Payday loans were virtually unheard of in the 1980s. Up until that time, consumers who needed extra cash but were unable to qualify for a personal loan from a bank or credit union went to a pawnshop or check cashing outlet for fast money. There was no segment of the financial lending market which dealt with small, short-term loans. Payday loans were basically non-existent.
However, things began to change in the mid 1990s. In 1996, there were approximately 2,000 payday lender storefronts across the country. This number increased tenfold over the next seven years to 20,000 stores. Industry analysts agree that the height of the payday loan industry occurred in 2007 when the number of stores reached 24,000. In 2020 there were approximately 23 000 payday loan lender storefronts across the country.
Since that time, there has been a decline in the number of stores mainly due to government and state regulations and the implementation of consumer protection laws. The payday loan industry reports that in 2010 there were approximately 19,700 payday loan stores located in 33 states. These stores loaned nearly $30 billion to consumers.
During the recession of 2007-2010, annual revenues for payday loan companies rose to their highest levels on record. The following finance companies are the six largest which offer payday loans:
Together, these companies reported nearly $1.5 billion in revenues in 2020.
Major tribal loans no teletrack direct lender continue to have access to millions of dollars in credit lines from some of the largest banks in the country. Research has shown that almost all major payday loan lenders, which make up nearly half of the payday industry, have lines of credit and receive funds from mainly the following four banks: