MEDIA RELEASE: New poll shows virtually no support for payday lending legalization bill

72 percent of North Carolinians would be less likely to vote for a legislator who supports payday lending; only seven percent support the move to legalize; even if they knew the bill would create jobs, 70 percent would still oppose it.

RALEIGH (Feb. 25, 2013) – A new poll released today shows staggeringly low levels of support for a bill that would legalize loans of up to 300 percent in North Carolina. Indeed, nearly three-fourths of North Carolinians say they would be less likely to vote for a legislator that supported the bill.

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

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

Significantly, seven out of 10 respondents say that they would oppose the law even if they knew for sure it would create jobs and allow easier access to credit.

The poll has serious implications for lawmakers. When asked if it would affect their vote if their state legislator supported a law to legalize payday lending, North Carolinians said that it would. Responses to the question “would that make you more likely or less likely to vote for that legislator, or would it not make a difference?” broke down like this: 72 percent said it would make them “less likely” to vote for the lawmaker supporting the bill, while 19 percent said it would not make a difference.

Only four percent said it would make them more likely. Four percent were not sure.

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

The poll was conducted Feb. 7-10, 2013. Full poll results can be found below.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Al Ripley, NC Justice Center, al@ncjustice.org, 919.274.8245; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615 (cell).

 

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