fbpx In the Red: Overdrafts, Payday Lending and the Underbanked - Marco Di Maggio and Emily Williams | Harvard Kennedy School

Additional Authors:

  • Marco Di Maggio
  • Emily Williams

Abstract

December 9, 2020, Paper: "The reordering of transactions from “high-to-low” is a controversial bank practice thought to maximize fees paid by low-income customers on overdrawn accounts. We exploit multiple class-action lawsuits resulting in mandatory changes to this practice, coupled with payday lending data, to show that after banks cease high-to-low reordering, low-income individuals reduce borrowing from alternative lenders. These consumers increase consumption, experience long-term improvements in overall financial health, and gain access to lower-cost loans in the traditional system. These findings highlight that aggressive bank practices create a demand for alternative financial services, highlighting an important link between the traditional and alternative financial systems."

Non-HKS Harvard Author Website - Marco Di Maggio and Emily Williams