I was interested to stumble across this fascinating article by Christopher Lewis Peterson and Steven Graves. Entitled Usury Law and the Christian Right: Faith Based Political Power and the Geography of the American Payday Loan Regulation, it centers aroung the striking finding that payday loan outlets are most often found in the same places where relative conservative Christians live. Here is part of the abstract:
This Article presents empirical research based on the largest, most comprehensive database of payday loan locations yet created. Payday lender locations are compared to an index measuring the political power of conservative Christian Americans in all fifty states. We conclude that there is a strong correlation between the density of payday lending industry and the political power of conservative Christians, suggesting that conservative Christians have become a prime demographic target of payday lenders. These findings are further discussed in light of Biblical injunctions against usury.