A Guide to Payday and Title Loans in

Killeen, TX

Payday Loans in Killeen

Killeen is nestled right next to Fort Hood military post and has a large population of veterans as residents. Near lovely Stillhouse Lake, this city of 145,487 has grown by 14% since 2010. It’s a young city, with just 5.8% of the population older than 65.1

The city is better off than some of its neighbors — consumer spending and debt levels are lower than the rest of Texas. But Killeen is not immune to some of the same issues plaguing the rest of Central Texas. The poverty rate (14.2%) is lower than neighboring cities such as Waco, but the low-income population still provides ample prey for unscrupulous lenders.1

Poverty Rate in Killeen vs. Texas
Killeen
Texas
14.2%
16.7%
Poverty Rate

Payday Lending in Killeen

Lending money to cash-strapped folks at extremely high rates of interest is considered predatory lending. These annual interest rates can come in at 300% or higher.

Predatory lenders have a couple ways of trapping borrowers in a cycle of debt: payday loans, which use a postdated check as collateral, and title loans, which use the title of borrowers’ vehicles as collateral. In order to get these loans, borrowers pay big fees upfront, and frequently end up having to “roll over” their loans—taking new loans out to pay for the previous ones. This process can repeat endlessly in Texas.

What is a payday loan?

To take out a payday loan, you generally surrender a personal, postdated check to the lender, or give the lender access to your bank account, in exchange for the same amount of money. You also pay the lender a fee. While some states place caps on these fees, Texas does not.2

When you take out a payday loan, you risk having to roll over the loan if you can’t pay it off completely in 2 weeks—essentially, taking out a new loan with the same lender in order to pay off the balance of your previous loan. In doing that, though, you pay yet another fee, along with more interest. A loan for $800 (for which you’ll pay $965 at the end of 2 weeks) could end up costing you more than $2,000.

(If you take out a title loan, you could lose your vehicle.)

Payday lending in Texas makes it easy for vulnerable Texans to fall victim to predatory lenders. Texas does not cap the interest rates that these lenders can charge, with some borrowers having to deal with an annual interest rate of 800%!

According to the CFPB, four out of five payday loan borrowers “rollover” or re-borrow their loans. Think about what that means in Texas, where payday borrowers pay an average APR of 410% on their loans.3 That’s a lot of money lining the pockets of the CEOs and shareholders of these predatory lenders.

 

Local Resources to Help Killeen Residents Avoid Predatory Lenders

There are any number of reasons you might think you need to resort to a payday loan. Maybe you had an unexpected root canal, and you don’t have dental insurance. You needed a new car battery. Your hours were cut back, and now you’re just a little short on rent this month. Perhaps a loved one needs help overcoming an addiction to opioids.

But before resorting to a payday loan, consider some of these other options from Killeen-based community organizations.

Consumer Spending in Killeen vs. Texas vs. U.S.

 

Total per Household

Apparel & Services

Dining Out

Food Consumed at Home

Entertainment/Recreation

Health Care

Housing

Life and Other Insurance

Pensions and Social Security

Transportation

Killeen

 $52,598

 $1,656

 $2,578

 $4,067

 $2,289

 $3,930

 $16,4995

$285

$5,349

$6,603

Texas

$70,379

$2,223

$3,460

$5,204

$3,154

$5,607

$21,568

$410

$7,440

$8,452

United States

$57,311

$1,803

$3,154

$4,049

$2,913

$4,612

$18,886

$322

$6,509

$9,049

Food Assistance Resources in Killeen

Putting food on the table is vital, and taking out a payday loan in order to get groceries is understandable. But several organizations around Killeen can help you put food on the table without putting you in financial hot water.

Food Care Center Killeen

Provides groceries, including fresh bread and fruits and vegetables, to those in need, Tuesdays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Address: 210 N. 16th St.; Killeen, TX 76541
  • Phone: 254-554-3400

Jesus House of Prayer Food Pantry Outreach

Food pantry open the first Saturday of the month from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

  • Address: 911 Trimmer Rd.; Killeen, TX 76541
  • Phone: 254-458-4135

For other food pantries in the area, check out the full list here.

 

Medical Debt in Bell County vs. Texas6
Bell County
Texas
11.0%
17.0%
% Uninsured
19.0%
26.0%
% with Medical Debt in Collections
$833
$850
Median $ Medical Debt in Collections

Healthcare Resources in Killeen

Unexpected health emergencies can be crushing, both on your spirit and your bank account. Killeen has a lower rate of uninsured people than much of Texas, but 13.5% of residents in this city don’t have health insurance. If you are having trouble covering your healthcare costs, free and low-cost clinics can help prevent you from taking out a payday loan.

Greater Killeen Community Clinic

Provides acute and chronic care for those without insurance who are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid.

  • Address: 718 N. 2nd St., Suite A; Killeen, TX 76541
  • Phone: 254-618-4211

Rent Assistance in Killeen

The fear of experiencing homelessness is real, and leads to yet another temptation to take out a payday loan to make ends meet and avoid eviction. The Temple and Killeen HELP Center can help by paying one bill each year for you on an emergency basis.

Temple and Killeen HELP Center

  • Address: 101 E. Central Ave.; Temple, TX 76503
  • Phone: 254-770-6842
Monthly Housing Costs as a Percentage of Household Income in Killeen
  • Less than $20,000:22.3%
  • $20,000 to $34,999:16.2%
  • $35,000 to $49,999:11.6%
  • $50,000 to $74,999:16.9%
  • $75,000 or more:28.6%
Killeen vs. Texas Median Housing Values and Monthly Costs 4

 

Median Housing Value

% of Housing Units with a Mortgage

Median Monthly Cost (w/ mortgage)

Median Monthly Cost (w/o mortgage)

Median Rent

Killeen

$118,400

70.4%

$1,191

$436

$876

Texas

$142,700

59.0%

$1,444

$467

$911

Texas Subprime Reports

Works Cited