by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As federal regulators prepare to crack down on payday lending, a new survey shows that borrowers are overwhelmingly satisfied with the service and wary of efforts to more stringently regulate it.
Ninety-four percent of borrowers surveyed for the poll agree that payday loans “can be a sensible decision to get needed cash when faced with unexpected expenses.”
Large majorities also say that such loans can be less expensive than commonly available alternatives, and that “Making it harder to get a payday loan would take away the opportunity for Americans to make financial decisions and take control of their own finances.”
The poll surveyed the attitudes of 1,000 payday loan borrowers from around the country and contrasted the results with responses from the public at large. It shows that people who actually use payday loans see the services far more favorably than those who don’t.
The survey was commissioned by the Consumer Financial Services of America, a trade association representing payday lenders. It was conducted by two polling firms, the Republican-leaning Tarrance Group and the Democratic-leaning Global Strategy Group.
Its release comes as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau considers rules to crack down on payday lending, which the administration alleges imposes excessive interest rates on borrowers and often entails predatory lending practices.