Payday loans in Roanoke and Virginia are now virtually extinct | Cheryl E.Preston


Cash check-in is no longerGoogle Maps Screenshot

What happened to local payday lenders?

Once upon a time when you were driving through Star City, you might have noticed there was payday loan establishments across Roanoke specifically on Williamson Road, Melrose Avenue and
East Main Street in Salem. Today, the buildings that housed what is called predatory loan companies are vacant or are occupied by other companies.

you no longer see cash check or other places where you could borrow money until your next paycheck. There are no more signs on buildings offering to allow you to obtain a cash advance or title loans on a vehicle. Almost all of them have been replaced by vape, tobacco or CBD oil products stores or the buildings are no longer in use.

Maybe you tried to get a payday loan online only to be told that the state of Virginia no longer allows this type of borrowing. Technically, you can still get a cash advance loan, but the Commonwealth has changed the rules and that makes it harder. Cash advance businesses became legal in this state in 2002, and by 2008 complaints were so severe that lawmakers began trying to impose restrictions.

Vaping shopScreenshot of Google Maps

Changes have been made to protect consumers

The first change they made was in 2008 to limit payday loans to one loan at a time because some consumers were juggling 2, 3 and even 4 loans simultaneously. I personally know people who have asked to travel all over town trying to pay off those loans so they can borrow again.

The Equity in Lending Act Basically modified payday loan structure by reducing authorized finance charges, while increasing the maximum amount you can borrow and extending the minimum repayment term. In other words, borrowers can get more money, pay less interest, and have more time to repay the money. It sounds like a win-win, but loan companies have started to close shop.

Predatory lenders felt they were entitled to charge excessive fees because their customer base had low credit ratings and was high risk. That is why companies, where you can rent furniture and household appliances, are much more expensive than traditional stores. The state of Virginia was number seven on the list of states with complaints against cash advance companies, so lawmakers put in place the laws that would help those in bondage by borrowing and re-borrowing these loans.


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