Letter to the editor Mississauga News: Government must act to provide fair credit
Posted February 2, 2023
Canadian banks are reaping billions of dollars of profit, yet people who need access to fair credit most, are left to rely on predatory lenders, private lenders which impose high interest rates and unfair loan terms on borrowers.
I had to pay off my car loan, but the bank refused to help and instead directed me to one of the biggest predatory lenders.
But what started off as one loan, got converted into a never-ending cycle of debt. I took out $2,600 initially, was offered another $5,000 but then was told that I owe $18,000.
COVID hit and whatever little I was able to do through my small consultancy got affected. I was forced to take CERB and then the next year was told that because I am making “too much money,” the federal government cut my pension into half.
As a result, I fell behind on my payments and am now dealing with collections. Missing a payment means NSF charges from the bank and the lender.
ACORN Canada has been fighting for fair banking for years. ACORN members were encouraged to see the federal government’s consultation to fight predatory lending last year. But since the consultation ended in 2022, there hasn’t been any action.
People like me need the federal government to take urgent action. Too many people are paying 60 per cent annual interest, plus insurance and fees.
I was shocked to see so many seniors taking predatory loans from these loan sharks. The feds must show leadership and lower the interest rate of installment loans from 60 to 30 per cent, including all costs like insurance, etc.
We want postal banking and loans with low interest so that these predators are not able to take advantage of vulnerable people. This is urgent. People can’t wait anymore.
Letter to the Editor by Francis Baptiste, Member of Peel ACORN for Mississauga News