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Saskatchewan Payday Loan Rate Among Nation’s Highest; Will Hurt Most Vulnerable Consumers in Economic Downturn

The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) today condemned the Province of Saskatchewan’s proposed payday lending rate as amongst Canada’s highest.

“The payday loan rate set by the Government of Saskatchewan is ludicrously high and will be taken 100% from vulnerable consumers,” said John Lawford, Counsel at PIAC. Saskatchewan’s $23 per hundred borrowed rate is only surpassed in Nova Scotia and equalled by British Columbia and represents 600% annual interest on a $300, 14-day loan. “Borrowers can expect much misery from loans at this rate and it will only get worse if there is an economic downturn in Saskatchewan,” continued Lawford.

PIAC notes that the rate set in Saskatchewan continues the abdication of responsibility by provincial governments who do not perform thorough reviews of payday loan economics. “The only way to set a rate that is not abusive for these loans is to have a full rate hearing with funded consumer representation,” stated Lawford, “Otherwise it’s just the payday loan companies producing untested studies on their costs that ignore the reality of borrowers and their ability to pay these rates.”

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