Commentary: A high price for payday loans

This editorial appeared in The Fresno Bee.

Payday lenders seem to be on every corner in Fresno, and an independent report reminds us of what a truly bad deal payday loans are for borrowers. This is especially true for those who end up in a vicious cycle of one loan after another. Consumers must understand the cost of this "easy money."

With interest and fees, repeated payday loans add up to an annual percentage rate of more than 400%, according to the California Budget Project. The payday lending report is on its Web site, cbp.org.

This is a big issue in Fresno, which has one of the state's largest concentration of payday lenders. City officials say there are already 78 of them, and the City Council is considering a moratorium on new payday lenders.

The California Budget Project, an independent nonprofit, analyzes state budget and policy proposals, usually from the perspective of how they affect low- and middle-income families. Its report reinforces the concern that thousands of Californians are being caught up in a chronic and expensive pattern of payday borrowing.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.