Moving to Chicago last year, content creator Jazmine Thompson needed some extra cash to cover rent and expenses. She pawned her laptop computer and three professional cameras, receiving with it two $800 loans.

The interest rate on the loans was about 150% requiring her to pay $8,000 in loan fees over the course of 12 months. Not able to cover those expenses, Thompson decided to stop paying back the interest on her loans and has not regained her property.

“The pawn shops want you to think their loans are safe, but with my experience, it says otherwise,” she said during a Wednesday press conference at the state Capitol. “I was definitely a victim.”

Thompson was joined by state lawmakers to discuss legislation that would prevent stories like hers from happening.

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