Payday Loans in Washington
- Nickname: The Evergreen State
- Population: 7.54 million
- Capital: Olympia
- Website: WA.gov
Washington State, not be confused with D.C., is known for its lush green landscapes, the Starbucks headquarters, and 90s-era grunge. And while Washington may be best known for being home to Seattle, a glistening metropolitan area that many call the next Silicon Valley, there’s more to the state than these bright city lights. Look to the family farms of Eastern Washington or the wine country along the Oregon border.
In 2018, Washington state had a poverty rate of only 10.3% – one of the lowest in the nation. And the median household income in the state is quite a bit higher than the national average ($74,073 vs. $61,937).
Payday Loans in Washington
A payday loan is a short-term loan, usually for around $500.
Between 2009 and 2011, Washington saw a 42% reduction in the number of payday lenders operating in the state, and the number of payday loans taken out dropped from 3.2 million in 2009 to 856,000 in 2011. In 2015, the number fell even lower. That year, just 776,824 loans were taken out from one of the 139 licensed payday lenders still operating within the state of Washington. And in 2017, we saw the lowest numbers yet: only 86 total licensed payday lending locations and 663,882 payday loans borrowed by Washingtonians.
The dollar volume associated with payday loans has been notably decreasing from 2013 through 2017. As of 2017, the payday lending industry has decreased 82% to about $248.8 million. The average amount of a payday loan has essentially stayed the same in 2017 vs. 2016 ($392 and $385, respectively).
Small Loans Made
Total Amount of Small Loans
According to The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions 2017 Payday Lending Report, Washington payday loan borrowers had an average annual income of $3,256 in 2017. Furthermore, the average age of payday loan borrowers in the state was 41.5 years in 2017, and the age distribution of these payday loan borrowers breaks down as follows:
65 or over
% of Customers
% of Transactions
As the table below shows, 75% of borrowers took out two or more payday loans in 2017.
Annual Loan Frequency
% of Total Borrowers
Consumer Protection in Washington
How to Report a Predatory Lender in Washington
If you suspect a lender of having predatory practices, or if you think you are a victim of predatory lending, you can file a complaint with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
- Online Complaint Form: https://dfi.wa.gov/file-complaint
- Phone: (360) 902-8703 or 1-877-RING DFI (1-877-746-4334)
- Email: CSEnforceComplaints@dfi.wa.gov
Washington State Attorney General
- Online Complaint Form: http://www.atg.wa.gov/file-complaint
- Phone: 1-800-551-4636 (in Washington only), 206-464-6684, 1-800-833-6388 (Washington State Relay Service for the hearing impaired)
- Consumer Protection Division: http://www.atg.wa.gov/consumer-protection
Washington State is known for being at the forefront of consumer protections and a model example for how other states can make laws to protect consumers from predatory lending practices. The Attorney General’s office frequently reports on scam alerts and updates pending lawsuits in progress to enforce consumer protections, so that consumers are always up to date on what their Attorney General and the CFPB are doing to protect them. More robust consumer protection information in Washington State, as well as detailed descriptions of different types of deceptive business practices and common scams are available online as well.
With so many resources available from trusted sources, you know there is always somewhere to turn if you feel that you are being taken advantage of and unsure of how to protect yourself! You can always check this page for tips and tricks on how to stay safe and knowledgeable.
Guides to Payday Loans in Washington Cities
Check out these payday loan guides to the following cities in Washington: