Payday loan businesses appear to be on the rise. According to a pew research study, 12 million Americans use payday loans each year, and on average a borrower will take out eight loans each year, spending around three-hundred and seventy five dollars per loan and five-hundred and twenty dollars on interest. It’s an industry that some feel puts the cash-strapped individual in a tough situation.
Mark Dahlquist, Executive Director of the Pocatello Neighborhood Housing Authority said, (referring to low income adults 25-45), “You know that population is desperate for money and how can you not be tempted by payday loans just by driving down Yellowstone?”
A casual trip down Yellowstone Avenue in Pocatello reveals that Mark is correct; there are many payday loan businesses available. Mark feels that these types of businesses can put consumers in a financial hole that they have a difficult time getting themselves out of.
“A lot of these places, the target customer is a low income customer that’s going to have a difficult time on many occasions paying that thing back, “Dahlquist said.
But what about the other side of the argument? An individual, working in the payday loan industry, who declined to go on camera, told me that this industry is not predatory but rather helps individuals who need a loan to get that money quickly, is entirely legal and that Idaho is one of thirty-two states that has laws on the books that are conducive to payday loan businesses.
So, whether you think that these businesses prey on the financially vulnerable, or think that they provide money to those who couldn’t get it elsewhere, it appears that for now, these companies are here to stay and readily available.