Momentum’s Payday Lending Story


So in our Money Management programs, we really
noticed that people were taking payday loans for everyday, unexpected expenses. Things like family emergencies, medical expenses,
their car would break down. But what was happening is that the people
who could least afford to borrow were having to pay the most. So Momentum identified the issue of payday lending as
a significant issue in our community in 2014. We completed and released a research report
called The Real Cost of Payday Lending, and that sparked a serious conversation in our
community about what we could do about payday lending. While we engaged in policy change, we also
started to have conversations with philanthropists, citizen leaders, other community organizations,
and mainstream financial institutions of how we could develop more affordable alternatives
to payday lending. Momentum has helped us understand on a much
deeper level the barriers to banking that people experience, and worked with us on a
pilot project that led to the launch of our Cash Crunch loan in August 2016: the very
first affordable loan alternative to payday lending in southern Alberta. We’re so proud of what Momentum and First
Calgary have achieved together with the Cash Crunch loan. We also continue to work with other financial
institutions to provide real alternatives to payday lending. For example, ATB recently announced an innovative
approach to ensure that more Albertans can access affordable financial services. On the policy front, we’ve seen a number of
exciting changes. Last year, the provincial government introduced
new legislation for payday lending. The new rules take Alberta from one of the
most expensive provinces in the country to get a payday loan, to by far the most affordable. First Calgary’s partnership with Momentum
has been transformative for how we see our role in working with the underbanked. We’re not finished with this work. We continue to look for ways to improve access
to safe and affordable financial services and products. By working together, we believe that all Calgarians
can have the opportunity to reduce their debt, build their savings, and have a better financial
future.

One comment on “Momentum’s Payday Lending Story”

  1. Rob says:

    Lots of misleading information here.

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