Waco: Campus event aims to boost payday loan awareness

(Photo by Ke'Sha Lopez)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Baylor students took selfies Wednesday while standing over an image that served as a metaphor for the abyss of debt in which some people find themselves after taking out payday loans.

According to a study from the Institute for College Access and Success on average Texas students are already more than $26,000 in the hole when they graduate, and with the prospect of entry level wages and the rising cost of living, making ends meet could prove challenging.

A joint study from George Washington University and the Pew Charitable Trusts found that about 28 percent of millennials turn to payday loans, short-term financing, and pawnshops.

Payday loan interest rates can amount to as much as 400 percent, experts say.

Recently, a judge in Delaware ruled in favor of a former hotel housekeeper who sued a consumer loan company that demanded repayment of $1,820 for a $200 loan.

The judge called the loan agreement "unconscionable."

"I don’t doubt it,” sophomore Jazmine Cruz said.

“I think every college student reaches that point just because we're trying to pay off our school and we have extra expenses. We have apartments. We have housing. We have everything."

Jennifer Dolan, who represents Vista and Baylor University’s Office of Community Engagement and Service handed out information on payday loans.

"I think that by spreading awareness and more prepared once they are financially independent on what resources to search for,” she said.

Students also were invited to sign a petition calling for stricter regulations of payday lending practices in the state.