LANSING, MI — Yesterday, Fairness Project celebrated that Michiganders for Fair Lending submitted 405,625 petition signatures to the Michigan Secretary of State, an essential step in its campaign to pass a ballot measure that would cap interest rates on payday loans at 36%. Currently, predatory lenders can charge outrageous interest rates of more than 370% APR on small loans — a practice that traps working Michiganders in cycles of debt and disproportionately targets rural areas and communities of color, particularly Black communities.
The campaign, which Fairness Project has supported since its launch in February, exceeded its initial signature collection goal and gathered over 575,000 total signatures through its canvassing period. The Board of State Canvassers will now review the campaign’s petitions and confirm that it submitted at least 340,042 valid signatures in order to qualify for the November ballot in Michigan.
Regarding the milestone of signature submissions, Fairness Project Executive Director Kelly Hall released the following statement:
“Though there is still a long way to go to secure economic justice for Michigan families, this is a major step forward in the campaign to end predatory lending and shows the strength of this campaign. Exorbitant interest rates on payday lending are nothing more than a way to target and exploit vulnerable people who don’t have other options. Fairness Project is proud to be part of this fight and to continue our work over the past four years to end predatory lending for good,” said Kelly Hall, Executive Director of Fairness Project.
Fairness Project has a proven track record of helping ballot measures to stop predatory lending win big on election night. In 2020, Fairness Project and local partners won a ballot measure in Nebraska to curb predatory payday lending, cap interest rates by a margin of 83% to 17%; and in 2018, Fairness Project worked with Coloradans to Stop Predatory Payday Loans to pass a ballot measure that capped interest rates and fees by a margin of 77% to 23%.
Additionally, Fairness Project has worked successfully to pass ballot measures around the country, including expanding Medicaid in six states, raising the minimum wage, and expanding paid sick leave for workers.