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Federal Policy PressPress Release

Online Lenders Alliance: Despite Recent Assertions to the Contrary, the Number of Small Dollar Loans by Credit Unions Has Declined Since 2019, Leaving Many Consumers with Fewer Credit Options

By April 17, 2023April 26th, 2024No Comments

ARLINGTON, Va. (April 17, 2023)—In response to the latest article from the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Consumer Finance Team (“Credit Union Small-Dollar Loan Volume Hit New High in 2022”), Online Lenders Alliance Executive Director Andrew Duke issued the following statement:

“Pew’s latest assertion that credit unions are providing more small dollar loans than ever before is simply not true. The facts here are clear: while the volume of small-dollar loans issued by credit unions has reached new highs, the number of loans issued from 2019 to 2022 has actually decreased by 7.3 percent, according to the latest data from the National Credit Union Administration. This means that credit unions are reaching fewer customers today than they were before the pandemic.

“In January, Pew made incomplete assertions about the availability of small dollar loans at banks, stating that 6 of the 8 largest banks now offer these loans. However, they left out the high bar that consumers must clear to be eligible for these products. As one researcher in New Mexico discovered, even highly creditworthy consumers have tremendous difficulties accessing these loans—even from banks that offer them.

“When assessing credit availability, it is important to analyze and portray the data accurately without cutting corners. Consumers are best served when they have more options to meet their credit needs. The truth is that many consumers rely on alternative lenders because they are unable to obtain credit from banks and credit unions. Consumers deserve options, and policy makers deserve accurate information.”

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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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