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Province warns against high rates for online payday loans

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Manitoba’s Consumer Protection Office warned today of Internet payday loans that cost more than the province’s allowable rate.

The Consumer Protection Office says some Manitobans have been charged rates that exceed the allowable $17 per $100 borrowed for a payday loan obtained over the Internet.

If a lender charges more than the maximum allowable fees for a payday loan, the law excuses the borrower from paying the fees and requires the lender, on request by the borrower or the Consumer Protection Office's Director, to reimburse the borrower for fees already paid, the province says.

Consumers should also know:

  • payday loans can be cancelled within 48 hours without paying any charges;
  • payday lenders can't require repayment of a loan before the borrower's next payday;
  • payday loan agreements must list all charges and the terms of the loan; and
  • borrowers cannot be required to buy prepaid credit cards, insurance or other options that may be offered.

The province also says consumers taking out payday loans should ask questions about anything they do not understand and should not sign any documents or agree to Internet loan conditions that are not clear.

Manitoba law also says that all payday lenders offering payday loans to Manitobans be licensed by the Consumer Protection Office and follow provincial regulations, including payday lenders who offer loans to Manitobans over the Internet no matter where their head offices are located.

Manitobans who believe that they may have received payday loans that do not comply with Manitoba's legislation should contact the Consumer Protection Office at 204-945-3800 or 1 800 782-0067 (toll-free).

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