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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  • Ohio Has the Highest Payday Loan Prices in the Nation

    Nationwide, Americans in all demographic groups use payday loans. The only requirements to obtain such credit are a checking account and a source of income. Typical borrowers earn about $30,000 per year, and most use the loans to cover recurring expenses such as rent, mortgage payments, groceries, and utilities. Read More

  • 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

Payday Loans — And How to Fix Them

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Media Contact

Mark Wolff

Director, Communications

202.540.6390