Access to Credit

Studies continue to show that 40% of Americans struggle to make ends meet, with tens of millions of families estimated to be living paycheck-to-paycheck. A recent Federal Reserve report found that nearly half of the people surveyed said they could not cover a hypothetical emergency expense of $400. This is a widespread problem, as 45% of Americans either experienced a major unexpected expense over the past 12 months or had an immediate family member who had an unexpected expense. Yet for millions nationwide, accessing credit remains a challenge.

Tens of millions of Americans have relied on small-dollar loans to weather unexpected financial hardships such as medical bills or car repairs. In fact, 94% of small-dollar loan borrowers consider obtaining such loans to be a sensible decision when they are faced with unexpected expenses. Small-dollar loans are often the least expensive option for consumers, particularly compared to bank fees – including overdraft protection and bounced checks – or unregulated offshore internet loans and penalties for late bill payments.



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