Online loans are risky for lenders

Bull riding

Every online loans lender gets on a bull's back with every loan. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

A lot of people have the idea that lenders of online loans can get away with just about anything. The offices for any online personal loan or installment loan could be anywhere, so people get the impression they can’t be tracked down. However, online loan lenders actually have to be far more careful than the average payday loan store. Online payday loan lenders face far more risk than banks or credit card companies.

Online loan lenders face more risk

Contrary to popular belief, payday lenders do not make money hand over fist. In fact, it can be downright hard for a lender to even turn a profit. The largest risk for a payday lender is default. Comprehensive data does not exist on the rate of defaulting on loans or on late payments, as the industry is largely privately held and many private entities are hesitant to publish their financial records, which in the case of the payday lending industry, has been acknowledged many times over. Online lenders face perhaps the greatest risk, as they have no community presence (no “face” to put on the name) and can be without any means of collection if a customer decides to take the money and run.

Loss for payday lenders is guaranteed

One study indicated that losses could account for as much as 25 percent of operating costs. That’s just for traditional payday loan stores, never mind online payday loans lenders. In 2009, the auditing firm Ernst and Young did a study of all the members of the Financial Service Centers of America, or the FiSCA, one of the major trade organizations that many payday lenders belong to. The typical payday lender in the FiSCA study charged $15.26 per $100 loaned, and of that $15.26, $3.74 of the fee went toward bad debts. Just more than $1.00 was realized as profit.

Online lenders the most vulnerable

An online payday loan lender has to assume a lot of risk. Essentially, every loan application is asking for hundreds of dollars to be lent, sight unseen. That’s a lot to ask of any business. You can read more in the payday loan facts and statistics report on Personal Money Store.

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