Dear Editor and Ada area civic leaders:
Ada’s population is only 17,000+ but there are twenty-one payday loan business within the city limits. These companies are predatory and contrary to healthy economies and populations.
The Pew Research Center published facts about these establishments showing they are philosophically inverse to the substance of productive and flourishing cities.
For example, an average payday loan borrower is in debt for five months of the year, spending an average of $520 in fees to repeatedly borrow $375. The average fee at a storefront loan business is $55 per two weeks.
Additionally, a quick internet search reveals seven furniture rental businesses within the city proper. Personal finance experts strongly recommend against these types of business for a multitude of fact-based reasons, yet they blanket our city.
Oklahoma’s average income is $11,000 below the U.S. level, and Pontotoc County’s average income is $4,000 below the state level. Given the context of our citizens’ economic status, supporting this high number of payday loan companies is irresponsible community-building.
Let’s help these businesses close well, and begin effective financial literacy programming as a move toward responsible civic decision-making.
Sincerely, Kelly Roberts, PhD, LMFT, Ada