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Summary of AARP Poll of Texans Age 45+: Opinions on Payday Loan Rates and Legislation

Texans maintain a strong resistance to very high APR’s (annual percentage rate) payday and auto title lenders in the state can charge consumers. In this most recent survey of Texans age 45 and older, the majority strongly agree that Texas law should be changed to cap the APR and fees on both types of loans to consumers. Similarly, in a 2011 AARP survey, the majority of Texas adults strongly opposed both an APR of 500 percent on a payday loan and an APR of 500 percent on an auto title loan.

Key findings include:

  • After hearing that payday and auto‐title lenders in Texas can currently charge up to and beyond a 500 percent annual percentage rate (APR) and why some think these rates may or may not need to be changed, most Texans age 45 and older strongly agree that the state law should be changed to cap the interest rates and fees these businesses charge borrowers. Moreover, the majority (75%) of Texans age 45 and older strongly agree that government leaders in Texas should work to lower the interest rates and fees of payday and auto title loans in the state.
  • When asked to consider various annual percentage rates that payday and auto title loan businesses should be able to charge consumers, most indicate an APR of less than 36 percent would be the highest rate these loan businesses should be able to charge. Another one in ten feel 36 percent should be the highest APR charged by payday or auto title loan businesses.
  • Subsequently, Texans age 45 and older do not support a proposal in Texas to reduce the oversight that city and county governments currently have over payday and auto title lenders. In fact, over four in ten strongly support local city and county governments retaining their authority over these lenders and another one in ten say they somewhat support it. Still, over one‐quarter oppose the local government authority over payday and auto title lenders, with one in five strongly opposed to it.

This phone survey was fielded by RDD Inc. between December 12 and December 20, 2012 and yielded 500 completed interviews. The final sample was weighted by age and gender for adults age 45 and older residing in Texas.

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