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Nashville Based Entrepreneur Advocates for Advance Financial

Testifies Against Changes To Small Dollar Lending Practices

Robert Sherrill had served time in prison. He was arrested for selling drugs. He paid his debt to society and wanted to turn his life around but with a felony on his record, it was next to impossible to find a decent job. It was then that Robert decided to open his own business and hire some employees. He needed a little help to get his business off the ground. He approached banks and traditional money lenders but his applications for loans were always rejected. He couldn’t get money or cash advances from relatives, friends and faith-organizations either. Robert knew he was considered a high risk. At that point of time, he had only two options – go back to the streets or turn to a payday lender for a payday loan or installment loan. In March, the CFPB is expected to release new guidelines that will impact the small-dollar and payday loan industry. Robert travelled to Washington, D.C. to share his opinion on these new regulations. When asked what would have happened if he hadn’t received a payday loan, Robert replied, “I would probably have landed in jail again. I didn’t have options. It’s different when you have options.” He further added, “If I hadn’t received a loan from Advance Financial, I would have had to go back to the streets and I could have got the money that way, but I was trying to change my life and I didn’t want to go that way.” When he was asked if he thought payday loans were hazardous, he promptly replied that he didn’t think so, because there was no better alternative. “The loan I received was my lifeline; I couldn’t have started my business if I hadn’t.” CFPB’s new guidelines are expected to shut down small dollar lenders which will cut off payday loans to 51 million Americans who are underserved or unserved; they will lose the only access to credit that they have. The Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, Greg Gonzales, warned the legislators that these guidelines proposed by the CFPB will force borrowers underground or to unregulated lenders. “While some might argue that losing access to credit might be good, consumers who believe that they have to find credit will, even if they have to approach unregulated lenders,” he said. Sherrill agrees, “I could have gone to other places for a loan, but you wouldn’t want me to tell you about these places and that doesn’t deny the fact that they are out there.” Robert Sherrill turned his loan into a successful janitorial business which now consists of 20 employees. “I am now a Minority Certified Company registered with the Governor’s Office. I am also a member of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and am with the Better Business Bureau. I started from the ground up and I owe it to these loans. It worked for me,” he said.  Disclaimer: Advance Financial previously offered payday loans. After the release of CFPB’s guidelines, the company now offers a Flex Loan which is a flexible line-of-credit that allows customers to gradually pay back the loan at their own pace. Original source: The Nashville Pride