Beware of Payday Lending Scams in Arkansas
By Laura Connerly
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture
- Payday loans are illegal in Arkansas, but scams persist
- Resources are available to Arkansans who may be indebted illegally
LITTLE ROCK — Although high-interest loans are illegal in Arkansas, “payday loans,” payday lenders and payday collection scams still target Arkansas consumers.
Payday loans are short-term loans for small amounts, usually less than $500. They are typically due on your next payday, and are sometimes called “cash advance” or “check loans”. The fees often amount to an annual interest rate of 400 percent or more. Charges continue to mount if the borrower is not able to repay the loan on the due date. The loan rolls over with increasing fees, interest, and debt.
The last payday lender left Arkansas in 2009. Loans at interest rates of 17 percent APR (annual percentage rate) or higher are illegal in Arkansas.
Do you have an illegal loan? Storefront payday lenders have been shut down, but many still try to entice Arkansas consumers via the phone or Internet. These loans are illegal and unenforceable under Arkansas law. If you determine that you are indebted under such a loan, contact the Office of the Attorney General to request that the lender cancel the loan.
Are bill collectors claiming that you have a payday loan? Recent consumer complaints report a payday collection scam in which callers insist that the consumer is overdue on a payday loan. The callers often harass their victims and may threaten legal action.
Callers may have personal financial information about the intended victim. Never provide additional information in response to these types of calls. Contact the Office of the Attorney General to file a complaint. Monitor your bank and credit card accounts for suspicious activity. Alert the credit reporting bureaus to further monitor for fraudulent activity.
Contact the office of the Attorney General if you have been a victim of payday lending or of a collection scam. Call 1-800-482-8982 or visit www.gotyourbackarkansas.org.
For research-based information about financial stability and consumer protection, visit the Cooperative Extension Service at http://www.uaex.edu/health-living/personal-finance/default.aspx.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
# # #
Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service