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Payday Lending Bill Seeks To Cut Nation's Highest Interest Rates

Republican Representative Kyle Koehler speaks at a prayer vigil.
Karen Kasler
/
Ohio Public Radio
Republican Representative Kyle Koehler speaks at a prayer vigil.

A bipartisan bill that would crack down on Ohio’s 650 payday lenders has received its first hearing in the House.

Republican state Rep. Kyle Koehler is sponsoring a bill to shut down loopholes lenders are currently using to charge up to 600 percent interest per year – a Pew Charitable Trusts study showed Ohio has the highest rates in the nation. His bill would cap that interest rate at 28 percent per year.

A 2008 law toughened rules on payday lenders, but many of them have figured out a way to skirt that law.

Pastor Carl Ruby of the Central Christian Church in Springfield says legislation at the state level is even more important now given recent changes in Washington.

“I believe the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is going to be gutted and we don’t expect any help from them. Ohio has to fix this,” Ruby said.