ALEXANDRIA, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than nine in ten payday loan borrowers report their experience with the terms (96 percent) and cost (92 percent) of their payday loans was as expected or better than expected, while more than four in five borrowers (84 percent) say it was very easy or somewhat easy to repay their loans, according to a new national survey commissioned by Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) and conducted by Harris Interactive, an international and research polling company, by telephone among 1,004 respondents ages 18+, who are customers of store-front companies within the CFSA, and took out a loan which they repaid in the summer of 2013.
As the first in-depth examination of borrowers’ motivations and rationale, the survey found an overwhelming majority of borrowers are very satisfied or satisfied with their recent payday loan experience (91 percent), carefully weighed the risks and benefits before taking out a loan (93 percent), and value having the option to take a payday loan (95 percent).
Notably, borrowers almost unanimously agree that it should be their choice whether or not to use payday lending, not the government’s choice (95 percent).
“The great majority of borrowers we surveyed said that, for them, payday loans are an important and valuable credit option that helps them overcome financial shortfalls,” said Humphrey Taylor, Chairman of the Harris Poll at Harris Interactive. “Our survey findings reveal almost all borrowers understood the cost of their loans and how long it would take to repay them.”
In contrast with common misconceptions about payday loans and those who borrow them, the poll reveals that borrowers fully understand their options and choose the service over a variety of other financial services offered by banks and non-bank lenders:
- 97 percent of borrowers agree that their payday lender clearly explained the terms of the loan to them, including nearly nine in ten (88 percent) who strongly agree.
- 68 percent prefer a payday loan over incurring a late fee of approximately $30 (4 percent) or an overdraft fee of $35 from their bank (3 percent) when faced with a short-term financial crisis and unable to pay a bill.
- Fewer than one in ten (8 percent) said that a payday loan was their only option and they had no other resources available.
“The voice of the customer rings loud and clear, and the survey shows they not only understand the terms of their loans, they also value having this credit option and use it responsibly,” said Dennis Shaul, CEO of CFSA. “The results also reflect the integrity and commitment of our members who work with borrowers to ensure their experience with the payday loan is a positive one.”
Numerous studies have examined the economics and policy implications of short-term lending, but this Harris survey is the most comprehensive examination of payday loan borrowers’ experiences – specifically those who borrowed from regulated, licensed lenders:
- 95 percent say payday loans can provide a safety net during unexpected financial difficulties.
- 94 percent say they were able to repay their loan in the amount of time they had expected to.
- 89 percent say they feel more in control of their financial situation because of this option when they need it.
- 68 percent say they would be in worse financial condition than they are now without the option of taking out a payday loan.
“Credit markets are always evolving, but there remains a clear need for short-term, small dollar credit,” Shaul continued. “As an industry, we are always looking at ways to improve the customer experience and our products, and we look forward to working with regulators at all levels to ensure that credit – such as a payday loan – is available to all Americans.”
The full results of the poll can be found at harrispaydayloanpoll.com.
About Community Financial Services Association of America
Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) is the only national organization dedicated solely to promoting responsible regulation of the payday loan industry and consumer protections through CFSA’s Best Practices. As such, we are committed to working with policymakers, consumer advocates, and CFSA member companies to ensure that the payday loan is a safe and viable credit option for consumers.
About Harris Interactive
Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading market research firms, leveraging research, technology, and business acumen to transform relevant insight into actionable foresight. Known widely for the Harris Poll® and for pioneering innovative research methodologies, Harris specializes in delivering research solutions that help us – and our clients – stay ahead of what's next. For more information, please visit www.harrisinteractive.com.
About the Survey
Harris Interactive conducted a telephone survey on behalf of the Community Financial Services Association of America (CFSA) from October 9 – 24, 2013, among 1,004 U.S. respondents ages 18+, who are customers of store-front companies within the CFSA, and took out a two-week payday loan of $700 or less which they made final repayment of in July or August of 2013. Data are unweighted and are a representative probability sample of the population who were surveyed.