Attorney General releases reports on state’s 2010 subprime lending

DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers today issued three reports on Colorado’s 2010 subprime consumer lending activity. The reports cover lenders licensed by the Office of the Attorney General and do not include data on all loans issued in the state. The report contains data on 288 lending companies with 880 licensed locations making deferred deposit “payday” loans, small-installment loans and traditional supervised loans.

Payday loans

Payday loans were covered by two different laws in 2010 — one set prior to August 11, 2010 and one after — due to action of the General Assembly. Prior to the statutory change, payday loans were loans limited by law to $500 or less that were due on the consumer’s next payday, typically in two weeks. Following August 11, 2010, payday loans were loans limited by law to $500 or less with a six-month-minimum term. The new law also changed the fee structure for payday loans.

During the 2010 calendar year, the number of licensed locations for payday lenders fell 19 percent from 2009 to 410 locations. The number of payday loans issued fell 29 percent compared to 2009. The number of consumers obtaining payday loans increased 7.3 percent to 300,069 in 2010 compared with the previous year. (This number may include consumers who obtained multiple payday loans from multiple lenders.)

The following chart shows some of the key statistical differences comparing payday loans before and after the new laws went into effect on August 11, 2010:


Pre-Aug. 11, 2010

Post-Aug. 11, 2010

Average contracted amount



Average contracted finance charge



Average contracted loan term

18 days

187 days

Average contracted APR

326.34 percent

185.84 percent

Small-installment loans

Small-installment loans are limited by law to loans of $1,000 or less and are due within 90 days to 12 months.

Highlights of the 2010 small-installment lending data include:

  • Five companies with 12 licensed locations made small-installment loans in 2010.
  • Small-installment lenders lent a total of $863,159 in 2010 compared to $10 million in total loans in 2009.  The number of loans made decreased from 15,399 in 2009 to 2,257 in 2010.
  • The average loan amount fell 41 percent from $649 in 2009 to $382 in 2010.
  • The average contract term of small-installment loans was 3.7 months in 2010. Consumers, however, paid off the loans in an average of 2.6 months.
  • The annual percentage rate of small-installment loans made in 2010 ranged from 74 percent to 168 percent.

Supervised loans

The supervised lender report contains data on sub-prime loans made by finance companies, insurance premium finance companies and mortgage lenders that primarily make junior-lien loans. Supervised loans also include auto and student loans and those for household goods.

Highlights of the 2010 supervised-loan data include:

  • The number of licensed locations fell 12 percent between 2009 and 2010 to 488 licenses.
  • Supervised lenders issued 43,909 loans totaling $244 million in 2010.
  • The average loan amount decreased from $9,269 in 2009 to $5,563 in 2010.

* * *

The Office of the Attorney General enforces the Uniform Consumer Credit Code, regulates supervised lenders and retailers selling goods and services on credit and investigates consumer complaints. The annual reports do not include data from lenders that make prime-rate loans; financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and savings and loan associations; creditors that make indirect loans; and mortgage companies that make first mortgage residential and refinance loans, which are exempt from Uniform Consumer Credit Code licensing. The Office of the Attorney General also enforces state laws on credit repair, debt management services and refund anticipation loan facilitators.

These reports and those from prior years can be obtained at Consumers can file a complaint concerning a lender by sending an e-mail to, calling 1-800-222-4444 or by visiting


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