Google Said It Would Ban All Payday Loan Ads. It Didn’t.

In May Google announced it would ban all payday loan advertisements through its AdWords service. But months after the policy was implemented, brokers have easily sidestepped the company’s rules, leaving consumers still vulnerable to high-cost debt traps that can ruin their financial lives. These brokers are not payday lenders but what are known as 'lead generators.' They take consumers’ personal information, run a credit history, and then sell the file to payday lenders, based on what kind of loan they can afford. Although Google said they want to protect users from deceptive or harmful financial products, several advertisements are still displayed at the top of a search, from companies like, WeLend2U and QuickLoanTree.