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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  • Pew Applauds Ohio House Committee for Payday Loan Reform Vote

    WASHINGTON—The Pew Charitable Trusts praised Ohio legislators today for passing H.B. 123 out of a key House committee, a long overdue step toward reforming the state’s payday loan industry. The provisions included in the bill would close the credit services organization loophole, give borrowers more time to repay, and achieve lower prices. The bipartisan bill was first introduced in... Read More

  • Millions Use Bank Overdrafts as Credit

    More than 39 million American adults incurred at least one fee for overdrawing their bank account or having insufficient funds in the past 12 months, according to an analysis of survey data by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Most of these consumers, known as overdrafters, view bank overdraft programs as a way to ensure that payments will go through if checking account balances are low. But almost a... Read More

  • New Federal Payday Lending Rule Offers Protections for Consumers

    In October, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finalized a regulation for conventional payday loans and auto title loans of up to 45 days. Research by The Pew Charitable Trusts has shown that such loans harm consumers because paying them off costs a third of the typical borrower’s next paycheck, leaving borrowers unable to cover basic expenses without reborrowing, which leads... Read More

Payday Loans — And How to Fix Them

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Media Contact

Benny Martinez

Officer, Communications

202.540.6533