To prevent usury (unreasonable and excessive rates of interest), some jurisdictions limit the annual percentage rate (APR) that any lender, including payday lenders, can charge. Some jurisdictions outlaw payday lending entirely, and some have very few restrictions on payday lenders. In the United States, the rates of these loans used to be restricted in most states by the Uniform Small Loan Laws (USLL),[4][5] with 36–40% APR generally the norm.
Rollover is the practice of extending the loan for another term and charging additional fees and interest. This is what most payday lenders will offer if you are unable to repay the loan in full at the end of the term. The lender will most likely ask you to pay the interest for the first term and extend the loan into a second term. This means that you haven’t actually paid off any of the principal by the time you start the next term. Unfortunately, rollover is an extremely common practice in payday lending. Payday loan borrowers take out an average of eight to thirteen loans per year from one lender. This is how lenders trap borrowers in cycles of debt.[3]

The likelihood that a family will use a payday loan increases if they are unbanked or underbanked, or lack access to a traditional deposit bank account. In an American context the families who will use a payday loan are disproportionately either of black or Hispanic descent, recent immigrants, and/or under-educated.[15] These individuals are least able to secure normal, lower-interest-rate forms of credit. Since payday lending operations charge higher interest-rates than traditional banks, they have the effect of depleting the assets of low-income communities.[22] The Insight Center, a consumer advocacy group, reported in 2013 that payday lending cost U.S communities $774 million a year.[23]


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