Small-Dollar Loans

Research & Analysis

Pew's small-dollar loans project focuses on conducting research that demonstrates the needs, perceptions, and motivations of consumers, as well as the impacts of market practices and potential regulations. Based on this research, the project puts forth policy recommendations designed to protect consumers from harmful practices and promote safe and transparent small-dollar credit.

Research & Analysis

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  • 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

  • A Year After CFPB Proposed a Rule for Small Loans, Borrowers Still Await Reform

    June 2 marked the one-year anniversary of the release of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s official Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Payday, Auto Title, and Certain High-Cost Installment Loans. The CFPB received more than 1 million comments on the proposal. Pew’s research indicates that federal regulation is important, but the proposal misses the mark by allowing 400 percent... Read More

Media Contact

Esther Berg

Officer, Communications

202.552.2283