New report shares how Silicon Valley, other communities organize to restrict payday lending

Sarah Davison

Silicon Valley Community Foundation has made fighting predatory payday lending one of its highest institutional priorities since 2009. Our own research* confirmed that payday lenders were charging interest rates as high as 450 percent and disproportionately targeting low-income communities and communities of color.

Since that time, we have worked with our nonprofit partners and other advocates through strategic grantmaking to fend off harmful legislation that would have raised the cap on small-dollar loans or increased fees for consumers. We have launched regional discussions on consumer education and lobbied in support of legislation to create responsible loan alternatives. And we have worked with a number of cities and counties to enact ordinances to prevent the expansion of payday lending in our local communities.   

The Power of Community Action reportWe are pleased to announce the release of a new SVCF-funded report, The Power of Community Action: Anti-Payday Loan Ordinances in Three Metropolitan Areas, that documents the power and importance of local ordinance campaigns as part of a larger fair lending movement. Researchers Robert N. Mayer and Nathalie Martin based the report on an 18-month study of community approaches to developing anti-payday lending ordinance campaigns in three regions — Silicon Valley, Greater Metropolitan Dallas in Texas, and Greater Salt Lake City in Utah. The regions were chosen for this study because they are located in the three states (California, Texas and Utah) with the most local payday lending ordinances and because of the success of their campaigns in different political environments.  

The Power of Community Action report shares the detailed stories of how each of these regions developed their campaigns, as well as the important lessons that emerged from this work. We hope this report will inspire other government leaders and advocates to launch anti-payday lending ordinance campaigns in their communities. 

Learn more

Read more about SVCF’s work on to curb payday lending in our Economic Security Impact Report, or in the following blogs and resources: