Colorado AG releases consumer lending study
On January 23, the Colorado attorney general announced that it sent a study examining the availability of consumer lending in the state to the Colorado General Assembly. Among other things, the study analyzed the availability of safe and affordable credit in Colorado and focused on the availability of two types of loans: (i) small-dollar loans, defined as loans up to $1,000, and (ii) larger installment loans.
Regarding small-dollar loans in Colorado, Proposition 111 enacted in 2018, capped rates on deferred deposit loans at 36 percent. As such, the study noted that there was a significant decrease in the number of lenders who were making deferred deposit (payday) loans and the number of licensed locations as of 2018. It was reported that 95,747 individuals in Colorado obtained alternative charge loans in 2021, which represented a significant decline from 2018. The study also found that, while there was a drop in the number of retail outlets, available evidence indicates consumers who qualify are able to obtain alternative charge loans, given the growth of online lending.
The affordability of alternative charge borrowers is mixed, according to the report. It appears that about one in five borrowers experience substantial difficulty in making the required payments. Other measures suggest a substantially lower percentage struggle.
Regarding larger installment loans, 39,295 consumers obtained “Other Supervised Loans” (defined as loans with an APR above 12 percent) from non-depositories, and non-depositories took by assignment an additional 87,880 Other Supervised Loans in 2021. The number of originated Other Supervised Loans in 2021 was nearly identical to the number originated in 2019. Overall, 25.9 percent of consumers who applied for Other Supervised Loans were approved.