Predatory payday loan companies harm borrowers, economy

by J Scott Christianson, Columbia Daily Tribune Columnist

Last year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Muhammad Yunus, a U.S.-trained economist who established a bank in his native India to lend small amounts of money to the poorest people in the world. These micro-loans allowed people to raise themselves out of poverty, establish a good credit rating and develop thousands of small, sustainable businesses.

In areas where micro-loan programs have been established, the local economy has benefited from the…