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article image‘Born Again’ Evangelicals More Apt to Use Payday Lending

By Carol Forsloff     May 2, 2009 in World
In spite of Biblical prohibitions, evangelicals are more apt to use payday lending services than others. What happened to "never a borrower nor a lender be" in Shakespeare and indirectly in scripture when it comes to quickie loans?
A young law researcher by the name of Jonathon Randon has found in his study of the issue of economics, that the message of pastors to be careful about money matters and loans, doesn’t sink in with evangelicals. In fact they are more apt than others to be involved in payday lending services, according to his findings.
Landon found that most ministers preach that one should live within one's means. They also stress a rather economic form of the Golden Rule which is to treat others in business and finances as you would want to be treated. To check whether evangelical church members actually followed ministers’ recommendations, Landon looked at payday lending services and the involvement of evangelicals in them. These are short-term lending services that charge a high rate of interest on loans.
The highest number of payday lending services is in the Deep South and those areas most populated by evangelicals. This information reveals that evangelical Christians don’t integrate the message of the Bible with economic and personal life, as observed by Landon’s findings.
Payday lenders are intimately involved in politics as lobbyists. Regarded as loan sharks some legislators are concerned that they are bad for the economy and are developing restrictions on their practices. It is said that will be difficult That’s particularly true in the South where they predominate. One news source underlines how some politicians feel about these practices and writes: “There are Good Samaritans in the Senate who don’t intend to let these legalized loan sharks continue bleeding millions from consumers without a fight. While some who’ve fought for consumers in the past now support minimal regulation, there are those who don’t intend to pass by on the other side of the street while borrowers are being robbed of hard-earned cash via triple-digit, short-term loans that lead to long-term debt.”
Not only are payday lending practices bad for people of the South, they are bad for the American economy in general, experts say. They cost American families $4.2 billion annually in predatory lending fees.
Family values are declared important among evangelicals, but how does payday lending practices reinforce them and stay coherent with religious and economic advice? Likely there is some dichotomy, and research maintains a great problem.
More about Evangelics, Payday lending, Lobbyists
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