The social cost of payday lending

Finally! I have found a paper that begins to address the social cost of payday lending!  The costs of payday lending on the individual consumer have been widely researched, but I’ve wondered about the social costs of payday lending. By that I mean the costs incurred by a neighborhood or society because a payday lender is operating there.

Heretofore, I had always thought of court cases that a state spends resources on trying This paper looked at crime rates, but also suggested comparing property value differences, among other things.  I haven’t finished reading the paper yet, but I’m so excited about it that I wanted to share it.

Robbery at ball-point

Banks and other traditional financial institutions are regulated in such a way so as not to charge usurious fees and strap customers with predatory loan terms. Banks are in business to make money, and sometimes this happens at the expense of the consumer (which then eventually threatens the whole system). So there are regulations in place.


Payday lenders, on the other hand, aren’t so mainstream. They’re fringe banks and so they aren’t regulated in the same way. By the same logic, a bank isn’t a payday lender, and they don’t have anything to do with payday loans.


Banks do something extra, however.