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Put a Cap on Predatory Payday Lending


WISDOM Religious Leaders Call on the State of Wisconsin to Rid our State of Predatory Lending
“While we are encouraged to see the Assembly working to curb the payday lending industry, without an interest rate cap these measures will not do enough to make an impact on the harmful effects these loans have on our communities.”
-       Nancy Holmlund, WISDOM President

Milwaukee, Waukesha, Kenosha, Racine, Beloit, La Crosse, Eau Claire, Wausau, Green Bay, Appleton and Oshkosh: WISDOM, a statewide interfaith justice organization with over 140 congregations from 17 faith traditions calls for an end to predatory payday lending practices in the state of Wisconsin.

On Tuesday, February 9th members of the state legislature will announce a predatory payday lending bill that falls short of measures to enact sufficient regulation on an industry that has been allowed to engulf our state and take advantage of those with economic strains. While limiting rollovers and allowing only one loan to be drawn at a time will have an impact. There is great concern that the industry will find loopholes around the proposed legislation as has been demonstrated in other states across the country; without a rate cap, we are not guaranteed that the predatory lending practices of payday lenders will be ended.

The Predatory Loan industry, often charging in excess of 500% interest on loans to the most economically disadvantaged among us, is clearly guilty of usury. Our own experience has shown us countless examples of needy that thought they were getting short-term help for a specific need, only to find themselves trapped in an endless cycle of interest payments and rollovers, until they have lost everything. 

We believe that it is imperative for the state of Wisconsin to enact serious regulation, which will cap interest rates at a double digit number, limit rollovers, and ensure that individuals will not be crushed by interest and unpayable debt through the creation of a database to monitor the payday lending industry. 

No amount of lobbyists or campaign contributions can erase the clear moral and ethical imperative to protect the needy from the unscrupulous. Ken Hall, Racine County Supervisor adds, “Our entire board strongly supported protecting all Wisconsin citizens and families against exploitive lending by returning to an interest rate cap, something short of that is likely another sweetheart deal for the industry and its lobbyists.”  

Why this issue is important to communities of faith

Predatory Payday Lending Talking Points

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