Last November, South Dakota voters overwhelmingly passed a 36% rate cap on short-term loans. Dollar Loan Center Founder and CEO Chuck Brennan and others in the so-called payday loan industry said the cap would kill short-term lending in the state.

Shortly after the vote, Brennan closed his Dollar Loan Center locations across the state. Now, two are open again.

Brennan talked with KELOLAND News on the record by phone, but asked us to not record the conversation. Local businessman Steve Hildebrand, a prominent opponent of the payday loan industry, wasn’t shy about his thoughts on the latest development from Dollar Loan Center

“Chuck Brennan exited the state in a huff, pouted his way across the border to his multi-million-dollar home in California after he lost the payday lending. Now he wants to come back,” Hildebrand, chairman for South Dakotans for Responsible Lending, said.

Hildebrand helped lead the charge to get the 36% rate cap to the voters. He didn’t know about Brennan’s move back into South Dakota until we told him about it today.

“They don’t have our support,” Hildebrand said. “These multi-millionaires who have made all of their money on the backs of low-income people aren’t to be trusted,” 

Brennan describes the four new loans now available from Dollar Loan Center as a “pilot program,” which he calls “a very simple, limited, one-week, short-term loan.”

The Dollar Loan Center on West Tenth Street in central Sioux Falls is one of two spots in South Dakota where you can get one of these loans. The other is in Rapid City.

$250, $500, $750, and $1,000 loans are available at the two locations and online. The APR, or annual percentage rate, for all four loans is less than 36%, keeping it within state law.

Dollar Loan Center’s website says that loans have to be paid off in seven days, or a “late fee” will apply. That fee ranges from $25 to $70 each week that the loan isn’t paid off.

“We’re going to look into these very hard,” Hildebrand said. “If legislation is something that is necessary, once we take a look to make sure that they are as harmful as we suspect they’re going to be, then we’ll take a look at that.” 

Brennan tells KELOLAND News he doesn’t know how long his Dollar Loan Center “pilot program” will last.