For Valentine's Day, the Idaho Community Action Network will show its love in a very unique way: by delivering Valentine's hearts to more than 30 payday lending stores in the Treasure Valley. At these stores, the ICAN protesters will deliver their red-and-white leaflets to admonish the stores to stop their predatory lending practices.
"It affects everybody in our community. These people go there, and then when they get into a cycle of debt, we have to find a way to give them a hand," said Yuliana Nogales with ICAN.
With its heart-shaped activism, ICAN hopes to urge Idaho lawmakers to reduce the maximum loan amount available to patrons from $1,000—the highest in all states with caps—to a mere $300. If borrowers are allowed to borrow large amounts of money per transaction, according to ICAN, these Idahoans end up unable to repay.
"They go to social services, which are already very crowded. It's just like home loans that were given to people who can’t afford it," said Nogales. "They’re given money; they know they can’t pay it."
Idaho also fails to limit interest rates on these loans, allowing for skyrocketing returns on small amounts. ICAN also calls for loan and debt counseling for Idahoans facing trouble.
ICAN's schedule of events is as follows, beginning at 1:25 p.m.: Fast Bucks, 4116 W. Chinden Blvd.; Money Tree, 3159 W. State St.; and two EZ Money locations, 2911 W. State St. and 6942 W. State St.