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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – As payday lenders can charge up to 391% interest in the Sunflower State, community leaders have called on Kansas lawmakers to change.

Topeka JUMP says community members from local and state organizations gathered to demand reform of payday credit practices across the Sunflower State on Wednesday, January 19.

Kansans for Payday Loan Reform organized the rally to call for action from the Kansas community and legislature.

“Predation loans put people who are already economically disadvantaged further behind,” Rabbi Moti Rieber said Interfaith Action in Kansas. “It takes money out of the pockets of the hard-working poor.”

KIFA joined the coalition because members wanted to ensure borrowers are protected from outrageous lending practices that charge up to 391% in interest and fees in the state of Kansas.

Elizabeth Lewis, Director of Maternal and Infant Initiatives for March of Dimes, her organization said si was concerned with the burden that poverty has on mothers, babies and families. She said the MOD’s National Strategic Plan is to disrupt lifelong economic insecurity, which negatively impacts families’ financial well-being and contributes to maternal and infant abuse.

“These types of short-term loans are associated with people of color, people living in poverty, and single-parent families who need money for groceries and medical expenses,” Lewis said. “There is scientific evidence that increased stress can contribute to low birth weight, malnutrition and other bad health outcomes such as high blood pressure, obesity and shorter life expectancy.”

Currently, JUMP says payday lenders can charge Kansas up to 391% in interest. It says borrowers can borrow up to $500, but many are being forced to re-borrow to keep the money for rent, bills, groceries and gas.

The rally took place virtually with speakers and key stakeholders gathered at Grace Episcopal Cathedral.

To view the rally, click HERE.

To view the coalition’s petition, click HERE.

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