At some point in your life, you may find yourself thinking about getting a payday loan. Let’s face it, the truth is that for those of us with limited income and living paycheck to paycheck, a sudden bill such as a medical expense, traffic ticket, etc., can put us in need of quick emergency funds. A payday loan (sometimes referred to as “cash advances”) is a small, short-term, loan that is secured against your next paycheck.
To complicate matters, even though New York is among the 18 states that ban or strictly regulate payday loans, lenders are bypassing state laws by operating online. These online lenders have been succeeding at looking for customers in New York and charging sky-high rates for small loans. However, according to New York state law these online lenders can be subject to civil prosecution or criminal penalties if they charge 16% interest or more for a small loan.
If you are a resident of New York and feel that you are a victim of payday loan abuse try these following things:
1. Contact the New York State Attorney General’s Office and report the abuse: The general helpline is, 1-800-771-7755
2. If you live in NYC, you can contact NEDAP’s Financial Justice Hotline: (212) 925-4929 – Tambien se habla Español.
3. Contact a legal aid group in your area that deals with predatory lending: You can click here for a list of legal aid groups in New York (put in your zipcode to get a list of legal aid providers in your area).