Research & Analysis

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    Race Matters: The Concentration of Payday Lenders in African-American Neighborhoods in North Carolina
    While the payday lending industry frequently describes its typical customer in detail, discussion of race is noticeably absent. This report corrects that omission. Our analysis of North Carolina neighborhoods reveals a powerful relationship between the proportion of African-Americans in a neighborhood and the prevalence of payday lending stores. African-American neighborhoods have historically been disadvantaged by unfair lending practices. This study shows a continuing problem. Predatory lending in protected communities may constitute discrimination -- not because it excludes minorities, but because it targets and exploits them by offering loans with abusive terms and conditions.
    North Carolina Consumers after Payday Lending
    The North Carolina Commissioner of Banks found that low and middle-income families in North Carolina have not been negatively impacted by the absence of payday loan shops that once dotted the state’s street corners and strips malls; in fact, many are not aware that they have left. Nine of ten survey respondents think payday lending is a “bad thing,” and at a two-to-one ratio, former borrowers report that they are better off now that it’s gone.