Study: Payday Loans Up 84% In Washington State

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A new report on payday lending in Washington state indicates that payday loans grew by 84% from 2000 to 2003, representing more than $1 billion in such loans.

The report, released by Washington's Department of Financial Institutions, analyzed companies and offices and the number and amount of loans made during 2003. The report found the average loan was for $378, the average fee was $49.21, and the average term was 17.9 days.

The report compared the cost of 14- and 30-day payday loans with other short-term loan options and concluded that bank overdraft fees and advances on credit cards and bank credit lines would generally be less expensive than the payday loans taken by customers.

For payday loans, Washington law places a cap of $15 per $100 on the first $500 borrowed, and $10 per $1000 for loan amounts over $500. The loan maximum is $700 and the maximum term is 45 days.

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