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Better Off

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Payday lenders weren't happy with a survey conducted for the N.C. Office of the Commissioner of Banks that found consumers were better off without the high-interest loan companies that the state kicked out last year.

• Sixty-eight percent of former borrowers said the loan ban had no effect on their household.

• About nine percent said the ban had hurt their household.

• The survey had a small sample of former borrowers (fewer than two dozen queried by phone).

• Former borrowers all said they paid an excessive amount for their loan, but they also called for a "more viable credit option for borrowing a small amount of money."

• Of those respondents who admitted recent financial hardships, 49 percent said they were caused by medical expenses. Transportation was second with 37 percent.

• In response, the Community Financial Services Association of America claimed the study's conclusion "does not match the actual findings. In fact, respondents' answers to the survey clearly show that the elimination of payday loans in North Carolina did nothing about the demand and forced consumers to replace payday loans with costly, less desirable and even dangerous options."

ON THE WEB: Community Financial Services Association of America, www.cfsa.net

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