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Level III

Payday Lending: Abuse of the Poor?

Lawrence Nitz, Professor of Political Science, The University of Hawai’i at Mānoa


Payday lending is the vice high school economics teachers hope their charges never experience. It is lightly regulated, if at all. The Federal Truth in Lending rules may be only a faded poster in the payday lender’s office. Protection of the vulnerable is not reputed to be a sales goal in the industry.


Regulation is in the hands of the states. Payday loan complaints likely differ by state, but not with the party control in the state. National policy attention has focused on vulnerable groups aged, aged veterans and active duty service people.

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