Tag Archives: Sara Griffith

Do Payday Lenders Target the Poor?

By Sara Griffith and Josephine Varnier
Capital News Service
 

RICHMOND – Cruising down Broad Street between Virginia Commonwealth University and suburban Short Pump, you’ll see a string of businesses with names like Cash Advance, Cash-2-U and Fast Payday Loans. They’ll lend you money until your next paycheck – at interest rates critics call exorbitant. 

The 23230 ZIP code boasts one of the highest concentrations of payday lending stores in Virginia, with almost one location for every 1,000 residents. The area is also among the poorer sections of metro Richmond, with a median household income about $10,000 below the state average. 

Opponents of payday lenders often criticize the industry for targeting lower-income people. The businesses’ locations lend credence to such criticisms. 

“These are dangerous,” said Dana Wiggins, responsible lending coordinator of the Virginia Poverty Law Center. “People become dependant on the loans and begin using them for everyday living things.” 

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Interest Rate Cap Squeezes Lenders

By Josephine Varnier and Sara Griffith
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – As Virginia tightens regulations on payday lenders, some are leaving the state – and industry officials say residents will be left with fewer options for borrowing money to get through tough times.

Legislators may see short-term loans as controversial, but consumers don’t, says Jamie Fulmer, a spokesman for Advance America, the biggest payday lender in Virginia. He said the loans are an issue “discussed in the halls of the General Assembly but not on Main Street.”

Payday loan store in Richmond

Payday loan store in Richmond

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