Payday lenders provide access to credit for millions of credit-challenged Americans. Yet because payday loans are viewed as a predatory debt trap many states have passed legislation that effectively prohibits their use, and other states are quickly following their lead. The restriction of credit in an economically stressed environment punishes those who are less able to weather the turmoil. This thesis examines the seminal articles, studies, and reports on the development of payday lending and analyses current trends from the consumer's perspective, and used a survey to determine the consumers' attitudes toward payday loans and to understand what alternatives sources of credit they might use if payday lending were no longer available. This thesis concludes that Colorado payday borrowers are becoming more responsible despite the pitfalls of payday lending, and that current legislation is effective at protecting the consumer. Furthermore, Colorado consumers like payday lending because it fills their need for small loan credit and they believe it is their best option available.