Truth in Payday Lending: Alfredo’s Story

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Getting laid off from your job is never welcome news, but receiving that news during the holidays just adds anxiety to an already stressful season. For Alfredo Romero, the news couldn’t have come at a worse time. With his landscaping job gone, Alfredo turned to the one source he knew would give him some much-needed cash: payday lenders.

In desperate need to get his family through the holiday season, Alfredo took out a $1,000 payday loan from Regency Financial in Mentor, Ohio. He had two years to pay it back.

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Since taking out his initial loan, Alfredo has had to renew two more times. Because of the payday lending debt trap, Alfredo has had to shell out a staggering $5,000 in fees.

Unfortunately, seven years have passed and Alfredo is still trying to pay back his debt. He still owes $5,159. It’s not clear whether or when he’ll be able to fully pay back what he owes. Because of this exorbitant debt, Alfredo has fallen behind on bills, received threatening phone calls, and on many occasions has had to choose between paying his loan and putting food on the table.

We’re hopeful Alfredo will get the help he needs from our Affiliates who are assisting those who have fallen prey to shady lenders. However, we’re also working to ensure that payday lenders and their questionable lending practices are reigned in. That’s why we support the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule that would put much-needed protections for consumers in place.

You can join us in supporting this rule by adding your name to our petition in support of the CFPB’s rule. Tell Director Rob Cordray that stories like Alfredo’s should never happen to anyone.

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