Friday, October 12, 2012

Profile Of A Typical Cash Advance Loan Customer

The quick cash loan industry is thriving and is expanding more quickly than anyone might have predicted a few years back. Nowadays there are more payday loan stores across the country than there are McDonald's, Burger King and Subway restaurants combined. That is a lot of shops. And the business is now under a great deal of criticism recently as the rates of interest billed for payday loans are certainly usurious and at worst, predatory. There's not much else that can be used to explain rates of interest that often surpass 400% annually.

The industry defends its position, pointing out that A) they are selling convenience and B) the rates of interest they demand are not really interest, they are fees and C) the loans are for periods of fourteen days, not 12 months, so the yearly rate is moot. These kinds of arguments can be debated endlessly, but the loans are still popular despite laws that demand that the loan provider divulge all the terms in writing. The thing that the lenders argue that possibly doesn't stand true is the statement that their average client is not poor, but rather a part of the middle-class who simply obtains loans from them because it's convenient.

Research suggests something else. Research conducted recently conducted in Arkansas paints a markedly distinct picture from the rosy one recommended by the cash advance loan industry:

Based on the study, 50 % of the participants declared that they sent applications for a bank loan prior to obtaining a payday loan but were turned down because of a background of poor credit.

Over 75 % of individuals did so for the reason that they were receiving threatening phone calls from collectors to whom they owe money.

Sixty-six per cent of participants said they took out a payday loan simply because they simply had no choice.

This clearly suggests that the primary beneficiaries of these payday loans truly are the operating poor. Not only that, but they don't take out payday loans because they're handy, but because they are actually the only opportunity to borrow cash to pay bills or survive until the next payday. It's a pretty sad scenario when the only readily available supply a few people have to borrow money is one that costs at least 400% per year. Unfortunately, for many people, payday cash loans are their only option, as conventional banks often do not lend small sums of cash and require inflexible lending standards.

The market continues to decide whether or not these kind of stores will continue to operate. After all, if nobody wanted these products, nobody would buy them. In the meantime, legislators in many states continue to try to look for alternatives that will allow these taxpaying firms to remain while protecting the customers who clearly have no other place to turn. There isn't any simple solution, as the legislators in South Dakota have discovered. They established loose banking laws to attract banking institutions to the state, just to see payday cash advance shops appear on every corner. Clearly, lax banking legislation is a double edged sword.

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