I would like to respond to the May 11 Legal loan shark editorial with facts instead of made-up numbers and name-calling.
In any industry, there will always be abuses of the system but saying that the payday advance industry preys on the poor is not true. Our customers come from all walks of life: doctors, nurses, teachers, auto workers, principals, not just the poor and uneducated. They use the service responsibly and appreciate that we are a cheaper alternative to excessive bank charges and credit card fees.
The annual percentage rate of 391 percent is not accurate. Loans are for 14 days and the fee is $15 per $100 dollars borrowed. There is no additional interest; it is a flat fee. If a customer s checks go to the bank and are returned for insufficient funds, we charge a bounced-check fee just like any other company or bank does. Banks charge $28 to $35 dollars for bounced checks, plus an additional $9 to $12 a day for every day the account is overdrawn. The APR on bank charges is around 1,400 percent. Now who is the loan shark?
Payday lenders also offer an extended payment plan for customers who need help. Any loan customer is eligible for this plan. The EPP lets a customer take their loan and extend their payments out over four pay periods. A customer who is paid monthly could take up to four months to pay their loan off. The EPP is completely free and is available to every customer who loans with us.
When talking about payday lenders, let s talk about some real facts, not just made-up numbers that deceive the public.
Editor s note: The writer is a market manager in the Toledo area for Cashland Financial Services.
If the Ohio House of Representatives and the Gov. Ted Strickland have their way, the Senate will soon vote to take away Ohioans freedom of choice and to further spiral Ohio s suffering economy into recession by eliminating 6,000 jobs and millions of dollars of revenue generated each year in Ohio. This will be the result of the passage of HB 545.
HB 545 will put a rate cap of 28 percent on the payday-lending industry, making it impossible for the industry to remain a viable business.
Ohio legislators insist on misrepresenting payday-lending fees as an annual percentage rate. The fee for a payday loan, regardless of the duration, is $15 per $100 loaned.
Period. Whether the loan is for two weeks or a month, the fee remains the same. It does not compound. Should a person default on the loan, that fee does not compound. The fee remains at $15 per $100.
We loan to hard-working, educated individuals from all walks of life. They choose a payday loan over more costly alternatives such as late fees, bounced check fees, and overdraft charges. Eliminating the payday industry takes away their freedom to choose.
I invite anyone to tour my payday lending stores with me and learn the facts. I urge the Senate to make an informed vote for the Ohio economy by voting against HB 545.
Operations DirectorCashland Financial Services Inc.New Albany, Ohio
I have been following The Blade s gas poll since it started, when the cost of gas was around $2 per gallon. It generally always follows the same pattern and the cost increases when that question is asked.
A recent Blade poll questioned an increase to $5 per gallon cost. It almost looks like the oil companies or investors could have sponsored the poll in The Blade. People know the cost of oil and gas and those who supply it are out of control.
Why let the oil companies and others who will profit financially gain insight into what the consumer might expect? What company or salesman would not love to know what the consumer would be willing to pay? Who would even answer yes to this poll? Probably those who would gain by an increase in cost.
Not only am I offended by The Blade s May 1 editorial calling Hillary Clinton a GOP parrot, I am darned angry.
The Blade may think giving back 18.4 cents a gallon for the summer a cockamamie idea but millions of Americans who are drowning in debt need it.
How is this any different than the so-called stimulus tax rebates? They are both short-term help. We know that. Senator Clinton knows that. We must start somewhere in giving our citizens some relief from the greed of the oil companies. Let the oil companies pay this 18.4 cents for the summer.
The necessary dialogue is not happening in Toledo or in Washington. Nor will it happen in an effective way until after George W. Bush is gone in January.
I see this as just another way for the editorial staff at The Blade to criticize Senator Clinton. I usually always agree with them, but not over this. Senator Clinton is intelligent, warm, kind, strong, hard-working, and has the long-term vision this country needs now more than ever.
For far too long, we in America have enjoyed too-cheap oil and gasoline and have, as a result, squandered a valuable resource and simply watched it all go up in smoke.
A stiff gasoline tax, on the order of $2 to $3 per gallon, phased in over four or five years, would have incredibly positive effects for most Americans. Most important, for such a tax to work to improve our lives, it must be revenue-neutral. That is, the money collected by the gas tax must be returned to Americans via reductions in sales taxes, property taxes, and income taxes.
Benefits would include:
1) Inner city development projects begin in earnest, with no government funding or prodding necessary.
2) The price of oil will immediately decline as the world realizes that the country that consumes 25 percent of the world s fuel (that s us) is suddenly serious about reducing its consumption of oil.
3) People who want to harm us will have less money to buy the influence and weapons to harm us.
4) We unleash the innovation and inventiveness of the American people to find real solutions to alternatives to gasoline before the government messes it up.
5) We all walk a bit more, ride a bike a bit more, and maybe become a bit healthier and begin to reduce the enormous amounts of money we pay to the medical-industrial complex.
A slight correction to The Blade s May 4 editorial, Back from the brink. The correct name of the extinct bird cited in the editorial is passenger pigeon, not carrier pigeon.
The carrier pigeon carries written messages fastened to its leg and is also known as the homing pigeon. It is alive and well. The passenger pigeon s story is a sad reminder of the thoughtlessness and greed of mankind.
The great artist and naturalist John James Audubon observed a tremendous flock of passenger pigeons that took three days to pass over him. Through careful calculations he concluded that there were no less than 1.115 billion. That observation was in the fall of 1813, and almost exactly 100 years later, the last passenger pigeon died in the Cincinnati Zoo on Sept. 1, 1914.
Unfortunately there are many wild creatures living now that future generations may never see except in pictures or museums. Hopefully, we human creatures will continue to be more and more sensitive to this fragile world we live in.
The Blade s May 11 editorial against payday lending is based on religion, not science, and shows that The Blade prefers theocracy to democracy. Academic studies have shown that payday loans are a valuable financial option.
Payday lenders are not loan sharks, who use violence to collect on loans.
How dare you?