As we previously explained, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (“CFPB”) recently finalized Advisory Opinion Policy allows any person or entity to request an advisory opinion from the agency. When the CFPB finalized that Policy on November 30, 2020, it concurrently issued its first two advisory opinions: one addressing earned wage access (“EWA”) programs, and one concerning private education loan products. This article specifically comments on the important EWA advisory opinion.
EWA programs generally allow employees to access wages they have already worked for and accrued, but have not yet been paid. In its EWA advisory opinion, the CFPB stated that EWA programs incorporating several specific features do “not involve the offering or extension of ‘credit,’” and thus, do not fall under the purview of Regulation Z, which implements the Truth In Lending Act (“TILA”).