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Short-Term, Small-Dollar Lending: PolicyР’ Problems and Implications


  • Introduction
  • Short-Term, Small-Dollar Product Explanations and Selected Metrics
  • Breakdown of the present Regulatory Framework and Proposed Rules for Small-Dollar Loans
  • Ways to regulation that is small-Dollar
  • Summary of the CFPB-Proposed Rule
  • Policy Issues
  • Implications regarding the CFPB-Proposed Rule
  • Competitive and Noncompetitive Market Pricing Dynamics
  • Permissible Tasks of Depositories
  • Challenges Comparing Relative Costs of Small-Dollar Financial Products


  • Dining Dining Table 1. Overview of Short-Term, Small-Dollar Borrowing Products
  • Dining Dining Table A-1. Loan Expense Evaluations



Short-term, small-dollar loans are consumer loans with reasonably low initial major amounts (frequently not as much as $1,000) with fairly repayment that is short (generally speaking for only a few days or months). Short-term, small-dollar loan items are commonly used to pay for cash-flow shortages that could take place as a result of unanticipated costs or periods of inadequate earnings. Small-dollar loans may be available in different kinds and also by a lot of different loan providers. Banking institutions and credit unions (depositories) could make small-dollar loans through lending options such as for instance charge cards, bank card cash advances, and account that is checking security programs. Small-dollar loans could be given by nonbank lenders (alternative service that is financial providers), such as for example payday loan providers and vehicle name loan providers.

The level that debtor situations that are financial be produced worse through the utilization of high priced credit or from restricted usage of credit is widely debated. Customer groups frequently raise concerns about the affordability of small-dollar loans. Borrowers spend rates and costs for small-dollar loans that could be considered costly. Borrowers could also fall under financial obligation traps, circumstances where borrowers repeatedly roll over current loans into brand new loans and afterwards incur more costs in the place of completely paying down the loans. Even though the vulnerabilities related to financial obligation traps tend to be more often talked about within the context of nonbank services and products such as for example payday advances, borrowers may nevertheless find it hard to repay outstanding balances and face additional fees on loans such as for example charge cards which can be given by depositories. Conversely, the financing industry usually raises issues in connection with availability that is reduced of credit. Regulations directed at reducing prices for borrowers may end in greater charges for loan providers, perhaps restricting or credit that is reducing for economically troubled people.

This report provides a summary for the consumer that is small-dollar areas and relevant policy problems. Information of fundamental short-term, small-dollar cash loan items are presented. Present federal and state regulatory approaches to consumer security in small-dollar financing areas will also be explained, including a summary of a proposition because of the customer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to implement requirements that are federal would work as a flooring for state laws. The CFPB estimates that its proposition would end in a product decrease in small-dollar loans provided by AFS providers. The CFPB proposition happens to be at the mercy of debate. H.R. 10 , the Financial SOLUTION Act of 2017, that was passed away by the House of Representatives on June 8, 2017, would stop the CFPB from working out any rulemaking, enforcement, or other authority with respect to payday advances, car name loans, or any other loans that are similar. After speaking about the insurance policy implications of this CFPB proposition, this report examines basic prices characteristics within the small-dollar credit market. The amount of market competition, which might be revealed by analyzing selling price characteristics, may possibly provide insights affordability that is concerning supply alternatives for users of particular small-dollar loan services and products.

The small-dollar financing market exhibits both competitive and noncompetitive market rates characteristics. Some industry economic information metrics are perhaps in line with competitive market prices. Factors such as for example regulatory obstacles and variations in item features, however, restrict the ability of banking institutions and credit unions to contend with AFS providers within the small-dollar market. Borrowers may choose some loan item features provided by nonbanks, including how a items are delivered, when compared to items made available from conventional institutions that are financial. Provided the presence of both competitive and market that is noncompetitive, determining perhaps the rates borrowers buy small-dollar loan items are “too much” is challenging. The Appendix covers just how dollar financial group loans review to conduct meaningful cost evaluations utilizing the annual percentage rate (APR) along with some basic information regarding loan rates.