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New FOIA Data Confirms That Credit Access in Illinois Remains Significantly Diminished, Leaving Consumers With Fewer Options Two Years After Illinois Implemented 36% Rate Cap

By March 22, 2023April 26th, 2024No Comments

-Small Dollar Lending Licenses Have Dropped By Nearly 60% Since March 23, 2021-


ARLINGTON, Va. (March 22, 2023)—On the second anniversary of Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signing into law Senate Bill 1792, which capped interest rates on consumer loans in the state at an “all-in” 36 percent annual percentage rate, small dollar credit access for consumers in the state remains significantly diminished. According to information obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by the Online Lenders Alliance, lender licenses in the small dollar loan marketplace dropped by nearly 60 percent when comparing the number of installment and single-pay lender licenses on March 1, 2021 to March 1, 2023. The rate cap went into effect on March 23, 2021.

“Illinois’ rate cap is leaving consumers in the state with fewer options and worse outcomes,” said Andrew Duke, Executive Director of the Online Lenders Alliance. “Despite false claims from activists that new lenders had been attracted to Illinois following the rate cap’s enactment, the latest data again shows that the small dollar credit market has sharply contracted, with payday loan licensing being virtually eliminated and installment loan licensing being cut by almost half.”

These findings come after an academic study released earlier this year determined that Illinois’ interest rate cap decreased the number of loans to subprime borrowers by 44 percent and increased the average loan size to subprime borrowers by 40 percent. The study also included survey data from previous users of loans with APRs exceeding 36 percent, which showed that most of those Illinois borrowers are unable to borrow money when they need it and most of them would like the option to return to their previous lender.

The findings from credit bureau data, the results of the survey, and the licensee information from the FOIA all point in the same direction—rate caps reduce credit options and access. Consumers say they are worse off and they overwhelmingly want more choices to manage their financial well-being.

You can find the lender license data for consumer installment lenders here and the data for payday lenders here.

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About The Online Lenders Alliance

The Online Lenders Alliance (OLA) is the first trade association in FinTech. OLA is focused on credit inclusion, bringing together a diverse group of innovative companies who share a common goal: to serve hardworking Americans who deserve access to trustworthy credit. Our members are entrepreneurs, publicly-traded companies, lenders, credit bureaus, advertisers, lead generators, compliance professionals, and software developers who are leveraging technology to responsibly improve consumers’ financial health. Consumer protection is our top priority and OLA members abide by a rigorous set of Best Practices and Code of Conduct to ensure consumers are fully informed and fairly treated. For more information, please visit

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