Dear Editor,

For the past three years, the Indiana Senate has rejected bills by payday lenders to offer longer-term products up to 200 percent APR.

This year, in SB 613, which is now pending for vote before the Indiana Senate, an association of primarily out-of-state lenders is asking again to pass this usurious payday expansion. But worse, lenders are now including two additional ways in which consumers will be deluged with offers to borrow at outrageous rates they cannot afford, far over Indiana's current felony loan sharking cap of 72 percent. This includes a new additional small loan product up to $4,000, at rates up to 200 percent APR and greatly increased fees and interest for existing subprime installment lenders.

These products will encourage over-stretched Hoosiers to take on more unaffordable debt, and would likely cause more evictions, foreclosures, loss of cars, bankruptcies and increased mental health challenges.

One in three Hoosiers already has a debt in collections. Hoosier consumer debt per capita is at an all-time high. Consumer debt across the country has reached a new peak of $4 trillion. The number of auto loans more than 90 days in arrears is higher than ever before. Now is not the time to plunge more Hoosiers into debt and default.

We oppose SB 613, and we urge all concerned Indiana residents to call their senators asking them to reject this massive expansion of predatory lending in our state.

BG James L. Bauerle, The Military/Veterans Coalition of Indiana

Glenn Tebbe, Indiana Catholic Conference

Jessica Fraser, Indiana Institute for Working Families

Jessica Love, Prosperity Indiana