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The Feb. 14 article, “Council addresses problem of broken water pipe,” discusses how the city’s insurance will not cover resident Gladys Edwards’ broken water pipe or the Hartsells’ home on Jackson Street. It seems like these local community members, along with residents across the state, are faced with difficult emergency situations and could use a little extra help to soften the financial blow.

 For the time being, these residents have the option of taking out a traditional installment loan—a safe, affordable lending option that would give them the small-dollar loan they need without fear of balloon payments. However, this type of lending is being threatened in Missouri by the Payday Ballot Initiative. The language in this initiative groups all types of small-dollar lending together, which could be detrimental to Missourians’ access to the safest form of credit.

Consumers should understand the difference between traditional installment loans and payday loans. Traditional installment lenders do credit checks on applicants and develop a monthly payment plan for borrowers to pay back their loans. Unlike payday loans, traditional installment loans do not come with a risk of large balloon payments and are typically paid back over a span of several months. If Missourians were to lose access to these types of loans, not only would individual Missourians be left high and dry, but our state’s economy would suffer and many residents would be left without jobs.

The residents of Missouri should definitely say No thank you to signing the petition for the Payday Ballot Initiative. Missourians need access to traditional installment loans to pay for emergencies that cannot be planned for at the beginning of the year. Without these options, how would Bonne Terre residents like Gladys Edwards pay for her broken water pipe when the city’s insurance will not cover the cost? Everyone has a right to access affordable credit, and that right should not be jeopardized. Help your neighbors and community members in need and Decline to Sign.

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Pamela Mills                

Park Hills

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