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

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—the federal agency charged with regulating these loans—has addressed only a small part of this market, and harmful loans from nonbank lenders may continue to flourish unless states enact sensible safeguards. Federal agencies such as the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and the National Credit Union Administration have demonstrated increasing interest in small credit products, which could lead to wide availability of lower-cost loans from banks and credit unions, saving 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.

Article

Payday Lending in America

Quick View
Article

Payday Lending in America

This series sheds light on the experience of borrowers. The research also details fundamental problems with payday loans.

Small Dollar Loans
Small Dollar Loans
Article

State Payday Loan Reform

Quick View
Article

Pew’s research has found that when states do not implement standards around pricing and affordability, payday and auto title loans cost three to four times more than is necessary to have widespread access to this credit.

From Payday to Small Installment Loans
From Payday to Small Installment Loans
Issue Brief

From Payday to Small Installment Loans

Quick View
Issue Brief

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 states where they operate.

Broken money
Broken money
Report

State Laws Put Installment Loan Borrowers at Risk

Quick View
Report

Approximately 14,000 individually licensed stores in 44 states offer installment loans, and the largest lender has a wider geographic presence than any bank and has at least one branch within 25 miles of 87 percent of the U.S. population.

OUR WORK