Since 1960, our members have promoted the interests of consumers in obtaining installment loans. We formed ourselves at the same time as the Alabama Legislature enacted the Alabama Small Loan Act. Our input into that 1959 consumer protection law helped preserve fair and honest small loan lending in our state. Ever since that beginning, we have worked with our legislators and regulators to make certain that financial services loans and products are available to all Alabamians.
We are traditional installment lenders. Our lending is based on three principles: (i) equal installment payments (ii) for customers who have the ability to repay (iii) with a clear pathway out of debt. Installment loans show with clarity precisely when the loan will pay out based upon the payment schedule. We help our customers build their credit record by reporting to credit bureaus. This encourages both responsible borrowing and responsible lending. Our loans are customer driven—no prepayment penalties and understandable repayment terms are the rule. Our loans are transparent, making them the safest loan product for consumers. And, we make loans from local offices with local lenders, offering much more personalized service than a bank. And, in 2016 we changed our name to add “installment” so that there would be no misunderstanding of our mission.
The Alabama Consumer Finance Industry is important business in our State, affecting the many lives of customers and employees alike. There are over 3300 licensed consumer finance company offices in our State. These are the traditional installment loan companies. (This number does not include pawnshops, title pawn lenders, payday lenders, mortgage brokers, banks or others who may be exempt from licensing.) The 3300 licensed locations employ approximately 19,600 Alabamians, with a payroll projected of approximately $588 million.
In the fiscal year ending 2020, the Alabama Banking Department reported that Small Loan Act and Mini-Code licensed offices had 1,036,000 loans outstanding. This vast number of loans means that licensees fulfilled the financing needs for many Alabamians. As of the reporting date, the total outstanding balance on these loans was $4.344 billion. These licensees had combined assets of some $9.080 billion.
The finance industry continues to grow in our State to continue to meet the growing demand of Alabamians for the efficient delivery of consumer credit at a fair price. Consumer credit is the fuel that drives the economy. We are proud of the role that we are playing in making credit available to so many worthy people in Alabama.
The Alabama Installment Lenders Association is composed of large companies and small mom & pops. Each lender is entitled to one vote per Alabama office; but we limit the influence of any one company by limiting the number of votes that any one association member can exercise to three. Our Board of Directors is composed of 20 members, and our nominating committee works diligently to ensure that both Small Loan Act lenders and Mini-Code lenders are well represented. As a result of this structure, the Association will never be dominated by any one company, and will always focus on the needs of the finance industry in Alabama.
We are composed of 90 member companies today, representing over 500 lending offices throughout Alabama. Our 25 Associate Members help keep us strong and viable with their innovative products and services. (Please see our list of Associate Members and links to their websites on the Members tab.) We are so proud of our relationship with these Associate Members, and we could not do our job without their support.
Our Association meets several times each year. Our premier meetings include our annual Legislative Reception in late winter or early spring of each year in Montgomery, coinciding with the start of each Alabama Legislative session; a fall Committee Day focusing on the business of the Association and an industry update; and, our Annual Convention, in June of each summer giving us time together to discuss business and legal developments, map out strategy for the year, and spend quality time socializing and golfing in a beautiful venue. Our 2023 convention will be June 15th to 17th, 2023 at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino in Biloxi, MS. Our 2024 convention will be June 6th to 8th, 2024 at The Lodge in Gulf Shores State Park in Gulf Shores, AL. We also go to other venues such as the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.