Consumer Lending

Consumer Lending

Overview

The 3,200 consumer lending companies in the US, also known as “payday lenders”, provide unsecured short-term loans to consumers experiencing cash flow shortfalls. Just over 5% of all adult Americans have used a payday loan. Companies may also provide student loans and loans secured by real estate or automobiles. Some firms also provide other personal financial services, such as check cashing, money orders, and wire transfers.

Negative Public Perception

With annual interest rates of almost 400% or higher and a customer base consisting primarily of low-income borrowers, many consumer advocates view payday loans as predatory lending that takes advantage of the working poor.

Increasing Regulation

The controversy over payday loans has led to new regulations and restrictions in some states and ongoing scrutiny by federal and state regulators.