Key U.S. Payday Loan Debt Statistics: What Everyone Needs to Know

This page contains statistics about the state of payday lending in the United States, curated by our editorial team. We will continue to add and update statistics as new data becomes available.

12 million Americans use payday loans each year.

As of 2021, there were more than 23,000 payday loan storefronts in the United States (there were only 13,438 McDonalds locations).

The typical payday borrower is in debt five months out of the year.

The average income of payday loan borrowers is $30,000 annually.

7 in 10 of those who take out payday loans use them for regular recurring expenses such as utility bills and rent payments.

The average loan size of a payday loan is $375.

On average, payday lenders pay $520 in fees to borrow $375.

Every year, $9 billion is paid in payday loan fees.

80% of payday loans are taken out within 2 weeks of paying off a previous payday loan.

75% of payday loans are taken out by someone who has used them before.

58% of payday loan borrowers have trouble meeting monthly expenses.

Only 14% of borrowers can actually afford to pay back their loans.

The average annual percentage interest rate (APR) for payday loans is 396%.

Payday loans are used by all generations, but predominantly Millennials and Gen-Xers. Millennials’ use of payday loans has led to a rise in online payday loans and cash advance apps.

1 in 4 payday loans are rolled over / re-borrowed 9 times or more.

Payday loans are a form of unsecured debt.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have banned payday lending or set interest rate caps.

In 2017, 44% of all military service members used a payday loan at least once.

The Bottom Line

If you’re stuck in the payday loan debt trap, debt consolidation could be a way out. Check out this step-by-step guide explaining how to do it.


  • Pew Research Center
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • CNBC
  • St. Louis Fed

If you’re in payday loan trouble, consider a debt consolidation loan or payday loan relief program.

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