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Government looks to strengthen consumer protection for payday loan users

Albertans are being asked to share their opinions and experiences with payday loans through an online survey.

The survey is part of the government’s comprehensive review of the Payday Loans Regulation. All payday lenders operating in Alberta are licensed under the regulation, which expires on June 30, 2016.

“Protecting consumers is a priority of our government. In tough economic times we know some Alberta families turn to payday loan services to help them deal with financial challenges. This review will help ensure vulnerable families aren’t being taken advantage of.”  

Deron Bilous, Minister of Service Alberta

The survey can be accessed on the Service Alberta website. Albertans will have until Wednesday, October 28 to participate in the survey. Personal information does not have to be disclosed in order to participate.

“Momentum is very pleased that the government is pursuing changes to the payday loan regulation. Current regulations clearly do not work well for most Alberta consumers. These high interest loans can result in many Albertans getting stuck in a cycle of debt that takes many months to exit. We look forward to working with the provincial government to improve the regulations for Alberta consumers.”  

Jeff Loomis, Executive Director, Momentum

The Payday Loans Regulation consultation will also consist of face-to-face meetings with payday loan users, payday loan industry members, and community organizations that provide support to low-income Albertans.

“United Way applauds Minister Bilous and the Ministry of Service Alberta for leading community consultations to review payday lending regulations. The consultations with industry, consumers and community partners are vital to the development of safe, affordable financial and credit services.”

Dr. Lucy Miller, CEO and President, United Way of Calgary and Area

When the consultation is complete, public feedback will be analyzed and any draft amendments will be prepared for review by spring of 2016.

Quick Facts

  • A payday loan is a loan of $1,500 or less that has a term of 62 days or less.
  • Currently, there are more than 30 payday loan companies operating more than 220 branches in Alberta.
  • Licensed vendors are listed on Service Alberta’s website.

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