Posted on February 18, 2021
ACORN Canada released a new report on High Interest Loans. The findings are from a nationwide survey to understand the experiences of consumers of high interest loans (Loans with interest rate from 25% - over 500%), especially when they are taken out online. The study findings are based on 376 survey responses. We also conducted a legislative scan to map the extent to which there are protections for consumers of high-interest loans at the federal and provincial levels.
The study finds a surge in the usage of installment loans, and growth in high-interest online loans.Read the report here.
We did in-person and virtual actions to release the report. If you missed those amazing actions, you could still join us to stop predatory lending by sending a quick letter to the Prime Minister, Finance Minister and your MP. Click here
You can find the detailed report here.
Here’s a brief on our in-person and virtual actions.
We released the report virtually at a meeting on Wednesday evening which was led by our amazing leaders from across the country – Marva Burnett, Alejandra Rui-Vergas, Donna Borden, Betty Morrison, Bader-Abu-. We had more than 50 ACORN members join us. We went over the history of our Fair Banking Campaign and then members made great signs. Bader facilitated a great session when members shared their experiences with predatory loans.
In person actions:
Hamilton: Hamilton ACORN members led a great action on Concession street. We walked down Hamilton mountain’s concession street where there are currently no mainstream banks and handed in letters to Money Mart and Cheque ‘N’ Cash. Lisa Hind from Hamilton’s mountain chapter led the action and gave a speech outside of Money Mart! We then walked to Cheque ‘N’ Cash to deliver a letter but they closed early that day when they heard we were coming! So we taped a letter and flyer on the door for them! CHCH and Mountain News were there to cover Lisa’s speech and get comments on the report.
Dartmouth: Members did an impromptu march from Cash Money to the Money Mart/Easy Financial across the street - MLA Sue LeBlanc came out to show support and take our demands and we delivered a letter to the Money Mart! Chair and co-Chair duo Pat Donovan and Hannah Wood did interviews with CTV as well.
Ottawa: Vanier members led a great action in Ottawa. Stephanie highlighted parts of the report and then Grace led a march on Montreal Rd to Cash Money to present them with the Loan Shark of the Year Award! The staff originally didn't want to take it, but Grace wasn't leaving that place without them accepting it! Then the group marched down the street to Liberal MP Mona Fortier, and Liberal MPP Lucille Collard's conjoining offices to deliver letters to both. Both offices were closed but members taped letters to the windows and chanted outside to be sure that if anyone was in the building, they definitely heard us.
London: London ACORN members went to Fairstone Financial where London ACORN leaders Betty Morrison and Devon Mota delivered the demand letter addressing the CEO. The staff closed the door on us but we were able to slip the letter in the mailbox (which was first returned and then slipped again!). Members also flyered for a bit.
Peel: Peel ACORN leader Nabeela went to a Cash Money spot in Mississauga. Customer service rep was definitely shocked when we delivered the letter! We left our poster taped outside the office for all to see.
Toronto: Members did a great action in Toronto. Members joined the march to present Money Mart with the Loan Shark of the year award, Easy Financial with the Cold Heart award and to deliver a letter of demands & our new report to the Deputy Prime Minister / Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland. The action was led by awesome leaders Jaby, Patricia, and Hosne. We were able to get inside Money Mart to deliver the award and letter but were locked out of Easy Financial! Members taped the award and letter to the door. Once we got to the Finance Minister's office, members negotiated with the superintendent and got inside the building to deliver the letter directly to her office! Overall, it was a great action and members had a lot of fun!
We will continue to win more protections on high interest loans!
Toronto Star: Editorial: The high cost of banking for millions of Canadians
Huffington Post: Low-Income Canadians Face 'Abusive' Lending Rates Even In Pandemic
London Free Press: Londoner opens up about payday-loan agony as activists urge crackdown
CTV Atlantic: Nova Scotia ACORN takes action against predatory lending
640 Toronto: Advocates call for anti-predatory lending strategy
Hamilton News: ACORN targets pay day loan business on Concession Street
Mortgage Broker News: Canadians’ payday, instalment loan balances mounting