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And banking for all?
This paper presents data from a new survey of low- and moderate-income households in Detroit to examine bank account usage and alternative financial service (AFS) products. We find that for the vast majority of households, annual outlays on financial services for transactional and credit products are relatively small, around 1 percent of annual income. This estimate is lower than those extrapolated by previous work using the posted fees of financial services alone, suggesting that LMI households do not always choose the most expensive financial services option. This evidence is also ...
Minimum Wages and Consumer Credit : Impacts on Access to Credit and Traditional and High-Cost Borrowing
Proponents of minimum wage legislation point to its potential to raise earnings and reduce poverty, while opponents argue that disemployment effects lead to net welfare losses. But these arguments typically ignore the possibility of spillover effects on other aspects of households' financial circumstances. This paper examines how state-level minimum wages affect the decisions of lenders and low-income borrowers. Using data derived from direct mailings of credit offers, survey-reported usage of high-cost alternative credit products, and debt recorded in credit reports, we find that higher ...
Determinants of the locations of payday lenders, pawnshops and check-cashing outlets
A large and growing number of low-to-moderate income U.S. households rely upon alternative financial service providers (AFSPs) for a variety of credit products and transaction services, including payday loans, pawn loans, automobile title loans, tax refund anticipation loans and check-cashing services. The rapid growth of this segment of the financial services industry over the past decade has been quite controversial. One aspect of the controversy involves the location decisions of AFSPs. This study examines the determinants of the locations of three types of AFSPs--payday lenders, ...
For Better and for Worse? Effects of Access to High-Cost Consumer Credit
I provide empirical evidence that the effect of high-cost credit access on household material well-being depends on if a household is experiencing temporary financial distress. Using detailed data on household consumption and location, as well as geographic variation in access to high cost payday loans over time, I find that payday credit access improves wellbeing for households in distress by helping them smooth consumption. In periods of temporary financial distress?after extreme weather events like hurricanes and blizzards?I find that payday loan access mitigates declines in spending on ...
How Did the Great Recession Affect Payday Loans?
This article answers two important questions: Did payday borrowing rise during the Great Recession? And did the use of payday loans expand beyond low-income borrowers to include more middle-income borrowers?
Payday lending: new research and the big question
Payday lending is controversial. In the states that allow it, payday lenders make cash loans that are typically for $500 or less that the borrower must repay or renew on his or her next payday. The finance charge for the loan is usually 15 to 20 percent of the amount advanced, so for a typical two-week loan the annual percentage interest rate is about 400 percent. In this article, the author briefly describes the payday lending business and explains why it presents challenging public policy issues. The heart of this article, however, surveys recent research that attempts to answer what the ...
Summary of workshop on recent developments in consumer credit and payments
On September 24-25, 2009, the Research Department and the Payment Cards Center of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia held their fifth joint conference to present and discuss the latest research on consumer credit and payments. Sixty participants attended the conference, which included seven research papers on topics such as securitization and distressed loan renegotiation, consumer disclosure, data breaches and identity theft, and the effects of the U.S. financial crisis on global retail lending. In this article, Mitchell Berlin summarizes the papers presented at the conference.