A week after we posted our previous post on the challenges facing installment lenders stemming from the media’s failure to differentiate between types of small dollar loans, a rash of stories appeared which characterized a well-known installment lender and NILA member as “payday”.
We traced the initial error to an Associated Press (AP) story, and it appears that reporters who rewrote it under their own bylines did not pick-up on it.
We reached out to certain key reporters to explain our problem, including the original AP reporter. We were careful, as always, to explain that our interest in accuracy was down to the real-world effects on our industry and, critically, the people who rely on us, of a failure to differentiate between forms of consumer finance. In the past, this has led to one-size-fits-all laws, which treat safe affordable credit as if it were predatory, creating credit deserts with serious consequences for individuals and families who often have nowhere else to turn.
NILA will continue to monitor for media inaccuracies like these and address them wherever we find them.