The legislation for short-term loans differs between states. Some states, like New York, prohibit payday loans altogether. Others restrict how much payday lenders can charge or impose other regulations to protect borrowers. Many states allow payday lending without heavy regulations. Learn more about the payday loan regulations in your state or go to our loan by city directory to find options where you live.


According to a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts, "Most payday loan borrowers [in the United States] are white, female, and are 25 to 44 years old. However, after controlling for other characteristics, there are five groups that have higher odds of having used a payday loan: those without a four-year college degree; home renters; African Americans; those earning below $40,000 annually; and those who are separated or divorced." Most borrowers use payday loans to cover ordinary living expenses over the course of months, not unexpected emergencies over the course of weeks. The average borrower is indebted about five months of the year.[14]
The FTC enforces a variety of laws to protect consumers in this area. The agency has filed many law enforcement actions against payday lenders for, among other things, engaging in deceptive or unfair advertising and billing practices in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act; failing to comply with the disclosure requirements of the Truth In Lending Act; violating the Credit Practices Rule’s prohibition against wage assignment clauses in contracts; conditioning credit on the preauthorization of electronic fund transfers in violation of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act; and employing unfair, deceptive, and abusive debt collection practices. The FTC has also filed recent actions against scammers that contact consumers in an attempt to collect fake “phantom” payday loan debts that consumers do not owe. Further, the FTC has filed actions against companies that locate themselves on Native American reservations in an attempt to evade state and federal consumer protection laws.
Regulations for payday loans vary greatly from state to state. Some states, like Oregon, place practically no restrictions on payday loans, while other states ban them entirely. The regulations of your state have a huge effect on what lenders can charge. As a borrower, it’s important for you to be aware of these regulations and to make sure your loan has the right terms and fees dictated by law.
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