Shreveport group supports payday loan reform, offers debt help - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Shreveport group supports payday loan reform, offers debt help

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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Payday loans were a topic of conversation in the state capitol Wednesday and some locals are standing behind the push for reform.

One of several bills dealing with payday loans was scheduled to be discussed by a senate committee.

The struggle to pay a bill has some people turning to payday loans. That decision can turn into years of financial hardships.

"When I walked in there, I didn't know if I was going to get it or not, but I did and when they count the money out, it's pretty green, it's a pretty color," said Chandra Hollins, who has taken out 11 payday loans.

The fight to reform payday loans is backed by people like Hollins, who took out the loans when she was struggling to pay that one bill.

"Then you have to renew that loan to pay the other one off, and get another one to pay that one off. It was just ridiculous, it got out of hand, and I got depressed because I was behind on my bills," she said, adding that it's a cycle that has taken her more than two years to pay off.

"With the interest rate, they were the ones getting rich, that's the bottom line," Hollins said.

So, she asked for help from the local nonprofit Northwest Louisiana Community Development Corporation.

"It's more expensive to be ignorant than educated and so what we're doing is we are educating as many as we can, because there are other alternatives if you want loans, we have other institutions that we work with," Bishop Larry Brandon, part of the corporation, said.

This group gave Hollins a payment plan and referred her to people who could help. They work with a variety of banks and credit unions, Brandon said.

"Some of the loan places I had, they were willing to work with me, and those who were not willing to work with me of course we had to go to court," Hollins said.

Both Hollins and Brandon say payday loans are a cycle that should be prevented. KSLA News 12 reached out to several local payday loan stores and none would agree to speak about the controversy.

For information about the Northwest Louisiana Community Development Corporation, call 318-631-4428.

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