Southeast Michigan Organizing Director Ken Whittaker gave testimony at the hearing to End the Debt Trap in the Payday and Small Dollar Credit Industry.
Ken spoke before the subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Financial Institutions, chaired by Representative Gregory Meeks and at the invite of Madam Chairwoman Maxine Waters of the House Financial Services Committee.
During his testimony, Ken stated he supported keeping the 2017 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau rule to cap annual interest rates at 36% in order to stop predatory lenders from trapping customers in high cost loans that financially ruin lives.
In front of Chairman Meeks and the rest of the subcommittee, Ken shared a personal story from his past as an IT worker for the University of Michigan. He asked the subcommittee to support strong reform of predatory payday and car title lending for people like him and his family.
“Unfortunately, I took out a payday loan of about $700. That turned out to be a very big mistake that truly altered the course of my life. ... All told, that $700 loan ended up costing me $7,000.”
Ken and members of Michigan United traveled to Washington D.C. to give voices to the hundreds of residents who fall victim to predatory lending everyday.