Since his hire in 1998, Darrin Andersen has worked his way up from CFO to President to CEO at QC Holdings, a company that helped “pioneer” payday lending.
During this time, Andersen has been an ardent critic of efforts that seek to protect struggling Americans from payday lenders. Recently, he argued that banning payday loans would be comparable to banning books because they both cost consumers money. Seriously. This coming from a guy who serves as Chair of the Communications Committee of the Consumer Financial Services Association of America – the payday industry’s special interest lobbying group.
Proving he’s not shy about his views, Andersen took to the pages of one of the most widely circulated newspaper in the land to make clear that his company isn’t lending to the brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces because they are barred from charging more than a 36% interest rate. In the payday lending industry it is not uncommon to charge 400% or more.
Andersen has also forcefully argued against further regulation of his industry, claiming that payday borrowers know what they are getting themselves into. Some of his customers may beg to differ. A few years ago, Andersen’s company settled a state Attorney General lawsuit alleging consumer fraud and a class action lawsuit alleging violations of state laws prohibiting the number of times a borrower can renew payday loans and the fees the lender can charge. Perhaps his company knew what it was getting itself into as well?
Through it all, Andersen has done quite well for himself. In the past three years alone, Andersen has earned $3 million in compensation. Yes, he’s living the good life at his more than 4,100 square foot lakefront home outside of Kansas City.
Andersen isn’t the only one benefiting from the payday loans his company slings. Over the past several years, Andersen has contributed $125,000 to the campaigns of Members of Congress and payday lending industry special interest PACs that, in turn, contribute heavily to the campaigns of Members of Congress and other elected officials.
Andersen Has Risen Through the Ranks at QC Holdings, Now Serving as President and CEO of the Company
- Darrin Andersen Has Been the CEO of QC Holdings since August 2012 and the President since May 2004. Darrin J. Andersen has been the President of QC Holdings Inc. since May 2004 and has been its Chief Executive Officer since August 1, 2012. Andersen served as Chief Operating Officer of QC Holdings Inc. since May 2004. [BusinessWeek Profile]
- From February 1998 to April 2004 Darrin Andersen Served as CFO of QC Holdings. “He served as QC Holdings Inc.’s Chief Financial Officer from February 1998 until April 2004.” [BusinessWeek Profile]
A Company He Claims Helped to “Pioneer” the Payday Loan…
- QC Holdings “Helped to Pioneer the Payday Loan Product More than 20 Years Ago.” “With 500 locations in 23 states, QC Holdings is one of the nation’s largest providers of payday loans. We have been in business for more than 25 years, and we helped to pioneer the payday loan product more than 20 years ago.” [Community Financial Services Association, Prepared Remarks of Darrin Andersen, 5/24/11]
He’s Also a Leader in the Payday Lending Industry
- Darrin Anderson Is on the Board of Directors of the Consumer Financial Services Association of America and serves as the Chair of the Nominating Committee and Communications Committee. [Community Financial Services Association of America, 11/3/14]
He has been a Harsh Critic of Efforts to Regulate the Industry…
- If The Problem With Payday Loans Is That They Cost Consumers Money, Then We Should Ban Books Because They Cost Consumers Money Too. “Betty Lin-Fisher’s Dec. 17 “Taking Action” column on payday loans (“Consumers caught in spiral of payday loans”) lacked any perspective on costs to consumers. It noted that consumers annually pay $4.2 billion in payday lending fees but forgot to mention that they receive $40 billion in credit for those fees. According to the Center for Responsible Lending, payday loans should be banned because they cost consumers money. Consumers also spend $42 billion a year on books, even though they’re available free at the library. So why not ban the sale of books?” [Darrin Andersen Letter To The Editor, Akron Beacon Journal, 12/31/06]
- A Cap On APR Of 45% Is Effectively A Ban On Payday Loans. “Yes, the payday-lenders admit, some borrowers can’t make their payments. But, they argue, that doesn’t mean payday-loans should be capped at 45 percent […] Andersen’s argument, published in the Rocky Mountain News and distributed to media statewide, is that a bill applying a reasonable cap on interest rates would “ban” or “eliminate” payday lending in Colorado. He also argues that payday borrowers are discerning adults who know what they’re getting into. Andersen would be more persuasive if he didn’t pair a falsehood with a non sequitur.” [Daily Camera (Boulder), 2/26/08, Editorial]
- A 36% Rate Cap “Is, In Effect, A Ban” On Payday Lending. “Let’s be clear: Placing a 36% annual rate cap on a two-week loan is, in effect, a ban.” [Darrin Andersen Op-ed, USA Today, 2/22/08]
… And, Made Clear that his Company Isn’t Lending to Men and Women in the Military because a 36% Interest Rate Simply Isn’t High Enough
- “We Turn Away” Soldiers Because Of The 36% Rate Cap. “Did the 36% rate cap on military loans help people in the military by denying them access to loans that are cheaper than other alternatives? Ask the soldiers we turn away, who then go and bounce checks and pay late bill payment fees.” [Darrin Andersen Op-ed, USA Today, 2/22/08]
QC Holdings has Settled Lawsuits Alleging Fraud and Violations of Other Laws
- QC Holdings’ Quik Cash Settled Arizona Attorney General Lawsuit Alleging Fraud For $170,000 In Restitution to Consumers. “Quik Cash one of the nation’s largest payday lenders with 550 locations across the country, has agreed to pay up to $170,000 in restitution to consumers who were victims of consumer fraud. Under a settlement agreement, Quik Cash will pay restitution to consumers who had judgment for loans entered against them in the Pima County Justice Court even though they signed up for the loans outside of the county and didn’t live there, Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne said in a statement. After obtaining the judgments, consumers were subject to collection efforts, including garnishment of wages, Horne said. Quik Cash’s actions allegedly deprived consumers of their right to appear in court or to contest judgments and garnishments and in some cases, allowed Quik Cash to collect on debts consumers had already paid, he said.” [Daily Finance, 3/10/11]
- QC Holdings Settled Class Action Lawsuit Alleging That It Violated Missouri Laws By Renewing Payday Loans Too Many Times And By Charging Exorbitant Rates. “QC also said it recently reached a tentative settlement of a class-action lawsuit alleging that it violated Missouri laws by renewing payday loans too many times and by charging exorbitant rates.” [Kansas City Business Journal, 8/4/11]
- The Settlement Was Approved And Class Participants Were Issued Checks. “In August 2011, the Company and plaintiff reached a tentative agreement to settle this purported class action arbitration for approximately $1.9 million. In second quarter 2011, the Company recorded a $2.0 million liability in accrued expenses and other liabilities in connection with this tentative settlement and anticipated additional legal expenses to effect the settlement. In January 2012, the arbitration panel approved the parties’ settlement. In March 2012, the class administrator issued settlement checks to class participants, and in April 2012, the Company adjusted debt for qualifying class participants. It is expected that the settlement will be completed by June 30, 2012.” [QC Holdings, 10Q, 3/31/12]
…Meanwhile, Andersen has been Rewarded Handsomely for his Work, Receiving Compensation (Salary, Bonus, Stock Awards, Non-Equity Incentives) from QC Holdings in Excess of $3,000,000 Over the Past Three years [QC Holdings DEF 14A, 4/30/14]
- 2011: $1,494,659
- 2012: $958,574
- 2013: $594,807
And, has a Lush 4,178 Square Foot Lakefront Home to Show for It
- Darrin Andersen Owns A Lakefront 4,178 Square Foot Lakefront Home In Stilwell, Kansas Valued At $650,000. [Homesnap.com, 10/11/14]
During the past four election cycles, Andersen has contributed $125,000 to the campaigns of Members of Congress and payday lending special interest PACs. [OpenSecrets.org, 10/8/14]
- 3/28/2007 – $5000 – Community Financial Services Association Of America PAC
- 9/28/2007 – $2000 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- 12/10/2007 – $2300 – Moore For Congress
- 12/10/2007 – $2300 – Moore For Congress
- 12/28/2007 – $2300 – McCaskill For Missouri
- 12/31/2007 – $5100 – QC Holdings, Inc. PAC
- 1/31/2008 – $5000 – Community Financial Services Association Of America PAC
- 3/17/2008 – $2300 – Tim Johnson For South Dakota, Inc.
- 3/17/2008 – $2300 – Tim Johnson For South Dakota, Inc.
- 3/31/2008 – $5000 – QC Holdings, Inc. PAC
- 6/20/2008 – $300 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- 6/20/2008 – $1000 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- 9/3/2008 – $2300 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- 10/24/2008 – $2000 – Pat Roberts For U S Senate, Inc.
- 10/31/2008 – $2000 – Kay For Congress
- 2/21/2009 – $5000 – QC Holdings, Inc. PAC
- 2/25/2009 – $5000 – Community Financial Services Association Of America PAC
- 3/8/2009 – $2000 – Friends For Harry Reid
- 6/30/2009 – $2400 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- 9/30/2009 – $2400 – Kansans For Tiahrt
- 12/24/2009 – $2400 – Yoder For Congress
- 1/11/2010 – $5000 – Community Financial Services Association Of America PAC
- 1/19/2010 – $5000 – QC Holdings, Inc. PAC
- 3/31/2010 – $2400 – Yoder For Congress
- 10/15/2010 – $2400 – Barney Frank For Congress Committee
- 2/14/2011 – $5000 – QC Holdings, Inc. PAC
- 3/2/2011 – $5000 – Community Financial Services Association Of America PAC
- 3/28/2011 – $2300 – Yoder For Congress, Inc.
- 3/31/2011 – $2400 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- 2/17/2012 – $5000 – Community Financial Services Association Of America PAC
- 2/17/2012 – $5000 – QC Holdings, Inc. PAC
- 3/29/2012 – $2500 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- 9/29/2012 – $2500 – Yoder For Congress, Inc.
- 12/31/2012 – $2500 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- 2/24/2013 – $5000 – QC Holdings, Inc. PAC
- 3/13/2013 – $5000 – Community Financial Services Association Of America PAC
- 9/17/2013 – $2400 – Yoder For Congress, Inc.
- 9/17/2013 – $2600 – Yoder For Congress, Inc.
- 9/30/2013 – $2600 – Lynn Jenkins For Congress
- Total – $125,000