There are various sources that offer information on who uses payday loans.

One might assume that a 2001 study on payday demographics might be outdated, but I doubt that’s the case.  Because payday loans are used primarily by people who live paycheck-to-paycheck, it stands to reason that there wouldn’t be much difference in demographics ten years later.  One thing that might change is that, because inflation erodes the value of our earnings, if wages have been stagnant, then we might expect that payday loans get used by people in increasingly higher income brackets.

This 2001 study found:

•    Majority earn between $25,000 and $50,000

•    Majority are married

•    90 percent have a high school diploma or better

•    54 percent have some college or degree

•    53 percent are under 45 years old (only 9 percent are 65 or older)

•    63 percent have children in household

•    32 percent own homes

•    54 percent have major credit cards

•    100 percent have steady incomes

•    100 percent have checking accounts

The Center for American Progress study found:

  • Average age of borrower: 36
  • 85% had high school diploma or better
  • 46% have some college or degree
  • 40% are married
  • Average income: $32,614
  • 41% own a home

A very recent survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found:

  • 63% users under age 45.
  • 84% have a high school diploma or better
  • 41% own a home.
  • 51% earn more than $25,000
  • 33% are married
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