Do PayDay Loan Centers Target The Poor?

According to Virginia Delegate Jennifer L. McClellan, “There are over two payday lending stores for every McDonalds in Virginia and three for every Starbucks.”

The thought of washing down a Big Mac with a chai was too appealing to ignore, so we mashed up Richmond, Virginia’s 1990-2000 Poverty Statistics by Census Tract along with Payday loan center locations. * Click to enlarge.

Richmond payday centers seem to roughly prefer to sit on the edges of areas with 15-30% poverty. People got to have a paycheck to give them an advance on, with 177% interest.

If a worker is short of cash and gets their full next paycheck advanced to them, how are they ever supposed to catch up?

With a windfall investment, or perhaps, another loan. — BEN POPKEN

* Combining 2000 poverty data with 2007 addresses is, admittedly, less than ideal, but it was the best we could get our hands on.