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Not all consumer lenders are predatory | READER COMMENTARY

A customer leaves a payday loan store in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in February 2019. Washington Post photo by Michael S. Williamson
A customer leaves a payday loan store in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in February 2019. Washington Post photo by Michael S. Williamson (The Washington Post)

While I appreciate the authors’ concerns related to predatory lenders (”Federal proposal could make it easier for predatory lenders to target Marylanders with exorbitant interest rates,” Sept. 1), Sarah Bloom Raskin and Whitney Barkley-Denney unfairly paint the consumer-lending industry with a broad brush in their recent commentary that fails to include some basic facts important for consumers to consider.

There is a real difference between “payday loans” and standard personal and traditional installment loans which are today more affordable in a time when many consumers are in need due to economic and employment challenges. As well, for personal installment loans the interest rate is not the best indicator of cost. The length of the loan, as well as the fixed monthly payment are often better determining factors in a consumer’s decision-making.

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Yes, protect consumers, but don’t hinder consumers’ choices when they need financial help in a time of need.

Bill Himpler, Washington, D.C.

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The writer is CEO of American Financial Services Association.

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