Google announced today that it would no longer permit payday loan advertisements on its site. Google’s Director of Global Product Policy David Graff wrote about the decision in the Google Public Policy Blog.
“We have an extensive set of policies to keep bad ads out of our systems – in fact in 2015 alone, we disabled more than 780 million ads for reasons ranging from counterfeiting to phishing. Ads for financial services are a particular area of vigilance given how core they are to people’s livelihood and well being.”
Effective July 13, 2016 Google will ban all ads for payday loans and some related products from its ad systems. Specifically, the tech company will prohibit ads for loans where repayment is “due within 60 days of the date of issue.” In the United States they will ban ads with an APR of 36 percent or higher.
According to Graff:
“When reviewing our policies, research has shown that these loans can result in unaffordable payment and high default rates for users so we will be updating our policies globally to reflect that.”
Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest has consistently warned consumers to be cautious of these types of loans. Payday loans are small, short-term, high-rate loans also known as cash advance loans. The Consumer Sentinel Network reports there have been more than 29,600 complaints against payday loans between 2013 – 2015. The Federal Trade Commission also cautions against borrowing from these types of businesses. They have sued a number of online payday lenders in the past for violating federal laws.
Who Uses Payday Loans
It is often said that the best customers for payday loan companies are military members. It is common to find numerous lending companies situated outside of military bases. But even if a service member never steps foot off of the base, they’re still likely to find an online advertisement directed at them for a payday loan.
Other groups to be targeted by these lenders include woman, minorities and low-income families.
Before considering payday loans, the FTC and BBB advises seeking other options:
- Consider an advance on pay from your employer, or a small loan from a family member, friend, credit union or other lender.
- Ask creditors for more time to pay bills. Find out what charges apply: Will there be a late charge, additional finance charge or higher interest rate?
- For help developing a debt repayment plan or budget, contact a local consumer credit counseling service. These are often nonprofits that charge little or no cost.
- Get free BBB Business Reviews on lenders and other businesses at bbb.org
Know the Laws in Your State
In Washington State the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates payday lenders. To verify the license of a lender, visit the DFI Licensee Database or call 1-877-746-4334. Complaints against payday lenders can be made at www.dfi.wa.gov/consumers/file-complaint.
In Alaska the Division of Banking and Securities regulates payday lenders. To verify the license of a lender, visit the Alaska Department of Commerce website or call 907-465-2550 in Juneau or 907-269-8160 in Anchorage. You can also send an email to email@example.com. Complaints against payday lenders can be made with the Consumer Protection Unit.
In Idaho the Idaho Department of Finance regulates payday lenders. To verify the license of a lender or file a complaint visit finance.idaho.gov. Complaints against payday lenders are handled by the consumer affairs response program.
In Oregon the Division of Finance and Corporate Securities regulates payday lenders. To verify the license of a lender, visit the Division website or call 503-378-4140, or toll free at 866-814-9710. To file a complaint, visit http://www.cbs.state.or.us/dfcs/complaint.html.
In Montana the Division of Banking and Financial Institutions regulates payday lenders. To verify the license of a lender, visit the Banking and Financial Institutions website on the Montana state website. To file a complaint, visit banking.mt.gov/Complaints.
In Wyoming the Wyoming Division of Banking regulates payday lenders. To verify the license of a lender, visit wyomingbankingdivision.wyo.gov or call of 307-777-7797. To file a complaint, visit the Wyoming Division of Banking website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.