Let My People Go



Talk back to follow immediately after the film.

A new 30-minute documentary released by the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL), in cooperation with South Dakotans for Responsible Lending, follows the movement to cap the state’s payday, car title, and installment loan interest rates, which previously soared up to 574%. The film captures the relentless spirit of the broad coalition of South Dakotans that took on the firmly entrenched and well-financed predatory lending industry – and won. A resounding 76 percent of voters passed Initiated Measure 21, which capped interest rates on these loans at 36%.

“South Dakota has an inspiring story to tell. It is a story about how everyday regular people can come together to take on giants like the payday lenders,” said Steve Hickey, former South Dakota legislator and co-chair of the rate cap campaign.

“Let My People Go: South Dakotans Stop Predatory Lending” features stories from people stuck in the trap of these high-cost loans during the time that predatory lenders had free rein to charge triple-digit interest rates. South Dakotans from Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Eagle Butte speak of lenders’ harmful practices, the difficulty in escaping the trap, and the freedom they feel once they are no longer paying on such high-cost loans. The film also shows what happens to former payday loan stores, many now occupied by churches, credit unions, and restaurants that contribute to the wealth and vibrancy of their neighborhoods and communities. Let My People Go: South Dakotans Stop Predatory Lending  is a powerful example of people sharing their stories of the harms caused by predatory lending practices, as well as their ability to change them.

This is a rental of The Loft Cinema, presented by The Center for Economic Integrity.