They are everywhere this time of year, signs promising fast cash. Now a group of social services and church leaders are fighting to limit the number of pay day loan facilities in the city. They feel the loans offer ridiculous percentage rates and are pushing the poor into even deeper financial trouble.
The director of the Good Samaritan Inn, a Decatur food pantry, says "Whenever a city or an area is economically in a downslide these groups keep popping up because it's a way for people who are hurting to have quick cash and not go through the credit checks."
Decatur's Chamber of Commerce says the lenders do bring business and are necessary so that emergency funds are available to those in the community. The president of the chamber, Randy Prince, adds that he hopes the lenders are used as a last resort and not abused.
The Social Service agencies involved in this fight are still in the early stages but they say they do have the support of Representative Bob Flider. They hope to get the word out and take this to the state level.
The first of what the group hopes is many meetings will be held tonight at the Central Christian church. They are also encouraging teens to learn about these businesses while they are still learning how to handle money.