Payday Loans in New Mexico
- Nickname: Land of Enchantment
- Population: 2.09 million
- Capital: Santa Fe
- Website: www.newmexico.gov
New Mexico is one of the U.S.’ most iconic southwestern states. Its capital, Santa Fe, draws visitors from far and wide for its diverse arts culture, as well as its top rated resorts and fine dining. On the other hand, many residents of New Mexico find themselves struggling with their finances and expenses. In 2018, the median household income in New Mexico was nearly $15,000 less than the national average, and the state was ranked #3 for the highest poverty rate in the nation (19.7%).
Payday Loans in New Mexico
Payday loans loans are typically offered for relatively small amounts of money, and are due within a relatively short period of time (usually about 2 weeks to 1 month). Borrowers of these loans need to provide their lenders with their bank account information and evidence of income.
The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Financial Institutions Division reports the following statistics on payday loans in New Mexico:
Source: “Consumer Lending Practices in New Mexico: Report of Findings and Recommendations” From the Regular Session of the New Mexico Legislature (September 2015). Accessed November 18, 2019. https://www.nmlegis.gov/Entity/LFC/Documents/General_Government/Consumer%20Lending%20Practices%20in%20New%20Mexico.pdf
A study by Nathalie Martin of the University of New Mexico School of Law examined the experiences of New Mexico payday and installment loan customers. She interviewed 109 payday and installment loan customers and found that two-thirds of these individuals took out payday loans for “regular, recurring monthly bills and expenses.” However, Martin also found that most of these customers do not fully understand how these loans work, including important details about the fees and the APR. In fact, only a few of the people that Martin interviewed knew the APR of their loans off-hand, without looking them up in their paperwork. As noted by Martin (2010), “almost 60% of those asked said they did not know what the APR was and that they were not willing to wager a guess of what the APR might be.” (p. 39)
This same study out of the University of New Mexico School of Law shows that payday loan borrowers in the state typically have lower incomes than the general population:
Source: “1,000% Interest- Good While Supplies Last: A Study of Payday Loan Practices and Solutions” Martin, N. (2010). Arizona Law Review. https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/law_facultyscholarship/28
Payday loan borrowers in New Mexico are also less likely than the rest of the state’s population to own their own homes. According to the 2010 study out of the University of New Mexico School of Law noted above, home ownership rates among New Mexico payday loan borrowers ranged from 9% to 40% from 2007 through 2011. This is much lower than the 69% to 71% rates among the rest of the population in New Mexico. In New Mexico, payday lending companies are very common in low-incomes neighborhoods, and single moms, veterans, and people of color tend to be most likely to use a payday loan.
Payday loans in New Mexico are far from helpful for residents in need. Lenders have found ways around consumer protection legislation in order to provide high interest loans. On top of that, payday lenders in New Mexico are moving to the Internet to provide even higher interest loans. Instead of allowing these loopholes and high interest rates, New Mexico legislature needs to move toward improved rules and regulations to better protect consumers from predatory lending.
Consumer Protection in New Mexico
How to Report a Lender in New Mexico
If you have been harassed or have experienced a payday or title lender that does not follow the New Mexico laws, it is important to report them. By filing a complaint with the New Mexico Financial Institutions Division, you can help take steps toward improving rules and regulations in New Mexico against predatory lending.
To file a complaint, download the complaint form that you can find here and email it to the proper industry manager below:
- State Chartered Banks and Trust Companies – Rebecca.firstname.lastname@example.org
- State Chartered Credit Unions and Endowed Cemeteries – email@example.com
- Small Loan Companies, Collection Agencies, Motor Vehicle Sale Finance Companies and Repossessors – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mortgage and Escrow – email@example.com
You can also find the contact information for the New Mexico Financial Institutions Division below.
The New Mexico Financial Institutions Division information
- Address: 2550 Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe, NM 87505
- Phone: (505) 476-4885
- Website: www.rld.state.nm.us/financialinstitutions