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Mile High Money: Payday Stores Target Colorado Communities of Color

August 3, 2017
Payday Loans
Research

Payday lending involves small‐dollar, high‐interest loans that trap consumers into a long‐term cycle of debt and fees. Payday lenders tout themselves as a needed service providing access to emergency credit. However, with weak underwriting and ability to repay standards, the payday loan model creates a debt trap that is easy to get into, but extremely difficult to escape. Each year, payday loans strip $4.2 billion in fees from consumers across the country. In Colorado, payday lenders cost consumers over $50 million in fees for 2015.

  • Majority‐minority areas in Colorado (over 50% African‐American and Latino) are nearly twice as likely to have a payday store than all other areas, and 7 times more likely to have a store than predominately white areas (below 10% African‐American and Latino).
  • Affluent communities of color have a higher likelihood of containing a payday store, when compared low‐income, predominately white areas.
  • In 2015, payday loans drained $50 million in fees from Colorado consumers. The average Colorado consumer took out over three loans from the same lender over the course of the year, while one in four payday loans went into delinquency or default.