Maple Ridge Coun. Tyler Shymkiw

Cost of payday loans to drop in B.C.

Maximum allowable charge for a payday loan in B.C. will drop from $23 to $17 for every $100 borrowed.



The borrowing rates of short-term cash loans will be lowered under new regulations announced Wednesday in Maple Ridge.

“Sometimes people need an extra couple hundred dollars to survive between paydays and turn to payday lenders for high-cost, short-term loans,” Minister of Public Safety Mike Morris said in front of Maple Ridge city hall.

Last year, 159,000 people did that.

As result, the government is setting a limit on interest rates charged by payday loan companies.

As of Jan. 1, 2017, the maximum allowable charge for a payday loan in B.C. will drop to $17 from $23 for every $100 borrowed, making it the second-lowest rate in Canada.

That builds on regulations the province implemented in 2009, before which borrowers paid whatever the lender charged – as much as $30 per $100.

Borrowers also had few, limited protections and little recourse against harmful lending practices, such as rollovers, extended repayment terms, disclosure requirements, said a government news release.

The government is also launching a 30-day review of other types of loans, such as installment loans, vehicle-title loans, rent-to-own sales and cheque cashing services.

“These are all expensive ways to borrow money or to purchase goods,” Morris said.

He added that he wants to hear ideas how to help people avoid getting into debt. Rules already require payday lenders to be licenced and to show the full costs of credit.

Maple Ridge Coun.Tyler Shymkiw led the initiative to stop any more payday loan stores from opening in the city.

Under a Maple Ridge bylaw passed in 2015, once an existing store closes, another can’t open.

Last year, there were six local stores in Maple Ridge offering services for as cashing pay cheques or loaning small amounts of money at high interest rates.

Under the bylaw, those stores would stay open, but would be refused a business licence if they closed for more than six months, then tried to re-open.

Shymkiw said, as former chair of the Friends in Need Food Bank, he saw the “devastating effects these short-term, high-interest payday loans have on our communities. “This is a positive step towards improving the lives of families and working people in this province.”

He liked the ongoing consultation on the topic of high-interest lending because it’s always changing. He said the federal government deregulated the payday loan industry in 2006, but now provinces are starting to respond with their own regulations.

“So this is definitely a very positive step in the right direction.”

Scott Hannah, CEO of the Credit Counselling Society of B.C., said high-cost financial service can add significantly to people’s financial problems.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Regional District of Nanaimo creating strategic plan for parks and trails

RDN manages more than 200 community and regional parks

Man suffers burns, dog dies in fire in Nanaimo

Structure burns down on Clifford Road property in Cedar

City of Nanaimo urging extreme caution in parks during fire season

Smoking, campfires, barbecues not allowed in city parks, users should be aware of fire hazards

First cruise ship of the season docks in Nanaimo

Silversea’s Silver Muse makes port call

Motorcyclist injured in crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at Dorman Road intersection at 11 a.m. Sunday

PHOTOS: Elusive ‘ghost whale’ surfaces near Campbell River

Ecotourism operator captures images of the rare white orca

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Suicide confirmed in case of B.C. father who’d been missing for months

2018 disappearance sparked massive search for Ben Kilmer

Eight U.S. senators write to John Horgan over B.C. mining pollution

The dispute stems from Teck Resources’ coal mines in B.C.’s Elk Valley

Threats charge against Surrey’s Jaspal Atwal stayed

Atwal, 64, was at centre of controversy in 2018 over his attendance at prime minister’s reception in India

Anti-vaxxer Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to speak in Surrey

He’s keynote speaker at Surrey Environment and Business Awards luncheon by Surrey Board of Trade Sept. 17

Otters devour 150 trout at Kootenay hatchery

The hatchery has lost close to 150 fish in the past several months

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Improving transit will make a difference in a climate emergency

Transit helps take cars off the road, ease congestion and improve air quality, says letter writer

Most Read