The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) estimates that there are more than 50,000 credit firms that come under its widened remit, of which 200 are payday lenders. Payday loans in the United Kingdom are a rapidly growing industry, with four times as many people using such loans in 2009 compared to 2006 – in 2009 1.2 million people took out 4.1 million loans, with total lending amounting to £1.2 billion. In 2012, it is estimated that the market was worth £2.2 billion and that the average loan size was around £270. Two-thirds of borrowers have annual incomes below £25,000. There are no restrictions on the interest rates payday loan companies can charge, although they are required by law to state the effective annual percentage rate (APR). In the early 2010s there was much criticism in Parliament of payday lenders.
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Back in 2014, during the first season of his hit HBO show “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver took on the payday loan industry. Boggled by loans that carried up to a 1,900 annual percentage rate (APR), Oliver offered up a revised version of the “Lion King” theme song. “It’s the circle of debt!” he sang. “And it screws us all.” Oliver explained that the outrages of the payday loan industry couldn’t be stopped because “they are incredibly good at avoiding regulation.”
No lender may make a payday loan to a consumer if the total of all payday loan payments coming due within the first calendar month of the loan, when combined with the payment amount of all of the consumer's other outstanding payday loans coming due within the same month, exceeds the lesser of: (1) $1,000; or (2) in the case of one or more payday loans, 25 percent of the consumer's gross monthly income; or (3) in the case of one or more installment payday loans, 22.5 percent of the consumer's gross monthly income; or (4) in the case of a payday loan and an installment payday loan, 22.5 percent of the consumer's gross monthly income.
Also known as cash advance loans, check advance loans, deferred deposit loans, or post-dated check loans, the facts about payday loans are staggering: only about 14 percent of borrowers are ever able to repay their payday loans on time. During the delay, most lenders add new fees and within five months, someone who had borrowed $375 will have been required to repay an average of $520 in interest (which is in addition to the original $375 borrowed). This leads many to ask how it is that payday loans could even be legal? Wouldn't they equate to predatory lenders of the worst kind? Aren't they committing usury (the practice of collecting excessive interest on a financial obligation)?
When interest rates on payday loans were capped to 150% in Oregon, causing a mass exit from the industry and preventing borrowers from taking out payday loans, there was a negative effect with bank overdrafts, late bills, and employment. The effect is in the opposite direction for military personnel. Job performance and military readiness declines with increasing access to payday loans.
Some payday loan companies gather your personal information and then shop around for a lender. That means your information could go out to third parties as part of the lending process. Other companies will even sell contact information, leaving you dealing with sales calls and spam emails. LendUp protects customer information and will never sell it.
The Center for Responsible Lending found that almost half of payday loan borrowers will default on their loan within the first two years. Taking out payday loans increases the difficulty of paying the mortgage, rent, and utility bills. The possibility of increased economic difficulties leads to homelessness and delays in medical and dental care and the ability to purchase drugs. For military men, using payday loans lowers overall performance and shortens service periods. To limit the issuance of military payday loans, the 2007 Military Lending Act established an interest rate ceiling of 36% on military payday loans. A 2013 article by Dobbie and Skiba found that more than 19% of initial loans in their study ended in default. Based on this, Dobbie and Skiba claim that the payday loan market is high risk.