Joint Statement from Woodstock Institute, Heartland Alliance, Shriver Center, Illinois PIRG



CONTACTS: Jody Blaylock, Heartland Alliance ( 904-563-0882; Kevin Herrera, Shriver Center (; (312)549-9877


CHICAGO, IL— Thirty-six Illinois organizations declared their support for national payday lending protections released last year by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. A letter signed by the groups to all Illinois Members of Congress condemns the March 22 introduction of Senate Joint Resolution 56 by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Sen. Graham’s legislation is the companion to House Joint Resolution 122, sponsored by 36 U.S. House members. Both H.J. Res. 122 and S.J. Res. 56 would repeal the Consumer Bureau’s historic rule on payday and title lending. The rule was created to protect borrowers from falling prey to the payday debt trap, a cycle of continuous re-borrowing by consumers who are unable to pay off the loan.


The payday lending debt trap is a harsh reality for many Illinois payday loan borrowers, the majority of whom make less than $30,000 per year. Research shows four of every five loans are re-borrowed within the month; and as a result, Illinoisans pay over half a billion dollars per year in fees.


“The Consumer Bureau’s payday loan rule takes a crucial step forward by requiring lenders to make loans only to borrowers who can afford to repay. Today, Illinois organizations are sending a strong message to Congress that we support strong payday loan protections, and that we want fair, affordable loans – not payday and title loans with triple-digit interest rates that trap Illinoisans in a cycle of debt,” said Jody Blaylock, Senior Policy Associate with Heartland Alliance.


“Access to fair, affordable credit is particularly important for low-income and working consumers, who often need it to weather emergencies or make investments that lead to opportunities at upward mobility,” said Kevin Herrera, Legal Impact Network Staff Attorney at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law. “But far too many payday lenders in Illinois and throughout the country prey on consumers in their most desperate times, snaring them in vicious cycles of 300-plus percent interest debt traps that ultimately drive them deeper into financial trouble.”


“Payday loans specifically target lower-income families who are least able to afford to repay the loans. We urge Congress to protect these vulnerable consumers by issuing strong support for the Consumer Bureau’s rule,” said Abe Scarr, Executive Director at Illinois PIRG.


“Any attempt to repeal the Consumer Bureau’s payday protections is an assault against the country’s most vulnerable people,” said Woodstock Institute President Dory Rand. “These protections require lenders to determine that borrowers can actually repay the loan in full and on time. We stand with the 35 other Illinois organizations who will fight to stop the payday lending debt trap.”




Read the coalition’s Illinois-specific fact sheet on payday protections (or the Consumer Bureau’s full rule or fact sheet summarizing the protections).



The supporting organizations are:


Active Alliance Counseling
Asset Building Strategies
Bailey’s Cafe
BIG: Blacks in Green
Center for Changing Lives
Center for Economic Progress
Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice
Chicago City Treasurer’s Office
Chicago Council of Lawyers
Community Interventions Institute, Inc.
Community Organizing and Family Issues
Drame Designs
Earthmover Credit Union
El Techno Colibri
Genesis Housing Development Corporation
Health & Medicine Policy Research Group
Heartland Alliance*
Housing Action Illinois
Illinois Asset Building Group
Illinois National Organization for Women
Illinois PIRG*
Karen Chan Financial Education & Consulting, LLC
LISC Chicago
National Community Investment Fund
Navicore Solutions
Northwest Side Housing Center
Partners In Community Building, Inc.
Peterson Healthcare Consulting, Inc.
Project IRENE
Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law*
Socially Responsible Ventures L3C
Southwest Organizing Project
Woodstock Institute*


** Organization featured in this release


Woodstock Institute is a leading nonprofit research and policy organization in the areas of equitable lending and investments, wealth creation and preservation, and safe and affordable financial products and services. Woodstock Institute works locally and nationally to create a financial system in which lower-wealth persons and communities of color can safely borrow, save, and build wealth so that they can achieve economic security and community prosperity.  localhost/wsi

The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients.

Illinois PIRG is a consumer group that stands up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.

Heartland Alliance for Human Needs and Human Rights – Heartland Alliance, one of the world’s leading antipoverty organizations, works in communities in the U.S. and abroad to serve those who are homeless, living in poverty, or seeking safety. It provides a comprehensive array of services in the areas of health, housing, jobs and justice – and leads state and national policy efforts, which target lasting change for individuals and society.