Do You Need a Title or Payday Loan in Jackson?
An OppLoans Guide to Getting The Help (and The Loan) You Need


When telling the story of Jackson, Mississippi, it’s impossible not to talk about the blues. For decades, the cities prohibition-era “Gold Coast” area was filled with illegal bars and casinos that served as a hub for blues and jazz musicians. Jackson was also the home of Ace Records, an important blues music label that has been recognized with a marker on the official “Mississippi Blues Trail.” And the blues aren’t just a part of Jackson’s history either; they’re also a part of its present. From the “Jackson Rhythm and Blues Festival” every August to the music being produced by the world-famous Malaco Records, Jackson Mississippi, and blues music are pretty much inseparable.

But many Jackson residents are familiar with the blues in an entirely different fashion. Life is difficult for them. These are folks who live well below the poverty line, and who struggle to make ends meet. People who lack access to safe, affordable financial resources can often feel like they’re living their lives one day at a time. And in Mississippi, there are a lot of them. In 2014, 21.5% of Mississippi residents and 29 percent of children in Mississippi live in poverty.[1]

Predatory Lenders in Jackson

According to the Mississippi Center for Justice, “Mississippi has the highest concentration of payday lenders per capita in the nation, with about 1000 locations mostly concentrated in low-income areas or in communities of color.”[2] Given that the state has so many residents living in poverty, this comes as little surprise. Predatory lenders, a category that includes most payday, title and pawnshop lenders, are notorious for taking advantage of people with low-incomes, little-to-no savings, and limited access to better financial resources. That’s why they’re called “predatory” lenders, because they treat their customers like prey.

These lenders all have several things in common. First of all, they charge interest rates that are way, way beyond what most people could reasonably afford – least of all people with limited incomes. Payday lenders in Mississippi can charge annual percentage rates (APRs) as high as 570%.[3] To put that in perspective, a $100 loan with a 570% APR that was outstanding for a full year would cost the borrower $570 in fees and interest alone. That’s almost six times what they originally borrowed. And while title lenders interest rates are slightly lower—closer to 300% annually—they are still far too expensive.[4] Plus, defaulting on a title loan means having your car repossessed—a fate that befalls one in five title loan customers.[5]

Second, most these loans are short-term loans, with payday loans averaging only two weeks in length and title loans averaging a month. Sounds convenient, right? That way you can get out of debt quickly! Only it doesn’t usually work like that. Most short-term loans also require lump-sum repayment, which means that the loan has to be paid back all at once. And with such high interest rates, most customers can’t afford to pay their payday or title loan back in a single lump sum. And while borrowers in Mississippi cannot roll over their loans (trust us, that’s a good thing) they can take out a new loan immediately after paying back their old one. This is how payday and title loan customers can get trapped in a vicious cycle of debt, using new loans to pay off old ones, all the while watching their bank accounts bleed dry.

Don’t believe us? The average payday loan customer in Mississippi takes out nine payday loans a year. What was that about “short-term loans” and “get out of debt quickly”? Yeah, not so much. It’s great business for the lenders though; in Mississippi, they extract more than $270 million in fees and interest every year.[6]

Avoiding Predatory Lenders in Jackson

For many low-income persons and families, staying away from predatory lenders is easier said than done. That’s why these lenders target them in the first place: their incomes and credit scores usually bar them from more affordable lending options. But while the situation might seem hopeless, it’s really not. There still ways to avoid a predatory payday or title lender. You just have to know where to look.

If you are someone in Jackson or the surrounding area who needs assistance, there are plenty of resources available to you. There are free clinics, food kitchens, emergency shelters, social services, and even cash assistance programs throughout the area. Instead of taking out a high-risk, high-cost loan to pay for a child’s medical bill, put food on the table, or just keep the lights on, you should take a look at the resources listed below. One of them might be exactly what you’re looking for.

Healthcare Resources in Jackson

Healthcare

If you lack health insurance or access to affordable healthcare, don’t take out a payday or title loan to pay for your doctor’s bills. Check out these local resources instead.

Jackson Free Clinic provides quality medical care to people in Jackson and the surrounding area who could not otherwise afford it. The clinic is operated by medical students from the University of Mississippi Medical Center School of Medicine. You can reach them by phone at (601)355-5161.

People living with HIV can receive care and treatment at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation Center, located at 766 Lakeland Drive. Their phone number is (601) 368-3440.

Mississippi Primary Health Care Association, Inc. (MPHCA) has multiple affordable care locations throughout the area. The address for their location in Jackson is 5429 Robinson Road Extension. Their phone number is (601) 914-0163.

Another affordable care provider with multiple locations in central Mississippi is Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center

Women in Jackson in need of low-cost health services can find them at the Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Their address is 2903 North State Street and their phone number is (601) 366-2261

Food Assistance in Jackson

Food Assistance

Taking out a high-interest, short-term loan to put food on your family’s table is not the answer. Here are some food banks, pantries and other resources available in Jackson and the surrounding area.

You can apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits by visiting the website for the Mississippi Department of Human Services.

The food pantry operated by Stewpot Community Services is open from 9 am to 11 am, Monday through Friday. The pantry is only accessibly to applicants who have completed a screening process, which requires that the following items be provided: rent receipt or lease agreement, current utility bill in your name, social security card, ID, proof of income birth certificate for any children living in the household.[7] To get in touch with the pantry, please contact Stephanie Echols at Stephanie Echols (601) 373-2759.

Jackson Revival Center has a food outreach ministry that serves needy and homeless people in the Jackson, MS area. To get assistance, you will need to make an appointment by calling (601) 948-3618 between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon on Mondays. Jackson Revival Center is a member of the Mississippi Food Network, which supplies local food banks and pantries throughout the state. If you need food assistance, you can reach them by phone at 601-353-7286 or e-mail at info@msfoodnet.org.

Shelter and Housing Resources in Jackson

Shelter and Housing

Whether it’s help paying your rent, looking for more affordable housing, or finding emergency shelter when you have nowhere else to go, here are places and organizations in Jackson that can help.

You can apply for Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers though the Mississippi Regional Housing Authority VI, which is headquartered in Jackson. They can be reached over the phone at (601)373-7040.

The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope in Jackson offers both emergency shelter — which allows clients to stay for up to 10 consecutive days free of charge — and transitional housing, which cost either $75 a week or $300 a month and allows clients to stay from three to six months. You can reach the center by calling (601) 982-4881.

Gateway Rescue Mission has a women’s shelter, as well as an overnight shelter for men. Their New Life Center for Men offers a long-term help to men who struggling with an addiction. The mission is located in downtown Jackson at 328 South Gallatin Street. Their phone number is (601) 353-5864.

Addiction Services in Jackson

Addiction Services

People who struggle with and addiction to drugs or alcohol needs all the help they can get. If you or someone you know is looking for affordable treatment option in Jackson, here are some great local resources.

The Gateway Rescue Mission’s New Life Center for Men has residential recovery programs that are free of charge and last from six to 12 months. To learn more, give the mission a call at (601) 353-5864..

The Catholic Charities of Jackson, Mississippi offers two recovery programs for women. There is Born Free, which is a residential program for pregnant or parenting women, and New Beginnings, which is a transitional program for women who have already completed primary treatment. To learn more, you can contact Program Director Lisa McBride at (601) 922-0026.

Alcoholics Anonymous has 12-step meetings through Jackson and the surrounding area. You can visit their website to find a meeting near you. You can also call the Mid-Mississippi Intergroup’s Central Office at (601) 982-0081. The office is located at 4526 Office Park Drive, Suite #3, in Jackson.

To find Narcotics Anonymous Meetings in Jackson, please visit the website for the Mississippi Region of NA.

Getting a Loan in Jackson

Sometimes, your just need to borrow some money, and there’s no way around it. One way you can avoid predatory lenders is to try and borrow money from friends and family. Be careful though, because the great interest rate you might be able to score might not be worth the fallout if you can’t pay them back. If you do take out a loan from a friend or family member, make sure that you have a very clear agreement as to the terms. Money is one thing, but family is forever.

If you don’t have that option available to you, then it’s time to deal with a professional lender. Here are some tips about what kind of lenders to avoid completely, and which ones might actually be able to help you in your time of need.

Payday Loans in Jackson

Payday Loans in Jackson Watch out for online lenders peddling these high-interest, short-term loans.

The trick with payday loans is how easy they are to obtain. Some lenders require nothing more than a valid photo ID to get a two-week loan up to $410. At first glance, the fact that the loan’s term is so short sounds enticing too. Sure, this payday loan might have an annual percentage rate (APR) up to 570%, but the loan itself is only two weeks long! Who cares about the APR when you’ll be debt-free in only a few weeks, right?

Wrong. Because the truth about payday loans in Mississippi is much grimmer than most payday lenders would have you believe. The cost for these loans is $20 for checks under $250 and under, and $2,195 for checks over $250. Those rates are far above the cost of an average personal loan, which is why payday lenders target people with low incomes and poor credit scores. Since most payday loans require “lump sum” repayment—which means that you pay back the loan all at once instead of with smaller installment payments over time—it can prove quite difficult for low income borrowers to pay the loan off as intended.

Luckily, the practice of extending the loans via loan rollover is illegal in Mississippi, but that doesn’t matter much, since the state also doesn’t require any “cooling-off periods” between loans. This is how payday loan borrower can so easily be trapped in a cycle of debt, unable to afford their loan payments on top of all their other bills and expenses, they are constantly taking out new payday loans in order to pay off their old ones. Perhaps this is why the average payday loan user in Mississippi takes out nine loans per year.[8]

There are safer, more affordable loans available in Jackson. If you, or someone you know, would like to report a payday lender in the area, please contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Mississippi Attorney General at (800) 281-4418.

Title Loans in Jackson

Title Loans in Jackson Fast cash for now, but at the cost of your car forever.

While title loans come with slightly lower rates than payday loans, they also come with much bigger risks. Unlike payday loans, title loans are a type of secured debt, which means that borrowers must put up collateral to protect the lender in case the loan is not repaid. The type of collateral used in title loans is right there in the name – the loans are secured by the title to the borrower’s car, truck, SUV or motorcycle. Failing to pay the loan back could mean having your vehicle repossessed, a fate that befalls a staggering one in five title loan customers according to a recent survey.[9]

In Mississippi, the maximum amount that a person can borrow with a title loan is $2,500. This allows customers to borrow far more than they could with a payday loan, but it also means paying more money towards fees and interest. Traditionally, title loans have had a one-month term limit with a 25 percent interest rate that adds up to a 300 percent APR. (See? They might be cheaper than payday loans, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t ridiculously expensive.) However, Mississippi lawmakers recently passed legislation that expanded those term limits to 10 months. Now title loans can effectively be issued as high-risk, high-cost installment loans.[10]

Failing to pay back a title loan could mean having your car repossessed and sold off in order to recoup your debt. Does that sound like a risk your willing to take, especially when there are better options available to you in Jackson? If you, or someone you know, would like to report a title lender in the area, please contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Mississippi Attorney General at (800) 281-4418.

Pawn Shops in Jackson

Pawn Shops in Jackson You can find a better loan, one that won’t put your valuable personal items at risk.

Pawn shops are probably the least damaging form of predatory lending that’s available in Mississippi, but that doesn’t mean they’re still a good option. Many people don’t even know that they can take out a pawn shop loan. They think of pawn shops as places where they can either sell their uncle’s signed baseball cards or go shopping for somebody else’s signed baseball cards. The thought of taking out a loan never even occurs to them.

Except that is literally why the word “pawn” is in the name. To pawn an item is to use it as collateral in a short-term, high interest loan. Unlike with title loans, where the borrower gets to hold onto their car while the loan is outstanding, pawning an item means handing it over to the pawn shop to hold onto until the loan is repaid. The item that you give them can be pretty much anything of value, and the more valuable the item is, the more money you’ll be able to borrow. If you don’t repay the loan within 30 days after payment was originally due, the pawnshop gets to keep the item and sell it in order to recoup their losses.

In most cases, having an item to serve as collateral makes a secured loan more affordable than an unsecured loan. And yet pawnshop loans in Mississippi are still incredibly expensive, with a maximum monthly interest rate of 25 percent and an annual percentage rate (APR) of 300 percent.[11] Between the high costs, and the possibility of losing valuable family heirlooms, taking out a pawn shop loan in Jackson just plain isn’t worth it. If you, or someone you know, would like to report a pawn shop lender in the area, please contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Office of the Mississippi Attorney General at (800) 281-4418.

Personal Installment Loans in Jackson
The perfect balance of safety, speed and reliability with easy, regular payments.

If you have poor credit, but need a loan fast, there is an option available to you in Jackson that is both safe and affordable. Skip the short-term, high-cost, payday or title loans and apply for a personal installment loan from OppLoans instead.

With a personal installment loan, you don’t have to pay your loan back all at once. Instead, our loans come with terms between 6 and 36 months that allow you to pay the loan back gradually over time through a series of fixed, regular payments. Our rates are more affordable, too – 70 to 125 percent lower than your typical payday lender. We even report your payments to the credit bureaus, which means that making your payments on time could help boost your credit score.

OppLoans offers personal installment loans up to 5,000 and always strives to deliver fast, flexible, fair and five-star service:

  • Fast: Apply online and find out if you’re approved in minutes. Once approved you can get your cash as early as the next business day.
  • Flexible: We offer longer terms, larger loans, and affordable, fixed payments. Your monthly payment will be the same throughout the life of the loan.
  • Five-Star: Customers rate us 4.9 out of 5 stars for our friendly service. We also provide discounts for credit education.

Applying for a personal installment loan from OppLoans is easy. All you have to do is fill out a simple, online application. We’ll let you know if you’re approved within minutes, and we can deposit the funds in your checking account as early as the next business day.

References:

  1. “Mississippi, 2015.” TalkPoverty.com. Retrieved October 21, 2016 from https://talkpoverty.org/state-year-report/mississippi-2015-report/
  2. “The High Price of Small-Dollar Loans.” Mississippians for Fair Lending. Retrieved October 21, 2016 from http://www.mscenterforjustice.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/Citizens%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
  3. “Payday Loans in Mississippi.” Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance. Retrieved October 21, 2016 from http://www.dbcf.ms.gov/documents/cons_finance/paypamph.pdf
  4. Carter, T. “Mississippi Senate passes bill to expand car title-lending.” Mississippi Business Journal. Retrieve October 21 from http://msbusiness.com/2016/03/car-title-lending-bill-called-step-to-preserve-small-loans/
  5. “Single-Payment Vehicle Title Lending” Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Retrieved October 21 from http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201605_cfpb_single-payment-vehicle-title-lending.pdf
  6. “The High Price of Small-Dollar Loans.” Mississippians for Fair Lending. Retrieved October 21, 2016 from http://www.mscenterforjustice.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/State%20Policy%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
  7. “Single-Payment Vehicle Title Lending” Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Retrieved October 21 from http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/201605_cfpb_single-payment-vehicle-title-lending.pdf
  8. Carter, T. “Mississippi Senate passes bill to expand car title-lending.” Mississippi Business Journal. Retrieve October 21 from http://msbusiness.com/2016/03/car-title-lending-bill-called-step-to-preserve-small-loans/
  9. Article 7: Mississippi Pawnshop Act.” Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance. Retrieved October 24, 2016 from http://www.dbcf.state.ms.us/documents/cons_finance/pawnshopact.pdf

*OppLoans is not affiliated with any of the programs, services or organizations referenced on this page.