RNS photo by Vicki Brown

Religious groups stand against payday lending practices

(RNS) People of faith are trying to rein in loan practices they believe take advantage of borrowers often least able to pay. They point to people like Amanda of Jefferson City, Mo., who took out a short-term loan—often called a payday advance—to pay a bill. She ended up taking out another loan to cover the first. She soon found herself juggling three loans and spiraling further into debt. “The faith community has been really instrumental in predatory lending reform, first calling attention to the abusive nature of predatory lending and then in leading the effort to stop it,” Rachel Anderson of the Center for Responsible Lending said.

Many still struggle with payday loans

Payday loans are often easier to obtain than traditional loans. Lenders either do not perform a credit check or have fewer restrictions to qualify. The Durham, N.C.-based Center for Responsible Lending estimates 12 million people get trapped in debt every year because of high interest.