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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Releases Comprehensive Study of Payday Industry

Date: 
04/24/2013

 The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a report on payday and deposit advance loans finding that for many consumers these products lead to a cycle of indebtedness. Loose lending standards, high costs, and risky loan structures may contribute to the sustained use of these products which can trap borrowers in debt.

“This comprehensive study shows that payday and deposit advance loans put many consumers at risk of turning what is supposed to be a short! -term, emergency loan into a long-term, expensive debt burden,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “For too many consumers, payday and deposit advance loans are debt traps that cause them to be living their lives off money borrowed at huge interest rates.”

 

The report found that payday loans and the deposit advance loans offered by a small but growing number of banks and other depository institutions are generally similar in structure, purpose, and the consumer protection concerns they raise. Both are typically described as a way to bridge a cash flow shortage between paychecks or other income. They offer quick and easy accessibility, especially for consumers who may not qualify for other credit. The loans generally have three features: they are small-dollar amounts; borrowers must repay them quickly; and they require that a borrower repay the full amount or give lenders access to repayment through a claim on the borrower’s deposit account.

 

The CFPB study is one of the most comprehensive ever undertaken on the market. It looked at a 12-month period with more than 15 million storefront payday loans and data from multiple depository institutions that offer deposit advance products.