A look at the best sources of payday loan data including customer demographics, customer satisfaction, and average loan sums and terms.
One of the best sources for cash advance industry data in the United
States is the central payday loan industry association, Community
Financial Services Association of America (CFSA).
The association, which was formed in 1999, acts as the industry's main advising voice on regulations towards lawmakers, and they also provide educational material to the public, and industry data for researchers and the media.
Much of the available data to the public, those who are either not members or partners of the association, is written into the various publications and newsletters.
However, if you are a member or a partner of the association, you get access to the full data directly online, with the data including
aggregate of industry research,
comprehensive data, and
benchmarking tools from the short-term lending industry.
These data-points do cover many aspects of the payday lending industry - such as: consumer demographics, media hits, and the latest policy initiatives.
To get individual data-points from the Community of Financial Services
Association's publications, you need to read them through, as the
reports contain a lot of informative material in terms of data.
For example, according to their data and analyst estimates, there are a total of 20,600 payday advance locations across the United States, providing a total of around $38.5 billion in short-term credit, to an estimated 19 million households.
Furthermore, as an employer, the payday advance industry employs, in the states it is allowed to operate, over 50,000 Americans, who earn $2 billion in wages.
The association is also a great source on new, publicly available studies, such as a Georgetown University McDonough School of Business study on the demographics of payday lending customers.
Some of the highlights in that study include that, the profile of an average payday lending customer in the U.S. includes that
majority earn between $25,000 and $50,000,
54 percent have some college or degree, and that
53 percent are under 45 years old (only 9 percent are 65 or older).
Another important data-point from 2012 is that the association estimates the average payday loan to be $345.
Cash advances should be used for short-term financial needs only, not as a long-term financial solution.
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