Payday Lenders Evading Rules Pivot to Installment Loans

May 29, 2013
Bloomberg Businessweek 
payday lending news

In recent years, many payday lenders have been preparing for increased scrutiny from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by shifting to loans that are not within the watchdog’s reach. Typical payday loans can be as little as $100 and for terms as short as two weeks, marketed as a way to bridge a financial shortfall until the next paycheck. The fees and interest rates, however, can reach 521 percent on an annual basis, according to the CFPB. Installment loans, however, are paid off under a fixed schedule between 90 days and 18 months and generally require borrowers to undergo credit checks and income verification. With these loans, consumer advocates say that annual percentage rates still can soar into the triple digits after factoring in the fees. Many payday lenders in states that do not authorize the installment loans they want to make are seeking to change the laws, according to Uriah King, vice president of state policy at the Center for Responsible Lending. “Despite their claims, this has nothing to do with offering a better product for struggling families but rather thwarting state and federal policies intended to address the now well-documented debt trap of predatory payday lending,” he said.
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