Payday Loans

Alex Smith / KCUR

A public hearing on proposed federal regulations for payday loans drew hundreds of supporters and opponents to downtown Kansas City Thursday morning.

Church members, union workers and community groups chanted outside the Music Hall and made the case during a public comment session that Missouri’s lax laws allow payday and other short-term lenders to exploit borrowers.

Terrence Wise, who supports tighter regulation of the industry, said a $150 payday loan ended up costing him $400.

Payday Loan Magnate Scott Tucker Arrested In Kansas City, Kansas

Feb 10, 2016
Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr -- CC

Scott Tucker, a Kansas City man who came upon tremendous wealth by running a payday lending enterprise, was among three people arrested Wednesday in connection with a federal investigation into these businesses.

Tucker and his attorney, Timothy Muir, were arrested in Kansas City, Kansas. Both men were charged by a grand jury in U.S. District Court of Southern New York on charges of conspiracy to collect unlawful debts from payday loan consumers.

Payday loans can be a way to help people out of a financial jam, but borrowers can wind up paying fees greater than the initial loan. We look at payday lender Scott Tucker and why the Federal Trade Commission is seeking $1.32 billion from him.


  • Steve Vockrodt is a reporter at The Pitch.
Kyle Palmer / KCUR

St. Teresa's Academy, a 150-year old private Catholic all-girls school in Kansas City's Brookside neighborhood, is trying to cut financial ties with one-time donor Tim Coppinger. 

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission accused Coppinger of defrauding low-income customers of millions of dollars in a payday lending scam. The FTC's injunction accuses Coppinger and another payday lender Frampton Rowland, III, of using the information of loan applicants to "deposit money into the applicants' accounts without permission...then withdraw reoccurring finance charges without any of the payments going to pay down the principal owed". 

Creative Commons-Wikipedia

This story was updated at 2:06 p.m.

Two Kansas City area businessmen accused of bilking consumers out of millions of dollars in a payday lending scheme will be banned from the consumer lending industry under a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

According to the FTC, the businessmen, Timothy A. Coppinger and Frampton T. Rowland III, and companies they controlled made fraudulent loans to unwitting payday loan applicants and then used the loans as pretexts to withdraw “finance” charges from the applicants’ bank accounts.

State and local leaders joined with activists at the launch of a campaign to change payday laws in Missouri and nationwide. The event was hosted by Communities Creating Opportunities (CCO).


Payday loans sap roughly $26 million dollars a year from the Kansas City economy according to a figure from the Center for Responsible Lending. Mayor Sly James says this needs to change.


“There are more payday loan shops in Missouri than Walmarts, McDonalds, and Starbucks combined,” says Mayor Sly James.


Laura Ziegler

Missouri is in the crosshairs of a national debate over payday loans. This is partly because the industry is huge and wields a lot of political power in the state, but also due to a growing, grass- roots consumer movement. Payday lenders say they provide necessary alternatives to more costly bank overdrafts and credit card debt, but consumer activists aren’t buying it, and are working to provide alternatives for short term loans.

The Payday Playbook: How High Cost Lenders Fight To Stay Legal

Aug 7, 2013
Communities Creating Opportunity

A version of this story was co-published with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As the Rev. Susan McCann stood outside a public library in Springfield, Mo., last year, she did her best to persuade passers-by to sign an initiative to ban high-cost payday loans. But it was difficult to keep her composure, she remembers. A man was shouting in her face.

Wikipedia Commons

Payday lenders are notorious for their sky high interest rates, and the people who use these storefront creditors are oftentimes the ones least able to pay.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with ProPublica reporter Paul Kiel about the situation in Missouri, where attempts to regulate these businesses—such as capping interest rates—keep getting defeated.  

KC Civil Rights Summit

Apr 23, 2012
Auntie P / Flickr

On this Monday's Central Standard we speak with Ayanna Hightower-Mannon and Paul Pierce, who work in Kansas City's Civil Rights Division.

Susan B. Wilson / KCUR

The show for April 8, 2012. Click "Listen" to hear the entire show; see below for individual stories.

The Effects of Restricting Payday Lending

Sep 20, 2011
Andrea Silenzi

Payday loan shops provide small, short-term loans. A typical loan ranges in size from $100 to $500, and must be repaid within two weeks. The industry contends that such loans help people pay for unforeseen expenses.

But many people believe that such loans are harmful because of the amount of interest charged. In the state of Missouri, the average APR on payday loans is above 400%.

Kansas City, MO – Missouri has some of the loosest regulations in the country for the payday loan industry. The state is home to almost 1300 payday loan operations, compared to neighboring states that report 500 or fewer payday loan businesses.