The Financial Service Centers of America responds to the recently released report from the Pew Charitable Trusts Safe, Small Dollar Loans Research Project:

"FiSCA continues to support simple, convenient and transparent access to short-term, small dollar credit by consumers facing financial shortfalls. The Pew Charitable Trusts research fails to adequately reflect the reality of the marketplace; that is, the consumer's completely rational financial decisions to appropriately choose the credit option that best fills their needs. Consumers deserve a wide variety of credit options, and research has consistently shown that nearly 20 million customers choose payday loans each year.

"Payday lending customers are a diverse group of Americans who in general are educated, banked, and have a steady source of income.  Payday advances help customers, who are often living paycheck to paycheck, bridge the need for small-dollar, short term credit when other options are limited, too expensive or unavailable. Consumers frequently choose payday loans because they are often less costly than other available options such as incurring late fees on credit-card or bill payments, bouncing a check, utilizing overdraft protection, or obtaining a credit card advance.

"FiSCA members offering payday advances adhere to a rigorous Code of Conduct which can be viewed in detail on our website.  FiSCA members are licensed lenders who comply with all federal, state and local regulations.  Additionally, transparency is a key element of the payday advance product. Before entering into a transaction, the fees and terms of a payday advance are fully disclosed and posted in every store, and included in every contract.

"We genuinely extend to Pew an invitation to engage our members in a cooperative effort to better understand how payday advance customers use that credit option responsibly to meet their short term credit needs."