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Ohio House Returns To Vote On Revised Payday Lending Bill

Karen Kasler
Statehouse News Bureau
A Check $Smart storefront.

State representatives plan on returning to Columbus this week to vote on the long-awaited payday lending bill. The legislation, if passed, would overhaul the way the industry is regulated in Ohio.

The Ohio Senate made a few big changes to HB 123, the payday lending reform bill that passed the Ohio House in June, but nothing to dismay the support of consumer advocates.

Republican state Rep. Kyle Koehler, who sponsored the House bill, was also happy with the changes. He said he believes they have enough votes in the House to concur with the Senate’s version.

The bill puts the maximum payday loan amount at $1,000 and sets interest rates and fees based on the borrower’s income, capping them at 60 percent of the original loan.

The payday lending industry, which has a powerful lobby at the Statehouse, has knocked the bill as overregulation that would put storefronts out of business. 

Supporters say this change is needed as too many people are getting trapped in debt cycles. Pew Charitable Trusts says that Ohio’s payday lending rates, which currently near 600 percent, are the highest in the country.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.