Up From Debt!

Join us on March 14 for a national convening on how the economy is set up to trap us in debt and how you can fight back!

Up From Debt will connect people’s experiences and fights, address impacts on people of color and women, and start to frame debt as a deep and broad problem that needs both universal and targeted solutions.

The goals are to:

  • Talk about the impact of debt on people’s lives, analyze how structures and institutions push people into the debt trap.
  • Create a venue where people can build collective power through our combined debt; uniting our inspiration and motivation to fight back together.
  • Support at the grassroots level those fighting against the various forms of debt, including medical, foreclosure, legal financial obligations, student loans, payday lending, predatory small business lending, and credit cards.
  • Identify big policy ideas for freeing people of debt, minimizing future debt, and ending the devastating impact.

Register now by clicking here

It’s a Shark Attack!

frenzy (2)

Media Advisory
August 6, 2014
Contact: Terri Sterling
(208) 790-4438
It’s a Shark Attack
ICAN Members Warn, “Don’t Get Bit By Predatory Lending”

LEWISTON ID- Idaho Community Action Network (ICAN) members and Lewiston families harmed by predatory loans are biting back this week by drawing attention to the numerous payday and title loan businesses on Lewiston’s 21st Street and the need for the City of Lewiston to limit the growth of these types of businesses.

ICAN leaders will turn out Wednesday on 21st Street in front of these loan companies with flyers, petitions and large banners warning residents, “Don’t Get Bit by Predatory Lending,” and “It’s A Feeding Frenzy”.

“I struggle with payday loan debt, and I think that our local and state governments have a responsibility to restrict the harmful businesses in our community. They are bad players-taking money out of our community, states Alison Smith, Lewiston resident in a report released by ICAN this week, Predatory Lending Practices Negatively Impact Lewiston Valley Residents And The Local Economy.

Idaho, without an interest rate cap, has the highest interest rates in the nation at 582%APR, yet the state legislature continues to dismiss the need for a state rate cap that would limit the interest rate at 36%. As a result, Idaho becomes a “feeding frenzy” for predatory lending and the responsibility falls on local governments to limit the number of lenders they will allow. Caldwell recently adopted such an ordinance. Continue reading

Idaho ranks #1 in Highest Fees for Short Term Loans!


  A new fact sheet  published by Pew Charitable Trusts reports that Idahoans pay the highest fees on payday and title loans in the United States!

 How State Rate Limits Affect Payday Loan Prices, documents Idaho’s interest rate for these loans at 582% APR.  

Idaho families are struggling with low wages and high interest rates. This problem was highlighted by low income families in Caldwell who had lost cars, jobs and homes because of predatory lenders.  ICAN members in Caldwell worked with the Caldwell City Council to limit the growth of these businesses, as a first step in protecting their residents.

These high fees also attribute to the loss of small businesses and jobs, which has an impact on us all. When working families pay high interest fees, they have less cash to spend in their communities.  Idaho’s Main Streets began to resemble ghost towns, as local businesses bear the impact when local economies dry up.

Pew also lists policy recommendations to help states establish fair lending policies.

“Policymakers in states with conventional payday lending can reduce the harm caused by unaffordable payments and noncompetitive prices by implementing Pew’s policy recommendations:

  • Limit payments to an affordable percentage of a borrower’s periodic income. Pew’s research indicates that monthly payments above 5 percent of gross monthly income are unaffordable.
  • Spread costs evenly over the life of the loan.
  • Guard against harmful repayment or collection practices.
  • Require concise disclosures that reveal both periodic and total costs.
  • States should continue to set maximum allowable charges on loans for those with poor credit. In states that have permitted higher interest rates than Colorado’s, storefronts have proliferated, with no obvious additional benefit to consumers.”

In light of Idaho Legislature not passing a rate cap to protect citizens from predatory lending,  ICAN is asking all cities in Idaho to adopt resolutions supporting these recommendations.  Without strong state regulations City Councils must step up and protect  local economies,  hard working residents and local small businesses.  To support our Fair Lending Campaign, please call 208-385-9146.