The collateral consequences of payday loans can devastate families financially, emotionally,and psychologically. As Christian citizens, this should compel us to act to protect vulnerable families and to pursue policies that promote public justice.
Government has the responsibility to uphold justice, and when it is not doing so, Christian citizens have a responsibility to advocate for policies that uphold the inherent dignity of their neighbors.
As Christian citizens, we have a responsibility to call upon government to uphold public justice. We can:
- Voice these injustices to lawmakers and ask them to restrict the predatory practices of payday lenders.
- Research your state policies. Has your state legislature enacted a rate cap on payday loans in your state?
- Write to or visit with lawmakers to tell them how families and communities are harmed by payday lending.
- Ask lawmakers to consider legislation that upholds the inherent dignity of each of their constituents.
Predatory lending is an injustice that the Church has a responsibility to address. The Church can:
- Provide wisdom and counseling as they walk alongside affected families in their times of trial.
- Offer spiritual guidance, emotional support, material aid, and encourage members to fulfill their citizenship responsibilities by advocating on behalf of the marginalized.
NON-PROFITS AND BUSINESSES
Within just markets, businesses have a responsibility to uphold principles of economic justice. It is important to call upon businesses and nonprofits to offer responsible credit options to borrowers. In addition:
- We can call upon banks, including major ones, to integrate small dollar loans into their business models.
- Non-profits can provide financial education and literacy support.