A recent newspaper investigation in Virginia reveals that payday loan operations are eschewing poor neighborhoods and setting up in suburban areas.
"An analysis by The Virginian-Pilot [newspaper] reveals the [new] face of payday lending: Lenders are targeting middle-income neighborhoods, usually near shopping malls, and avoiding poor areas.
It's why neighborhoods with lower median incomes - such as Norfolk's Berkley and Portsmouth's Brighton/Prentis Park - have no payday lenders, while Portsmouth's solidly suburban subdivisions along Portsmouth Boulevard near Chesapeake Square Mall have a cluster of them.
Payday lenders have even opened shop in upscale areas such as Chesapeake's Edinburgh Commons, which is near million-dollar homes. Advance America is one of 12 payday lending outlets within a half-mile of The Gallery at Military Circle. According to the 2000 census, neighborhoods in that area reported median incomes of $30,000 or more, placing them solidly within Norfolk's middle and working classes."