Pew studies financial products to understand how they can be made safer and more transparent and to inform the creation of effective consumer protections.

The consumer finance team studies small-dollar credit products, such as payday and installment loans and emerging alternatives, as well as the products that Americans rely on every day to manage their finances, including checking accounts, prepaid cards, and mobile payments. The team also offers technical assistance to policymakers working to ensure a safe, affordable consumer financial marketplace.

Money jigsaw
Issue Brief

Standards Needed for Safe Small Installment Loans From Banks, Credit Unions

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Issue Brief

Standards Needed for Safe Small Installment Loans From Banks, Credit Unions

Several recent developments have raised the possibility of banks and credit unions offering small installment loans and lines of credit—which would provide a far better option for Americans, who currently spend more than $30 billion annually to borrow small amounts of money from payday, auto title, pawn, rent-to-own, and other small-dollar lenders outside the banking system. Consumers use these high-cost loans to pay bills; cope with income volatility; and avoid outcomes such as eviction or foreclosure, having utilities disconnected, seeing their cars repossessed, or going without necessities. Many of these loans end up harming consumers because of their unaffordable payments and extremely high prices; in the payday and auto title loan markets, for example, most borrowers pay more in fees than they originally received in credit.

Small Dollar Loans
Small Dollar Loans
Article

State Payday Loan Reform

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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.

Article

Overdraft: The Need for New Rules

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Article

Overdraft: The Need for New Rules

Checking accounts are the most widely used financial product in the country. Yet poorly regulated bank overdraft practices continue to cause consumers to unknowingly incur multiple costly fees for a single transaction. Pew is promoting new rules to make overdraft programs safer and more transparent.

Small Dollar Loans
Small Dollar Loans
Speeches & Testimony

Pew Raises Concerns About CFPB Proposal to Rescind Payday Loan Rule

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Speeches & Testimony

Pew Raises Concerns About CFPB Proposal to Rescind Payday Loan Rule

The Pew Charitable Trusts on May 15, 2019, filed a comment letter with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in response to the bureau’s notice of proposed rulemaking to rescind the core consumer protections of its final 2017 payday loan rule.

Data Visualization

Ohio a National Model for Payday Loan Reform

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Data Visualization

Ohio a National Model for Payday Loan Reform

Policymakers in states that allow payday lending should follow Ohio’s breakthrough approach to save their constituents tens of millions of dollars a year and maintain access to credit.

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