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“Not in our towns!” That’s my reaction to learning that in Bloomington-Normal, payday lenders are charging exorbitant interest for loans to some of our most vulnerable citizens.

These persons, needing small loans for everyday necessities of rent or groceries, are often bound into successive loans whose interest can add up to 400 percent on an annual basis. Some 17 states have banned such practices, and payday lenders have left them for “greener pastures.” Let’s not let our Twin Cities be such “greener pastures.”

Our city council representatives can take positive action to prevent such persons from being “owned by the company store” by passing a city ordinance capping interest rates at 36 percent. Help keep our reputation as a community which protects its citizens from such exploitation by letting your representative know of your support for such an ordinance.

Charline Watts, Bloomington

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