Who Wants a Payday Loan

A profile based on industry statistics to the question: " Who wants a payday loan ?".

In the United States, the main industry association for the payday lending businesses is called Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA).

As part of their mission to provide ongoing education about the industry, they provide very detailed statistics and research on the industry's typical customers and the types of loans these customers make.

The data and the typical customer profiles come from some of the largest companies in the US payday lending industry, including Advance America, Cash America, and EZ Corp.

In total, the payday loan industry has grown enormously in the country, from a standing start in the early 1990s, into the current estimated 20,600 payday advance locations across the United States, providing around $38.5 billion in short-term credit to 19 million households.

The source for the data, the CFSA member companies, represent more than 50% of the payday advance industry.

An Average Profile of a Payday Loan Customer

Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) does many types of partnering across educational and industry lines, to provide the latest research in terms of who is the typical customer for a payday loan.

One of the best research studies in this regard has been a Georgetown University McDonough School of Business research of the average demographics of payday lending customers.

According to this data, as cited on the CFSA website...

Most of the customers earn between $25,000 and $50,000
90 % have a high school diploma, or better
54 % have at least some college or degree
53 % are under 45 years old, with only 9 % being 65 or older
Majority of the customers are married
63 % have children in household
32 % own homes
54 % have at least one of the major credit cards
100 % have regular incomes
100 % have checking accounts

Many of these research finding go against the popular myths about payday lending, which is why they have been located under the "Myth vs. Reality" section of the official CFSA website.

However, it is good to remember, that these are loan products for short-term emergencies and to cover unexpected expenses, and not solutions for long-term financial problems, partly because of the high associated borrowing costs.

› Who Wants a Payday Loan


Cash advances should be used for short-term financial needs only, not as a long-term financial solution.

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