New Poll Shows Overwhelming Support for Strong Action Against Payday Loans

According to a new, bipartisan national poll sponsored by the Center for Responsible Lending, huge majorities across party lines support regulations to keep payday and car title lenders from making dangerous loans. Majorities across party loans also have unfavorable views of payday lenders.

Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike are deeply concerned about a loan product with interest rates that average 300 percent. Payday and car title lenders, say most of those surveyed, should have to make sure borrowers can repay before issuing a loan, just as other responsible lenders do.

People often turn to payday loans when they have outstanding bills to pay, or are in substantial debt. This can often result in a slippery slope towards more debt, which is where the danger lies. Rent is a big reason why people may be in debt, with landlords demanding more than renters can afford. Renters insurance can go some way to protecting renters from this spiral of debt, with providers like Toggle insurance being a popular choice. Payday lenders are still looking to exploit vulnerable people who need cash, however, which is why new rules are needed.

  • 78 percent of those surveyed – including 80 percent of Republicans – would support a rule that payday lenders be required to check a borrower’s ability to repay a loan within that loan’s stated time period.
  • Seven in ten voters oppose the current system of allowing payday lenders direct access to borrowers’ bank accounts.
  • Over 7 in 10 voters, across party lines, agree that car title lenders should be subject to rules capping the interest rates they can charge, and be required to assess borrowers’ ability to repay their loans.

The survey of 800 likely voters was conducted by Lake Research Partners and Chesapeake Beach Consulting.

— Gynnie Robnett