Assemblyman Charles Calderon (D-Whittier) authored the 1996 bill that opened the door to payday lending – a short-term, extremely high-interest form of loan that must be repaid in full within a few weeks. Supporters say the loans help people deal with unanticipated expenses when they don’t have access to traditional forms of credit; critics say the easy-to-obtain loans push people with financial problems into deeper holes. Now Calderon is trying to hustle a new measure through the Assembly that would raise the cap that state law sets on the amount of a payday loan. It’s a bad idea that would make a costly form of borrowing riskier for consumers.
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