New poll shows virtually no support for payday loan legalization bill

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The NC Justice Center reports:

A new poll released today shows incredibly low levels of support for a bill that would legalize lending by up to 300% in North Carolina. Indeed, nearly three-quarters of North Carolinians say they would be less likely to vote for a lawmaker who supported the bill.

The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, shows that only seven percent of North Carolinians support the legalization of payday loans in North Carolina, compared to 73 percent who would like current loan limits to remain intact.

Current law allows interest rates of up to 54%, but a new bill, Senate Bill 89, would allow payday lenders to charge an annual rate well above 300%.

Significantly, seven in ten say they would oppose the law even if they knew for sure that it would create jobs and facilitate access to credit.

The poll has serious implications for lawmakers. When asked if it would affect their vote if their state’s lawmaker supported a law to legalize payday loans, the North Carolina people responded that it would. The answers to the question “Would that make you more or less likely to vote for this lawmaker, or would it not make a difference?” Collapsed as follows: 72% said it would make them “less likely” to vote for the lawmaker supporting the bill, while 19% said it would make no difference.

Only four percent said it would make them more likely. Four percent weren’t sure.

Opposition exists across the political spectrum, with moderates overwhelmingly opposed.

The survey was conducted February 7-10, 2013. The full survey results can be viewed by clicking here.

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