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St. Louis considers payday lending crackdown

St. Louis considers payday lending crackdown

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ST. LOUIS  •  The city is considering a crackdown only payday lenders through new permit fees and other regulations. 

Alderman Cara Spencer has sponsored a bill that would require payday lenders operating within the city to pay an annual $10,000 permit fee. 

On Tuesday, an aldermanic committee pushed the legislation forward, but reduced the annual fee to $5,000.  

The lenders often target low income communities. Spencer argues it forces the poor into a debt trap, while the payday lending industry says they simply provide cash to people who couldn't get it anywhere else. 

The loans come with stiff interest rates, sometimes reaching as high as 500 percent. 

The bill will now move to the full Board of Aldermen. 

Here is a map of payday lenders in the St. Louis region

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Nicholas J.C. Pistor is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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