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Apr 2, 2016

The payday loan industry in Canada loans an estimated $2.5 billion each year to over 2 million borrowers. Like it or not, payday loans often meet the need for urgent cash for individuals who can't, or won't, borrow from more traditional sources. If your hydro is about to be disconnected, the cost of a payday loan may be less than the hydro re-connection fee, so it may be a prudent financial decision in some cases.

As a “one time” source of cash a payday loan may not be an issue. The real problem is payday loans are structured to keep customers dependent on their services.  Like opening a box of chocolates, you can’t get just one. Since a payday loan is due in full on payday, unless your situation has improved, you may have no choice but to get another loan from another payday lender to pay off the first loan, and a vicious debt cycle begins.

So what’s the solution?  That’s the question I asked my two guests, Brian Dijkema and Rhys McKendry, authors of a new study, Banking on the Margins – Finding Ways to Build an Enabling Small-Dollar Credit Market.