Consumer Lending Industry Profile

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Excerpt from Consumer Lending Industry Profile

Companies in this industry make unsecured cash loans to consumers. Major companies include US-based DFC Global, EZCORP, FirstCash, OneMain Financial, and Sallie Mae, along with Orient Corporation (Japan), and Provident Financial and Tesco Bank (both based in the UK).

Global household debt exceeded $50 trillion in 2020, hitting a new record high of over $280 trillion of total global debt due to pandemic-driven factors, according to the Institute for International Finance's Global Debt Monitor. In the US, total consumer debt (personal debt owed by an individual to another entity) approached $4.2 trillion in March 2021, according to the Federal Reserve. Consumer lending companies generally do business locally or within their country of origin, but globalization and greater access to the internet are spurring companies to pursue international growth.

The US consumer lending industry consists of more than 14,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $37 billion.


Demand is driven by consumer income and demographics. The profitability of individual companies depends on the correct assessment of repayment likelihood and effective collections activities. Large companies enjoy economies of scale in securing access to capital. Small companies can compete effectively by choosing favorable locations or targeting niche markets. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 85% of revenue.

The federal financial reform law passed in 2010 created a tougher business environment ...

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