Females on the Fringe: Considering Gender in Payday Lending Policy

By: Amy J. Schmitz

Abstract

Payday lending may provide a much-needed safety net for some consumers in need of quick cash for emergencies. However, data suggest that most payday loan borrowers become repeat users caught in a cycle of high-cost debt. Furthermore, empirical evidence indicates consistent overrepresentation of women, including many single mothers, among payday loan borrowers. This takes a toll not only on these women and their families, but also on society as a whole. Indeed, context matters in payday lending debates. It is thus time to think creatively and consider contextualized programs that aim to increase women’s and all consumers’ safe borrowing options, provide education regarding those options, and ultimately assist them in escaping cycles of debt and poverty. This Article seeks to spark the dialogue regarding such contextualized policymaking.

Cite as: Amy J. Schmitz, Females on the Fringe: Considering Gender in Payday Lending Policy, 89 Chi.-Kent L. Rev. 65 (2014).

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