Fact check: Does Colorado legislation allow payday lenders to charge over 200% interest on tiny loans?

A Colorado team campaigning to restrict costs for what they call pay day loans claims that “current legislation permits payday loan providers to charge a lot more than 200% interest for tiny loans directed at clients who will be frequently in serious straits. ” 1 The claim is with in help of Proposition 111, a Colorado ballot measure to cap finance that is annual at 36 % for small-dollar loans. 2

Could be the claim because of the group Stop Predatory payday advances valid? Does law that is current payday loan providers to charge significantly more than 200 % interest for tiny loans?

No, the claim is inaccurate. First, the combined group’s mention of 200 per cent interest conflates interest levels with finance costs. The interest price is just among the fees that could be levied on that loan, and Colorado legislation presently permits four distinct kinds: 1) a flat-fee origination fee; 2) mortgage loan to not go beyond 45 % annually put on the total amount financed; 3) a month-to-month upkeep charge on the basis of the quantity lent; and 4) a one-time only fee of $25 for non-sufficient funds (for example., whenever a borrower’s check towards the loan provider does unclear). 3

Second, the 200% interest cited by the combined group pertains to loans online payday loans New Jersey that stay unpaid after one year. Nonetheless, simply 0.2 per cent associated with the small-dollar loans in Colorado in 2015 had been written for starters 12 months; almost 83 % had been written for six or seven months. 4

3rd, what’s called a quick payday loan in Colorado state legislation and also by the team is significantly diffent from what exactly is typically referred to as a pay day loan, and generally are really loans that are installment. The 2 will vary products that are financial. A loan that is payday typically not as much as $500 and repaid in one re re payment from the borrower’s next payday (or renewed). A loan that is installment involves uniform re re re payments made at frequently planned periods with interest used through the life span regarding the loan.

Colorado legislation sets at least loan term of 6 months and caps loans to specific borrowers at $500.

Irrespective of the kind of loan, the cost that is total of loan will undoubtedly be very determined by the quantity lent and also the time it requires to settle the mortgage.


Proposition 111, the Colorado Limits on pay day loan Charges Initiative, made the November 2018 ballot through petitioning by the matter committee Coloradans to quit Predatory payday advances. 5 6 7 As of September 26, 2018, almost 97 % regarding the committee’s contributions had result from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) that according to its website “serves being a financial sponsor for promotions and initiatives trying to alter social and ecological policies and improve civic engagement during the regional, state, and nationwide degree. ” 8

Proposition 111, if authorized, would cap the maximum authorized finance fee for payday advances at a apr of 36 %. 9

The initiative states, “The individuals of this State find and declare that payday loan providers are asking as much as 2 hundred per cent yearly for payday loans and therefore excess fees on such loans may lead Colorado families in to a debt trap of perform borrowing. It’s the intent of this individuals to lessen the optimum authorized finance fee for pay day loans to a apr of thirty-six %. ” 9

The Concept of Apr

The “annual portion rate” (APR) as used into the ballot language is defined differently than typical use. In traditional terms, the APR represents the interest rate compensated during the period of per year because of compounding.

But, under federal legislation, the APR required in loan disclosures must take into account the attention price and charges determined over a period that is one-year. The wider calculation ended up being designed to help customers in comparing the regards to different loans (i.e., having the ability to compare a figure that is single various charges and costs over a typical time frame instead of comparing various charges, fees and loan durations individually).

The passage this year of Colorado’s Deferred Deposit Loan rate of interest Bill established terms that are permissible small-dollar loans, including: 3

  • An origination cost to not meet or exceed 20 per cent of this first $300, plus 7.5 per cent of every amount loaned more than $300 (but capped at $500).
  • An interest that is annual of 45 %. In the event that loan is prepaid just before readiness, the financial institution shall refund into the debtor a prorated part of the APR.
  • A month-to-month upkeep charge not to ever meet or exceed $7.50 per $100 (capped at $30 every month). The upkeep cost might be instituted month-to-month following the very very first 1 month associated with loan.
  • A minimal loan term of half a year.
  • A optimum on outstanding loans per debtor of $500.

In an average instance, pay day loan customers don’t borrow for the full 12 months, while the interest costs usually do not compound. Relating to state numbers, the loan that is average $392 for 97 days, with $119.46 in finance fees. 10 Default took place 23 % of this 414,284 loans in 2016. 11

The Debate

Proponents of Proposition 111 state that high prices for small-dollar loans are predatory and trap borrowers in a cycle of poverty. 1

Following passing of the 2010 bill on payday financing, over fifty percent of Colorado’s payday loan stores shut. Because small-dollar borrowers commonly make use of the loans for lease and resources, an additional lowering of accessibility would either adversely affect borrowers’ well being or force them to cover greater prices for various kinds of usage of money. 4 12

Jamie Fulmer, the senior vice president of payday lender Advance America, states payday advances are cheaper for customers than bank overdraft fees or energy reconnection costs. “we now have faith into the consumer that is american and we also think they’re savvy sufficient to assess the different choices that exist for them, ” Fulmer told the Colorado Independent. 13 14


The group avoid Predatory pay day loans claims that Colorado law permits payday loan providers to charge yearly percentage prices more than 200 per cent. The claim is inaccurate. First, the group’s mention of 200 % interest conflates rates of interest with finance costs. 2nd, the 200 % interest cited by the combined group pertains to loans that stay unpaid after one year. But, simply 0.2 % of this small-dollar loans in Colorado in 2015 had been for just one 12 months. Third, the team relates to payday advances whenever really explaining loans that are installment. The 2 are very different financial loans.