OTOC’s Payday Lending Action Team has been working for several years to combat inhumane interest rates on delayed deposit loans. In 2020 we are participating in a state wide ballot initiative to put reduced interest rates into law.

2020 Ballot Initiative

A coalition of nonprofits across the state have teamed up to put this issue on the ballot. This requires getting 85,000 signatures of registered voters before July 3, 2020. Within these 85,000 signatures, 36 counties need 5% o their registered voters to sign. Then, if the issue qualifies, it will be on the November 2020 ballot for Nebraskans to vote on.

Amend Nebraska statutes to reduce the amount that delayed deposit services licensees, also known as payday lenders, can charge to a maximum annual percentage rate of thirty-six percent; to prohibit payday lenders from evading this rate cap; and to deem void and uncollectable any transaction made in violation of this rate cap.

If this Petition is placed on the 2020 ballot and passed by Nebraska voters, Sections 45-918 and 45-919 of the Delayed Deposit Services Licensing Act statutes would be amended to reflex the object of this Petition.

Key Dates:

July 3, 2020 – Petition signatures must be turned in
Nov.3, 2020 – Election Day

Payday Lending Coalition Member List

AARP of Nebraska, ACLU of Nebraska, Habitat for Humanity of Omaha, Nebraska Appleseed, Nebraska Civic Engagement Table, Omaha Together One Community (OTOC), Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, Voices for Children in Nebraska, Women’s Fund of Omaha


Leaders Richard Blocker and Rod Kuhlmann lead a presentation at Augustana Lutheran Church

What Can I Do?


  • Attend next OTOC Payday Lending Reform Action Team meeting
    • Tuesday March 3, 7- 8 pm, First United Methodist Church, 7020 Cass St.
  • Meet with an OTOC leader to learn more
  • Host an info session at you congregation/organization about why we are having this ballot initiative to reform Payday Lending in Nebraska.
  • Walk in your neighborhood to gather signatures
    • Contact Greta Carlson at [email protected] to learn howto get a walk list for your block
  • Gather signatures in your congregation/organization
    • email Richard Blocker at [email protected] to get trained on collecting signatures. Petitions available on the OTOC office. Call 402-344-4401

Leaders at a petition training to collect signatures

Volunteer events:

Volunteer Action Day- Feb 23

Who: Volunteers – Come one, come all

What: Day of Acton — Gather Petition Signatures in support of Capping Payday Lenders to 36% APR!

When: 23 February 2020 Two shifts: 10:00am-1:00pm or 2:00pm -5:00pm or even better, both!

Where: Lincoln and Omaha 

How do you volunteer?  Please sign up here!



Check is soon for other specific events where you can help!

You can sign up for the campaign’s volunteer list here


2019 Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance Annual Report (Delayed Deposit Services Report on page 71, Appendix E)

2019 Delayed Deposit Services Report

What is Payday Lending?

Here’s an example of how it works:

Mary earns $15.00/hour assisting in our public schools.  She has two elementary school children.  She has gross pay of $1,200 every two weeks ($31,200/yr). Her take home pay is $950 every two weeks.  After paying rent/utilities & car payment, her disposable income is $300 every two weeks.

Mary needs her car to get to work and now needs to get it repaired costing $650.  She only has $350 in savings, so she goes to a Payday Lender for the other $300.

2/1       Mary writes a check to the Payday Lender for $353 and receives $300.  The Payday Lender will not cash her check but will hold it until she pays off the loan.

2/15     Mary gets paid at work, but cannot afford to payoff the loan of $300 from that check so she just pays a $53 fee and hopes to pay it off next payday.

2/28     It’s payday for Mary, but again she cannot afford to payoff the loan

This cycle continues for Mary the next 7 paydays with her paying a $53 fee each time.

6/30     Mary works extra hours for summer school and is now able to payoff the loan.

So what has Mary paid in fees for this loan:

$53 the day she got the loan   +   $53 on 2/1   +   $53 on 2/15   +   $53 on 7 more paydays

It cost Mary $530 in fees ($53 fee x 10) for this $300 loan to repair her car.

$300 loan  +  $530 in fees for a total of $830 over the course of about 5 months.

This adds up to an annual accumulated interest rate of around 400% depending on how long a borrow is trapped in the cycle. There are also no options for a payment plan to help pay off the principle lean. Just reoccurring fees until you are able to pay back the full amount.