State Representative Michael Ashford (D-Toledo) yesterday joined a rally held on the Statehouse steps by community and religious leaders, citizens and other elected officials to advocate for payday lending reform.

“Payday lending loans are predatory and cast Ohioans into a spiral of debt that is nearly impossible to climb out of,” said Ashford. “We need better regulations to protect people from being trapped by these loans’ high interest rates and hidden fees.”

Earlier this year, Reps. Ashford and Koehler (D-Springfield) introduced House Bill 123, bipartisan legislation to modify laws dealing with short-term loans. Recent polls of likely Ohio voters show that 88 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Independents and 78 percent of Republics support payday loan reform. Additionally, more than 90 percent of Ohioans believe that payday installment loans, which often entail, for instance, borrowing 400 dollars with a fee of 350 dollars, are unfair.

“People’s support for payday lending reform sends a clear message to our colleagues here in the legislature,” said Ashford. “Not only is it our responsibility to deal with this problem, but it is popular, it is needed and it’s easy as 1-2-3.”

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