Small-Dollar Loans

Since 2011, Pew’s small-dollar loans project has conducted extensive research on payday, auto title, and similar loans and found that the market is plagued by unaffordable payments, deceptive business practices, and excessive prices.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—the federal agency charged with regulating these loans—has proposed a new rule. However, without changes, the regulation would allow payday loans with 400 percent interest rates to flourish while locking out lower-cost loans from banks that could save millions of borrowers billions of dollars.

Pew provides research, recommendations, and technical assistance to help state and federal lawmakers craft policies for a fair, safe, and affordable small-dollar loan marketplace.

Our Work

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  • The CFPB’s Proposed Payday Loan Regulations Would Leave Consumers Vulnerable

    Proposed regulations from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) would protect consumers from conventional, lump-sum payday loans, which Pew’s research has shown usually have unaffordable payments that trigger reborrowing. The pending rule strongly encourages payday and auto title lenders to give borrowers more time to repay loans in smaller installments, rather than large lump-sum... Read More

  • How the CFPB Proposal Would Regulate Payday and Other Small Loans

    In June, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released a proposed rule to regulate payday, auto title, and some high-cost installment loans. The proposal applies to “covered loans” from any lender, including payday, auto title, online, and nonbank installment lenders as well as banks and credit unions, but not to overdraft services, pawn loans, business loans, and other... Read More

  • From Payday to Small Installment Loans

    All of the largest payday lenders now offer installment loans, which are repayable over time and secured by access to the borrower’s checking account, in addition to conventional payday loans that are due in a single lump sum. This shift toward installment lending has been geographically widespread, with payday or auto title lenders issuing such loans or lines of credit in 26 of the 39... Read More

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Media Contact

Sultana Ali

Officer, Communications

202.540.6188