COLUMBUS —State Representative Scott Oelslager (R-North Canton) announced the success of the Ohio Fairness in Lending Act (House Bill 123, 2018) three years following the passage of the legislation. Ohio consumers now have widespread access to safer, more affordable small-dollar loans, as shown in the Ohio Department of Commerce annual report for 2020.
Oelslager was the Ohio Senate Finance Chair in 2018 and was a part of the general assembly that passed the landmark legislation.
“This was an important piece of legislation that went from concept to inception and has worked out wonderfully for Ohioans,” said Oelslager. “Payday loans needed reform and the general assembly was able to provide an answer. Now we have some of the best payday loans in the nation.”
The Ohio Fairness in Lending Act has resulted in millions of dollars back in the pockets of consumers each year while preserving access to credit, just as Ohio lawmakers and advocates for reform intended. In 2020, the first full year of data reporting after the new law, lenders extended $99.7 million in credit to 250,000 consumers.
Prior to reform, Ohio had the worst payday loans in the nation. Now the state has some of the strongest consumer protections and lowest prices in the United States. Ohio’s law is pointed to as a national model and bipartisan lawmakers in Virginia and Hawaii have already followed Ohio’s lead.
According to the Ohio commerce report, the average loan made under Ohio’s short-term loan act is $403. Before reform, it cost over $600 in fees to borrow $400. After reform, the average loan costs just $112. The success of the law was hailed by lawmakers, coalition leaders and members of the business community from across the state.
The 2020 annual report is available on the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Financial Institutions’ website.