Coming soon to North Carolina? (Photo: Gregory F. Maxwell/Wikipedia)
Coming soon to North Carolina? (Photo: Gregory F. Maxwell/Wikipedia)

INSTITUTE INDEX: Turning back the clock to predatory payday loans

Coming soon to North Carolina? (Photo: Gregory F. Maxwell/Wikipedia)
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Date on which North Carolina Sen. Jerry Tillman (R) introduced a bill to re-open the state to "payday" lenders, companies that offer unsecured cash advances with effective interest rates that critics call "predatory":  2/13/2013

Interest that some consumers can pay on such loans when it's computed as an annual percentage rate (APR): 400

Maximum APR North Carolina law allows consumer finance lenders to charge: 36

Year in which the North Carolina legislature let payday lending expire after a four-year experiment allowing it: 2001

Number of companies that then ignored or tried to skirt the ban, continuing to make illegal loans: 10

Year in which the North Carolina Justice Department negotiated a settlement with the state's remaining payday lenders under which they agreed to stop making loans: 2006

As part of the agreement, amount the three companies then still operating -- Check Into Cash, Check 'n' Go, and First American Cash Advance --  paid to nonprofits to help consumers impacted by their loans: $700,000

Number of states that currently allow payday loans with APRs of 391 percent or higher: 28

Of the 15 states that currently do not allow payday loan storefronts, number in the South: 4*

Number of Americans who take out cash advance or "payday" loans every year: 12 million

Average loan amount taken out by a payday borrower: $375

Average number of months for which borrowers remain indebted: 5

Average amount they end up paying in finance charges: $520

According to a study released this week by the Pew Charitable Trusts, percentage of payday loan borrowers who have trouble meeting monthly expenses at least half the time, indicating they're dealing with persistent cash shortfalls rather than temporary emergencies: 58

Percentage of borrowers who say they are facing such difficulties that they would take a payday loan on any terms offered: 37

Portion of payday loan borrowers who have had a checking account overdraft in the past year: more than 1/2

Percentage who report that the overdrafts occurred as a result of a payday lender making a withdrawal from their account: 27

Percentage of payday loan borrowers who have had to borrow money to pay off a payday loan: 41

Portion of borrowers who favor more regulation of payday loans: 2/3

Percentage rate of payday loan usage in the states that regulate the industry most stringently: 2.9

In the states with the least regulation: 6.6

Date on which the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society wrote a letter to all members of the N.C. General Assembly asking them to reject the payday loan legislation, citing negative impacts on military members including loss of security clearance: 2/20/2013

* Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina, West Virginia

(Click on figure to go to source.)

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