Payday lenders popping up in BC

Payday lenders are a problem.

This Walrus article made me blink. I’ve always imagined predatory lending to be a more-or-less foreign issue with only minor Canadian implications. Not so much.

Here’s a geographical look of the extent of payday lenders in BC, divided by opening date. We’ve seen a steady increase of payday loan retailers over the last 6 years. What’s perhaps most surprising is their geographical spread – these aren’t just a phenomenon of the population-dense Lower Mainland. In Fort St. John, you too can gain an albatross of a high interest loan.

Payday lenders opened by 2009. Note that many lenders likely opened before 2009 before the Payday Loans Regulation Act mandated that lenders be registered as payday lenders.

Payday lenders opened in 2010-2011. Total: 25

Payday lenders opened in 2012-2015. Total: 26 stores

Data from Consumer Protection BC, mapping done in Google Fusion Tables. See the raw data here.