PPO applications for payday loans have soared over the past decade.
They are now up to $34,000 in some cases.
The boom comes as the federal government grapples with the economic fallout from the Great Recession.
PepsiCo and other large companies are scrambling to meet demand from payday lenders.
But they’re also grappling with a growing number of customers whose credit is compromised.
“They’re very, very hard to work with,” said James Tompkins, a partner at law firm Kelli Berz.
“It’s really a difficult problem.”
Pepsico and other major payday lenders have faced a growing threat from criminals and other rogue lenders who steal from consumers.
That threat has forced the companies to offer more stringent protections to protect consumers.
Pepsico says it is actively working with federal authorities to help protect consumers, and that it is cooperating with an investigation by the Department of Justice.
It also says it will continue to provide customer service for customers who need it, but will not sell or rent their own business.
A spokesman for PepsiCo, which owns PepsiCo and PepsiCo+ drinks brands, said in a statement the company will continue providing all customer service and will continue its work to provide credit to its existing and future customers.
“PepsyCo is focused on ensuring that all of its customers are treated with dignity and respect,” the statement said.
Papa John’s has been aggressively courting payday loan applicants.
A spokeswoman for the pizza chain said in an email that the company is offering a $10,000 down payment and a $3,000 loan to applicants.
Papaya Brands Inc., which owns Papa John’s, has been hiring agents to help recruit people to become borrowers.
But the company’s chief financial officer, Mike McCall, said he does not believe it has enough agents.
He said he’s hopeful the company can expand its recruiting efforts to include people who don’t already work in the food and beverage business, and said he hopes to bring in at least 50 agents by the end of the year.
The surge in applications could put the companies at risk for default, and it could make it harder for them to repay loans to consumers who have defaulted on their payments.
“It’s very hard for me to imagine that they would not take advantage of a problem that exists, and I don’t think that the lenders would,” said Dan Eisner, a credit card analyst with the research firm CreditCards.com.
He says many borrowers will be reluctant to pay back their loans if they don’t know how much interest will be charged and what their repayment schedule is.