Expert Profile

Nick Bourke

Director, Small-Dollar Loans
The Pew Charitable Trusts

Nick Bourke is the director of Pew's small-dollar loans research project, which conducts research on consumer needs and perceptions, market practices, and potential regulations of payday and other small-dollar loan providers. The project also offers policy recommendations designed to protect consumers from harmful practices and promote safe, transparent credit.

As the lead on Pew’s analysis and advocacy efforts on consumer lending issues, Bourke oversees a team of researchers, publishing unique analyses and proposing evidence-based regulation for the credit card and small-dollar loan industries. He has testified before congressional committees and frequently interacts with stakeholders from industry and consumer groups. Bourke has conducted numerous interviews on national television and radio news programs and with top print publications.

Bourke previously led Pew’s successful campaign to reform regulation of the credit card industry. Before joining Pew, he worked with financial services and high tech companies, serving as product manager, marketing specialist, strategy consultant, and legal advisor, with particular expertise in electronic payments. Most recently, Bourke was senior consultant and project manager for the Ziba Group, where his clients included Visa and other financial services firms. Bourke has also developed marketing analytics products for credit card providers and other organizations. He is a member of the State Bar of California.

Bourke holds a bachelor’s degree in science, technology, and society from Stanford University and a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Davis.

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Reports & Publications

February 20, 2013

How Borrowers Choose and Repay Payday Loans

For someone in need of quick cash, a payday loan can look like a way to avoid asking loved ones for help or getting into long-term debt. But these loans usually prove unaffordable, leaving borrowers in debt for an average of five months.

July 18, 2012

Payday Lending in America: Who Borrows, Where They Borrow, and Why

This report—the first in Pew’s Payday Lending in America series—answers major questions about who borrowers are demographically; how people borrow; how much they spend; why they use payday loans; what other options they have; and whether state regulations reduce borrowing or simply drive borrowers online.

November 22, 2011

Regulatory Comment: Financial Habits and Patterns of Low- and Moderate-Income Households

The Pew Health Group’s Financial Security Portfolio responds to the U.S. Department of Treasury’s request for comment, published at FR 2011-23235, on the Office of Financial Education and Financial Access potential financial access activities.

August 15, 2011

Regulatory Comment: Defining Larger Participants in Certain Consumer Financial Products and Services Markets

The Pew Financial Security Portfolio, a part of the Pew Health Group, responds to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s call for comments on Docket ID CFPB-HQ-2011-2.

July 11, 2011

Regulatory Comment: Guidance on Deposit-Related Consumer Credit Products

The Pew Financial Security Portfolio, a part of the Pew Health Group, responds to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s call for comments on Docket ID OCC-2011-0012, Guidance on Deposit-Related Consumer Credit Products.

May 18, 2011

Business Credit Cards Place U.S. Households at Risk

Every month, millions of consumers receive offers for business credit cards which are not protected by Credit CARD Act safeguards.   The large number of solicitations for less-regulated cards place American families at risk.

May 10, 2011

A New Equilibrium: After Passage of Landmark Credit Card Reform, Interest Rates and Fees Have Stabilized

 Credit card holders are seeing stabilized interest rates, the elimination of overlimit penalty charges, a reduction in late fees charged by banks and minimal changes in annual fees since the Credit CARD Act of 2009 took effect.

July 22, 2010

Two Steps Forward: After the Credit CARD Act, Credit Cards Are Safer and More Transparent — But Challenges Remain

This report presents findings of the Pew Health Group’s most recent assessment of the credit card marketplace, based on data collected in March 2010.

October 28, 2009

Still Waiting: ‘Unfair or Deceptive’ Credit Card Practices Continue as Americans Wait for New Reforms to Take Effect

This report presents Pew’s findings about the state of the credit card market on the eve of significant new federal regulations designed to eliminate unfair or deceptive practices and foster safer and more transparent products.

March 31, 2009

Safe Credit Card Standards

As part of the Pew Health Group's work to reduce potentially dangerous risks in consumer products, the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project explored general purpose credit cards offered by the largest 12 issuers, which control more than 88 percent of all outstanding credit card debt in America. Of the cards reviewed, 100 percent allowed the issuer to apply payments "in a manner which, according to the Federal Reserve, is likely to cause substantial monetary injury to consumers."

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July 18, 2012

Nationwide Pew Survey Challenges Conventional Wisdom on Payday Loans

The Pew Charitable Trusts establishes a new understanding of borrowers and their needs in a new report: Payday Lending in America: Who Borrows, Where They Borrow, and Why.

July 28, 2011

Tight Times Boost Business Credit Cards

A Wall Street Journal article cites recent Pew research and quotes Nick Bourke, director of the Safe Credit Card Project at Pew Health Group, when discussing the risks inherent in business credit cards.

May 18, 2011

Consumers Must Watch for Unregulated Credit Cards

An article from the Associated Press discusses the recent report, U.S. Households at Risk from Business Credit Cards, and quotes Nick Bourke, director of the Safe Credit Cards Project at Pew Health Group.

May 18, 2011

Business Credit Cards Place Millions of U.S. Households at Risk

Practices the Federal Reserve deemed “unfair” or “deceptive,”  remain widespread in business credit cards that are regularly offered to American households, according to a report by the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project.

May 10, 2011

Two Years after Credit Card Act, Pew Finds Interest Rates and Other Fees Stabilized

Credit card holders are seeing stabilized interest rates, the elimination of overlimit penalty charges, a reduction in late fees charged by banks and minimal changes in annual fees since the Credit CARD Act of 2009 took effect, according to new research by the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project.

August 19, 2010

Consumers to Benefit from Final Implementation of Credit CARD Act of 2009; Pew Urges Additional Action from Federal Reserve

A statement from Nick Bourke, director of the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project, in response to the final rules under the Credit CARD Act of 2009, which will take effect Sunday, August 22.

July 22, 2010

Pew Report Finds Credit Cards More Transparent, Yet Problems Remain

Most of the practices deemed “unfair” or “deceptive” by the Federal Reserve have disappeared from new credit card offers since federal passage of the Credit CARD Act last year, according to a new report by the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project.

March 8, 2010

Fed Proposes Rule to Limit Credit Card Fees

USA Today looks at the Federal Reserve's preliminary rule to address credit card fees such as late and over-limit charges. The article quotes Nick Bourke, manager of Pew's Safe Credit Cards Project.

January 14, 2010

Consumers Score a Win on Credit Card Rules

A CNN Money article on the Federal Reserve's latest rules under the Credit CARD Act of 2009 quotes Nick Bourke of Pew's Safe Credit Cards Project.

January 14, 2010

Pew Commends the Federal Reserve’s Latest Rules on the Credit CARD Act of 2009

Nick Bourke, project manager for the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project, today issued a statement in response to the latest rules under the Credit CARD Act of 2009.

November 19, 2009

Comments Submitted to the Federal Reserve by the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project (Regulation Z Substantive and Disclosure Requirements Under the Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Nick Bourke of the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project submitted comments to the Federal Reserve Board regarding the Board’s latest proposed rulemaking under Regulation Z (Docket No. R—1370).

November 10, 2009

Bad News for People With Good Credit

Nick Bourke, manager of the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project, appeared on ABC's World News Tonight to discuss the findings from the project's lastest report on credit card practices

October 28, 2009

Pew Report Finds Deceptive Credit Card Practices Remain Widespread

One hundred percent of credit cards offered online by the leading bank card issuers continue to include practices that will be outlawed once legislation passed in May takes effect next year, according to a new report by the Pew Health Group’s Safe Credit Cards Project.

October 8, 2009

Testimony of Nick Bourke, Manager of the Safe Credit Cards Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts, Regarding HR 3639

Nick Bourke, manager of the Safe Credit Cards Project at The Pew Charitable Trusts, presented the project's latest research at a House Financial Services Committee hearing.

September 21, 2009

Comments Submitted to the Federal Reserve by the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project (Regarding Regulation Z Advanced Notice and Right to Cancel Requirements Under the Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Nick Bourke of the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project submitted comments to the Federal Reserve Board regarding the Board’s interim final rules under Regulation Z (Docket No. R-1364). The rules cover advance notice and right to cancel requirements under the Credit CARD Act of 2009.

June 25, 2009

Comments Submitted to the Federal Reserve by the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project (Regarding “Reasonable and Proportional” Rules Under the Credit CARD Act of 2009)

Nick Bourke of the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project submitted comments to the Federal Reserve Board in regard to rulemaking under the Credit CARD Act of 2009.

April 24, 2009

Credit-Card Shocks Anger More Borrowers

The Pew Charitable Trusts, in calling for a policy of Safe Credit Card Standards this week, said that 100% of cards allowed the issuer to get paid back in a manner which, according to the Federal Reserve, "is likely to cause substantial monetary damage to consumers," said Nick Bourke, a manager at the institution.

March 31, 2009

Pew Releases Standards for Safe Credit Cards

The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Safe Credit Cards Project today released a set of standards designed to prevent deceptive and dangerous credit card practices and called for legislation to outlaw such practices.

October 3, 2008

Comments Submitted to the Federal Reserve by the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project (Regarding Regulation AA, “Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices”)

In October 2008, the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project shared comments based on its recent work on credit cards with the Federal Reserve. Select findings from the project—including information on credit card penalty re-pricing and analysis of credit cards in the market—were included.

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