businesses bring suffocating debt and misery to many borrowers. The 1995 law legalizing them in Iowa made them exempt from limits on interest rates that apply to other types of loans. They can charge up to 400 percent.
We can do nothing locally about these usurious rates; that is up to the Legislature. But we can do something to restrict their activity and location, as five other cities in Iowa already have done. On Feb. 26, the City Council will consider an ordinance to ban payday lenders from operating within 1,000 feet of day cares, schools, parks and churches.
Let your City Council member know that you want to stop the growth of these predatory lenders here.