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City of Calgary Restricts Payday Lenders

When you stroll or drive along certain areas of Calgary you might get bombarded by signs advertising ‘easy cash now’ or ‘$300 for $20’. These are payday lenders and they setup shop in low income neighbourhoods across the city. These businesses promote themselves as a quick fix. An easy two week loan will allow you to pay for your unexpected expense and move on. Unfortunately, this isn’t the reality for most who use payday loans. The 600% annual interest rate they charge can lead people into a cycle of debt.
As you may have heard, Momentum has been working on this for some time and change is coming at the provincial level. The City of Calgary took a positive step yesterday by mandating that these businesses can no longer set up shop within 400 metres of each other. With 82 payday lenders in Calgary and 69 of them in high poverty areas some neighbourhoods were overwhelmed with the proliferation of lenders. This leads to payday lenders appearing as the only financial option and entire commercial corridors being seen as a strip of payday lenders and pawn shops instead of the vibrant business corridors that they are.
You can read more about the City of Calgary decision in the articles below.
Calgary Herald – Calgary Council Okays New Rule to Prevent Clustering of Payday Lenders
CBC News – Payday Loan Operations Restricted Calgary
Metro News – Calgary Council Takes Steps to Limit Payday Loan Shops

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