Your Aug. 12 editorial “Swimming with sharks” painted an inaccurate picture of short-term lending in Ohio.
Members of the Ohio Consumer Lenders Association, or OCLA, are short-term lenders regulated by the Ohio Department of Commerce and other state agencies. They fully comply with Ohio’s Small Loan and Mortgage Loan acts.
These laws are not “loopholes,” as your editorial stated. Members of our association use the statues as directed and required.
The market has spoken: Ohio residents want and need access to consumer loans. Customers visit our stores because they have determined that consumer loans are a viable and less-expensive alternative to bouncing checks, paying late charges, or dealing with pawnshops. If they didn’t need or want the product, they wouldn’t be using it.
Without consumer loans made by regulated and licensed Ohio lenders, consumers would have to turn to unregulated Internet loans that are more expensive, put borrowers’ private information at risk, and often are made by rogue offshore lenders — or costly short-term loans made by banks, credit unions, and pawn shops.
Transparency is a hallmark of OCLA members. Our customers are fully informed about the costs, regulations, and payment-due dates when they take out a consumer loan.
Our staffs are trained to assist consumers in understanding the costs and responsibilities associated with consumer loans, and to provide adequate and clear disclosures that allow consumers to make informed financial decisions.
OCLA members subscribe to a set of best practices and operate with the highest ethical standards.
Spokesman Ohio Consumer Lenders Association Dublin, Ohio