Payday Loan Facilities Outnumber Taco Bell and McDonald’s Restaurants in the United States


While the industry maintains that they are there as a lifeline for those in financial need, at least one study has shown that nearly half of borrowers end up defaulting on their payday loans.

If it seems like there is a payday loan store on just about every corner these days it’s because that may not be far from the truth. According to the industry, there are around 20,600 payday loan facilities in the United States. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the total of McDonald’s restaurants (14,181 est. 2016) and Taco Bell restaurants (6,407 in 2015) in the U.S. combined (20,588).

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Even though that number seems high by itself, it should be noted that payday loans are effectively illegal in 12 states.

Federal regulators have been working on legislation that would start to reign in payday lending throughout the country. While the proposed legislation likely would not kill the payday lending industry, it should put a stop to the most usurious practices that they employ. This might leave in place locations that could still be accessed by someone in a genuine emergency, but prevent them from getting in too far over their head.

Those who are most often trapped in the payday loan cycle are individuals who have credit scores of less than 630, or who are making less than $375/week.


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