Alternative Financial Services

The Austin City Council agenda for Thursday, August 18 includes two proposed ordinances which would regulate “alternative financial services” – payday loans, title loans, check cashing, and money transfers. (Note that the ordinance doesn’t apply to businesses who cash checks or wire money as a small part of their overall business, like HEB or many convenience stores.)

The problem with these sorts of businesses is that the loans can have interest rates of 200-300% over a year, so borrowers end up paying thousands of dollars on a few hundred dollar loan. On the other hand, these alternatives allow people who may not have access to conventional financial services to easily borrow a few hundred dollars for an emergency, like repairing the truck they need for work. Many of the low- and very-low-income working people in our neighborhood may fall into this category.

Austin City Council weighs clamping down on payday loans

August 18 update:
Adopted ordinance requiring registration and recordkeeping
Approved land use resolution on locations of alternative financial services

Locations (roughly!) of alternative financial services in our neighborhood (green markers) and areas where new businesses would be prohibited under the new ordinances (red).

Contact City Council members to let them know what you think

Goal: Create a well-balanced land use pattern by assigning appropriate land uses to particular properties.
Objective L.3: Establish North Lamar Boulevard as a mixed use, pedestrian-friendly corridor.
Recommendation 123: Apply the mixed use future land use designation to all properties fronting North Lamar Boulevard.
Recommendation 125: Incorporate small-scale, neighborhood-serving commercial or retail establishments into new mixed use developments.

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About nlct

The North Lamar/Georgian Acres neighborhood is a diverse and connected mixed-use area bounded by 183, North Lamar, Braker, and I-35. The "North Lamar/Georgian Acres contact team" (NLCT) works to achieve our vision of a safe healthy neighborhood for residents, property owners, and businesses.
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