The community will be coming together to host a forum to discuss the issues of predatory lending and its negative effects. Participants will hear from a panel of experts including those with experience in finance, non-profit organizations, government, faith-based communities, and those with first-hand knowledge. The event is meant to help individuals learn about the issues, use their voice, effect change, and identify alternatives and new low interest programs.

WHAT:  Community forum to discuss predatory lending practices and their negative impact on the community.

WHO: Community Members, Saint Vincent de Paul, Public Officials, Local Faith Leaders,

WHEN: Tuesday, November 14th from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

WHERE:  Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Family Life Center, 61 South Paint Street, Chillicothe, OH 45601

Payday loans are meant to help people with an emergency financial need to get to the next payday. However, they have become a usurious system that takes advantage of the poor and perpetuates their debt. With almost 80% of payday loans going to people earning less than $30,000 a year, it is clear that these loans are going largely to those living below the poverty line. But, instead of assisting those in need out of debt, these lenders take advantage of the people’s hardship. The average borrower takes out over ten loans often the last 9 of these are in order to pay off the original one. By the time the original loan is repaid, the average borrower will borrow $300, but pay $680 in fees. This multi-billion dollar industry preys on the plight of the poor, the urgency of their need, and the lack of resources available to them.

This forum will provide an opportunity to hear from experts, learn about how the industry works, and how it inflicts harm on the community, while giving a voice to those closest to the issue. The forum will discuss how individuals can promote change and what alternatives are available (for instance, new low interest loan programs in partnerships with local credit unions).

The meeting is sponsored by the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. Mary in Chillicothe and St. Peter in Chillicothe. It is also sponsored by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul’s Ross County Microloan program and the Voice of the Poor, divisions of the Catholic organization dedicated to relieving the needs of those living in poverty and addressing its causes by working with those closest to the situation.