Report Says Kentucky Laws Could Put Installment Loan Borrowers at Risk

Oct 29, 2018

Alex Horowitz, senior officer of consumer finance work with the Pew Charitable Trusts, says Kentucky should move away from payday lending.
Credit Alex Horowitz / The Pew Charitable Trusts

New research finds that Kentucky law puts those who take out installment loans at risk. The Pew Charitable Trust is calling for more protection and transparency for borrowers. This type of lending hasn’t been researched as much as payday loans until now.

Payday lenders in Kentucky can charge interest rates averaging 469 percent and while installment loans cost less, they have other risky features. The study shows origination fees and expensive credit insurance drives up the cost of installment loans.

Alex Horowitz is a senior officer of consumer finance work with the Pew Charitable Trust. He says Kentucky should move away from payday lending while improving regulations for installment loans. Horowitz used Ohio as an example of a state that has reduced the risks for sub-prime borrowers or people with a low credit score. 

“Ohio recently changed their state law to reform payday lending and make it work like installment lending where borrowers repay in affordable installments. Kentucky hasn’t done that yet,” said Horowitz.

Horowitz says if payday lending is going to exist it needs safeguards. He says payday lenders have gotten special treatment in Kentucky and don’t have to follow state interest level limits. Pew recommends spreading costs evenly over the life of the loan and increasing transparency.