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UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
 
__________________________________
Form 10-K
__________________________________
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
      
For the fiscal year ended: March 31, 2024

OR
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
   
For the transition period from _______________ to _____________

Commission file number: 000-19599
WORLD ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
South Carolina 57-0425114
(State or other jurisdiction of incorporation or organization) (I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)
   
104 S. Main St.  
GreenvilleSouth Carolina   29601
(Address of principal executive offices)  (Zip Code) 
 
(864)298-9800  
(Registrant's telephone number, including area code) 
 
SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(b) OF THE ACT:
 
Title of Each Class  Trading Symbol(s) Name of Each Exchange on Which Registered
Common Stock, no par valueWRLD The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC
  (NASDAQ Global Select Market)

SECURITIES REGISTERED PURSUANT TO SECTION 12(g) OF THE ACT: NONE
 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act. Yes o
 No x

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.   Yes o No x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days. Yes x  No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).  Yes x  No o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
 
Large accelerated filerAccelerated filer 
  
Non-accelerated filer Smaller reporting company
Emerging growth company

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report.

If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. o

Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to § 240.10D-1(b). o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).  
Yes   No x

The aggregate market value of voting stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of September 30, 2023, computed by reference to the closing sale price on such date, was $508,522,709. (For purposes of calculating this amount only, all directors and executive officers are treated as affiliates. This determination of affiliate status is not necessarily a conclusive determination for other purposes.) As of May 17, 2024, 5,844,898 shares of the registrant’s Common Stock, no par value, were outstanding.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Portions of the Registrant's definitive Proxy Statement pertaining to the 2024 Annual Meeting of Shareholders (“the Proxy Statement”) to be filed pursuant to Regulation 14A are incorporated herein by reference into Part III hereof.




WORLD ACCEPTANCE CORPORATION
FORM 10-K

TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
Item No.ContentsPage
GLOSSARY OF DEFINED TERMS
PART I 
1.Business
1A.Risk Factors
1B.Unresolved Staff Comments
1C.
Cybersecurity
2.Properties
3.Legal Proceedings
4.Mine Safety Disclosures
PART II 
5.Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
6.[Reserved]
7.Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
7A.Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
8.Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
9.Changes in and Disagreements With Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
9A.Controls and Procedures
9B.Other Information
9C.Disclosure Regarding Foreign Jurisdictions that Prevent Inspections
PART III 
10.Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
11.Executive Compensation
12.Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
13.Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
14.Principal Accountant Fees and Services
PART IV 
15.Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules
16.Form 10-K Summary
EXHIBIT INDEX
SIGNATURES




GLOSSARY OF DEFINED TERMS

The following terms may be used throughout this report, including Consolidated Financial Statements and related notes.
TermDefinition
2008 Plan
World Acceptance Corporation 2008 Stock Option Plan
2011 Plan
World Acceptance Corporation 2011 Stock Option Plan
2017 Plan
World Acceptance Corporation 2017 Stock Incentive Plan
ASCAccounting Standards Codification
ASUAccounting Standards Update
CECLCurrent Expected Credit Loss
CEOChief Executive Officer
CFOChief Financial Officer
CFPBU.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Compensation CommitteeCompensation and Stock Option Committee of World Acceptance Corporation
Customer Tenure
The number of months since a customer was first serviced by the Company
EDGARElectronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval
ERISAEmployee Retirement Income Security Act
Exchange ActSecurities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
FASBFinancial Accounting Standards Board
FCPAU.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended
FICO
The Fair Isaac Corporation
GAAPU.S. generally accepted accounting principles
HTCHistoric Tax Credit
IRS
U.S. Internal Revenue Service
NB
New Borrower
Notes
$300 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.0% senior unsecured notes due 2026 issued on September 27, 2021
Option Measurement PeriodThe 6.5 year performance period beginning on September 30, 2018 and ending on March 31, 2025 over which the Performance Options are eligible to vest, following certification by the Compensation Committee of achievement of defined performance measures
PCDPurchased Assets with Credit Deterioration
Performance OptionsPerformance-based stock options
Performance Share Measurement PeriodThe 6.5 year performance period beginning on September 30, 2018 and ending on March 31, 2025 over which the Performance Shares are eligible to vest, following certification by the Compensation Committee of achievement of defined performance measures
Performance SharesService- and performance-based restricted stock awards
Restricted StockService-based restricted stock awards
Rehab RatePercentage of 91 days or more delinquent that do not charge off
ROURight-of-use
Sarbanes-Oxley ActSarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
SECU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
SERPSupplemental Executive Retirement Plans
Service OptionsService-based stock options
SOFRSecured Overnight Finance Rate
TALTax Advance Loan
Transition TaxTax amount associated with a one-time repatriation tax on deferred foreign income
UCCUniform Commercial Code

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Introduction
 
World Acceptance Corporation, a South Carolina corporation, operates a small-loan consumer finance (installment loan) business in sixteen states as of March 31, 2024. As used herein, the "Company,” “we,” “our,” “us,” or similar formulations include World Acceptance Corporation and each of its subsidiaries, except as the context otherwise requires. All references in this report to “fiscal 2025” are to the Company’s fiscal year ending March 31, 2025; all references in this report to "fiscal 2024" are to the Company's fiscal year ended March 31, 2024; all references to “fiscal 2023” are to the Company’s fiscal year ended March 31, 2023; all references to “fiscal 2022” are to the Company’s fiscal year ended March 31, 2022; all references to "fiscal 2019" are to the Company's fiscal year ended March 31, 2019; all references to "fiscal 2018" are to the Company's fiscal year ended March 31, 2018 and all references to "fiscal 2015" are to the Company's fiscal year ended March 31, 2015.

PART I.

Item 1. Description of Business

General. The Company, which has continuously operated since July 1962, is now one of the nation's largest small-loan consumer finance companies, offering short-term small installment loans, medium-term larger installment loans, related credit insurance and ancillary products and services to individuals. The Company offers traditional installment loans generally between $350 and $6,000, with the average loan origination being $2,118 in fiscal 2024. The Company operates 1,048 branches in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin as of March 31, 2024. The Company generally serves individuals with limited access to other sources of consumer credit such as banks, credit unions, other consumer finance businesses and credit card lenders. The Company also offers income tax return preparation services to its loan customers and other individuals.

The traditional installment loan industry is a highly fragmented segment of the consumer lending industry. Installment loan finance companies generally make loans to individuals of less than $2,000 with maturities of less than 18 months. These companies approve loans on the basis of the personal creditworthiness of their customers and maintain close contact with borrowers to encourage the repayment or, when appropriate to meet the borrower’s needs, the refinancing of loans. By contrast, commercial banks, credit unions and some other consumer finance businesses typically make loans of more than $5,000 with maturities of greater than one year. Those financial institutions generally approve consumer loans on the security of qualifying personal property pledged as collateral or impose more stringent credit requirements than those of small-loan consumer finance companies. As a result of their higher credit standards and specific collateral requirements, commercial banks, credit unions and other consumer finance businesses typically charge lower interest rates and fees and experience lower delinquency and charge-off rates than do small-loan consumer finance companies. Traditional installment loan companies generally charge higher interest rates and fees to compensate for the greater risk of delinquencies and charge-offs and increased loan administration and collection costs.

The majority of the participants in the industry are independent operators with generally less than 100 branches. We believe that competition between small-loan consumer finance companies occurs primarily on the basis of the strength of customer relationships, customer service and reputation in the local community. We believe that our relatively large size affords us a competitive advantage over smaller companies by increasing our access to, and reducing our cost of, capital.
Small-loan consumer finance companies are subject to extensive regulation, supervision, and licensing under various federal and state laws and regulations, as well as local ordinances. Consumer loan offices are licensed under state laws which, in many states, establish maximum loan amounts, interest rates, permissible fees and charges and other aspects of the operation of small-loan consumer finance companies. Furthermore, the industry is subject to numerous federal laws and regulations that affect lending operations. These federal laws require companies to provide complete disclosure of the terms of each loan to the borrower in accordance with specified standards prior to the consummation of the loan transaction. Federal laws also prohibit misleading advertising, protect against discriminatory lending practices and prohibit unfair, deceptive, and abusive credit practices.

Branch Expansion and Consolidation. As of March 31, 2024, the Company had 1,048 branches in 16 states, with over 100 branches located in Texas and Georgia. During fiscal 2024, the Company opened 3 new branches and merged 28 branches into other existing branches due to their inability to generate sufficient returns or for efficiency reasons. In fiscal 2025, the Company may open or acquire new branches in its existing market areas or commence operations in new states where it believes demographic profiles and state regulations are attractive. The Company may merge other branches on a case-by-case basis based on profitability or other factors. The Company's ability to continue existing operations and expand its operations in existing or new states is dependent upon, among other things, laws and regulations that permit the Company to operate its
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business profitably and its ability to obtain necessary regulatory approvals and licenses. There can be no assurance that such laws and regulations will not change in ways that adversely affect the Company or that the Company will be able to obtain any such approvals or consents. See Part 1, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” for a further discussion of risks to our business and plans for expansion.

The Company's expansion is also dependent upon its ability to identify attractive locations for new branches and to hire suitable personnel to staff, manage, and supervise new branches. In evaluating a particular community, the Company examines several factors, including the demographic profile of the community, the existence of an established small-loan consumer finance market and the availability of suitable personnel.

Product Offerings

Installment Loans. We primarily offer pre-computed and interest bearing consumer installment loans with interest and fee income from such loans accounting for 81.7%, 82.4%, and 83.0% of our total revenues in fiscal years 2024, 2023, and 2022, respectively. Our loans are payable in fully-amortizing monthly installments with terms generally from 6 to 14 months and are prepayable at any time without penalty. 
 
The following table sets forth information about our loan products for fiscal 2024:
Minimum
    Origination (1)
Maximum
    Origination (1)
Minimum Term
(Months)
Maximum Term
(Months)
Small loans$250 $2,450 530
Large loans$2,500 $32,400 960
_______________________________________________________
(1) Gross loan net of finance charges.

Specific allowable interest, fees, and other charges vary by state. The finance charge is a combination of origination or acquisition fees, account maintenance fees, monthly account handling fees, interest and other charges permitted by the relevant state laws. As of March 31, 2024, annual percentage rates applicable to our gross loans receivable as defined by the Truth in Lending Act were as follows:
AmountPercentage of total
gross loans
receivable
0 to 36%$595,445,625 46.5 %
Greater than 36%681,703,631 53.5 %
 $1,277,149,256 100.0 %

The average annual percentage rate of our portfolio was 47.5% as of March 31, 2024.

Insurance Related Operations. The Company, as an agent for an unaffiliated insurance company, markets and sells credit life, credit accident and health, credit property and auto, unemployment, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance in connection with its loans in selected states where the sale of such insurance is permitted by law. Credit life insurance provides for the payment in full of the borrower's credit obligation to the lender in the event of death. The Company offers credit insurance for all loans originated in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina, and on a more limited basis in Alabama, Idaho, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. Customers in those states typically obtain such credit insurance through the Company. Charges for such credit insurance are made at filed, authorized rates and are stated separately in the Company's disclosure to customers, as required by the Truth in Lending Act and by various applicable state laws. In the sale of insurance policies, the Company, as an agent, writes policies only within limitations established by its agency contracts with the insurer. The Company does not sell credit insurance to non-borrowers. These insurance policies provide for the payment of the outstanding balance of the Company's loan upon the occurrence of an insured event. The Company earns a commission on the sale of such credit insurance, which, for most products, is directly impacted by the claims experience of the insurance company on policies sold on its behalf by the Company. In states where commissions on certain products are capped, the commission earned is not directly impacted by the claims experience.

The Company has a wholly-owned, captive insurance subsidiary that reinsures a portion of the credit insurance sold in connection with loans made by the Company. Certain coverages currently sold by the Company on behalf of the unaffiliated insurance carrier are ceded by the carrier to the captive insurance subsidiary, providing the Company with an additional source of income derived from the earned reinsurance premiums. In fiscal 2024, the captive insurance subsidiary reinsured
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approximately 12.6% of the credit insurance sold by the Company and contributed approximately $2.9 million to the Company's total revenue.

The table below shows the types of insurance and ancillary products the Company sells by state as of March 31, 2024:
 Credit LifeCredit Accident
and Health
Credit Property and AutoUnemploymentAccidental Death & DismembermentNon-fileAutomobile Club
Membership
Alabama (1)
XXXXX
GeorgiaXXX XXX
Idaho (1)
XXXXX
Illinois     
IndianaXXXXXX
KentuckyXXXXXX
LouisianaXXX XXX
MississippiXXXX
Missouri (1)
XX XX
New Mexico
Oklahoma (1)
XXXXX
South CarolinaXXXXX X
Tennessee (1)
XXXXX
Texas (1)
XXXXX
Utah (1)
XXXXXX
Wisconsin    X
_______________________________________________________
(1) Credit insurance is offered for certain loans.

Non-Filing Insurance. Non-filing insurance premiums are charged to customers where allowed by state law in lieu of recording and perfecting the Company's security interest in the assets pledged. In the event of default, rather than exercising rights in a lien as a lender might otherwise do, the insured can file a claim with the insurer for reimbursement. Non-filing insurance premiums are equal in aggregate amount to the premiums paid by the Company and are passed through to a third-party insurance company. Certain losses related to such loans, which are not recoverable through life, accident and health, property, or unemployment insurance claims, are reimbursed through non-filing insurance claims subject to policy limitations. The Company does not profit from the purchase of non-file other than through an offset to its charge-offs.

Automobile Club Memberships. The Company also offers automobile club memberships to its borrowers in Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin, as an agent for an unaffiliated automobile club. Club memberships entitle members to automobile breakdown coverage, towing reimbursement and related services. The Company is paid a commission on each membership sold, but has no responsibility for administering the club, paying benefits or providing services to club members. The Company primarily sells automobile club memberships to borrowers.

Tax Preparation Services and Advances. The Company also offers income tax return preparation and electronic filing services. This program is provided in all but a few of the Company’s branches. The Company prepared approximately 83,000, 75,000 and 80,000 returns in fiscal years 2024, 2023, and 2022, respectively. Net revenue generated by the Company from this program during fiscal 2024, 2023, and 2022 amounted to approximately $29.5 million, $24.0 million, and $24.5 million, respectively. In addition, our tax customers are eligible to receive an interest and fee-free tax advance loan which is generally a percentage of the anticipated tax refund amount. The Company believes that this is a beneficial service for its existing customer base as well as non-loan customers, and it plans to continue to promote this program.

The following table sets forth information about our tax advance loan product for fiscal 2024:
Minimum OriginationMaximum OriginationMinimum Term
(Months)
Maximum Term
(Months)
Tax advance loans$500 $7,000 835

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Loan Receivables. The following table sets forth the composition of the Company's gross loans receivable by state at March 31 of each year from 2015 through 2024:
 At March 31,
State2024202320222021202020192018201720162015
Alabama6 %%%%%%%%%%
Georgia12 13 13 13 13 13 14 15 13 13 
Idaho (1)
1 — — — — 
Illinois10 10 10 
Indiana3 
Kentucky6 10 10 10 
Louisiana4 
Mississippi
2 — — 
Missouri7 
New Mexico5 
Oklahoma6 
South Carolina7 10 10 10 11 10 11 
Tennessee9 10 11 11 12 13 13 13 13 
Texas20 20 20 19 19 21 19 18 19 19 
Utah (2)
1 — — — — — 
Wisconsin1 
Total100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %100 %
_______________________________________________________
(1) The Company commenced operations in Idaho in October 2014.
(2) The Company commenced operations in Utah in October 2018.


The following table sets forth the total number of loans, the average gross loan balance, and the gross loan balance by state at March 31, 2024: 
 Total Number
of Loans
Average Gross Loan BalanceGross Loan Balance (thousands)
Alabama44,958 $1,637 $73,610 
Georgia84,411 1,826 154,146 
Idaho6,175 1,654 10,216 
Illinois44,301 2,974 131,744 
Indiana19,923 1,609 32,050 
Kentucky42,450 1,913 81,197 
Louisiana30,702 1,743 53,528 
Mississippi20,795 1,336 27,773 
Missouri31,562 2,885 91,051 
New Mexico28,933 1,998 57,802 
Oklahoma37,939 1,944 73,746 
South Carolina49,158 2,076 102,049 
Tennessee55,143 2,002 110,416 
Texas162,542 1,586 257,838 
Utah4,073 1,819 7,409 
Wisconsin7,095 1,772 12,574 
Total670,160 $1,906 $1,277,149 

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Seasonality. The Company's highest loan demand generally occurs from October to December, its third fiscal quarter. Loan demand is generally lowest and loan repayment highest from January to March, its fourth fiscal quarter. Consequently, the Company experiences significant seasonal fluctuations in its operating results and cash needs. Operating results for the Company's third fiscal quarter are generally lower than in other quarters, and operating results for its fourth fiscal quarter are generally higher than in other quarters.

Operations

Lending Operations. The Company seeks to provide short-term consumer installment loans to the segment of the population that has limited access to other sources of credit. In evaluating the creditworthiness of potential customers, the Company primarily examines the individual's discretionary income, length of current employment and/or sources of income, duration of residence, and prior credit experience. Loans are made to individuals on the basis of their discretionary income and other factors and are limited to amounts we believe that customers can reasonably be expected to repay from that income given our assessment of their stability and ability and willingness to pay. The Company also generates a proprietary credit score in assisting loan decisions to potential new customers that evaluates key attributes such as payment history, outstanding debt, length of credit history, number of credit inquiries as well as credit mix. All loan applicants are required to complete standardized credit applications online, in person, or by telephone. Each of the Company's local branches are equipped to perform rapid background, employment, and credit bureau checks and approve loan applications promptly. The Company's employees verify the applicant's sources of income and credit history. Substantially all new customers are required to submit a listing of personal property that will serve as collateral to secure the loan, but the Company does not rely on the value of such collateral in the loan approval process and generally does not perfect its security interest in that collateral. Accordingly, if the customer were to default in the repayment of the loan, the Company may not be able to recover the outstanding loan balance by resorting to the sale of collateral. 

New Loans to Current and Former Customers. The Company believes that development and continual reinforcement of personal relationships with customers improves the Company's ability to monitor their creditworthiness, reduce credit risk, and generate customer loyalty. It is not unusual for the Company to have made a number of loans to the same customer over the course of several years, many of which were refinanced with a new loan after the borrower had reduced the existing loan's outstanding balance by making multiple payments. In determining whether to refinance existing loans, the Company typically requires loans to be current on a recency basis, and repeat customers are generally required to complete a new credit application if they have not completed one within the prior year.

A refinancing represents a new loan transaction with a present customer in which a portion of the new loan proceeds is used to repay the balance of an existing loan and the remaining portion is advanced to the customer. In many cases the existing customer’s past performance and established creditworthiness with the Company qualifies that customer for a larger loan. For fiscal 2024, 2023, and 2022, the percentages of the Company's loan originations that were refinancings of existing loans were 67.3%, 71.4%, and 63.9%, respectively.

The Company allows refinancing of delinquent loans on a case-by-case basis for those customers who otherwise satisfy the Company's credit standards. Each such refinancing is carefully examined before approval in an effort to avoid increasing credit risk. A delinquent loan generally may be refinanced only if the customer has made payments that, together with any credits of insurance premiums or other charges to which the customer is entitled in connection with the refinancing, reduce the balance due on the loan to an amount equal to or less than the original cash advance made in connection with the loan. The Company does not allow the amount of the new loan to exceed the original amount of the delinquent loan. The Company believes that refinancing delinquent loans for certain customers who have made periodic payments allows the Company to increase its average loans outstanding and its interest, fees and other income without experiencing a significant increase in loan losses. These refinancings also provide a resolution to temporary financial setbacks for these borrowers and sustain their credit rating. Refinancings of delinquent loans represented 1.3%, 1.4%, and 1.1% of the Company’s loan volume in fiscal 2024, 2023, and 2022, respectively.

Approximately 18.8%, 16.9%, and 15.0% of the Company's loans were generated through the origination of new loans to previous customers in fiscal 2024, 2023, and 2022, respectively.

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Collection Operations. To reduce late payment risk, local branch staff encourage customers to inform the Company in advance of expected payment problems. Delinquent customers are promptly contacted following any payment due date through phone calls, letters, emails, or texts until payment is received or some other resolution is reached. The Company also has a centralized collections team that primarily focuses on customers who have become more than 90 days past due on a recency basis. In Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin, the Company is permitted under state laws to garnish customers' wages, within certain circumstances, for repayment of loans, but the Company does not otherwise generally resort to litigation for collection purposes and rarely attempts to foreclose on collateral.

Monitoring and Supervision. Several levels of management monitor and supervise the operations of each of the Company's branches. Senior management has access to daily delinquency, loan volume, charge-off, and other statistical data on a consolidated, state and branch level. District managers evaluate branch performance in their geographic area, communicate regularly with branch managers regarding operations and submit standardized reports detailing their efforts and findings to the Company's senior management. Regional vice presidents monitor the performance of all branches within their states and communicate regularly with district managers. The Company takes a risk-based approach to determine internal audit frequency. Each branch undergoes periodic audits which include an examination of cash balances and compliance with Company loan approval, review and collection procedures, and compliance with federal and state laws and regulations.

Staff and Training. Local branches are staffed with a minimum of two employees. The branch manager supervises and administers operations of the branch and is responsible for approving all borrower loan applications and requests for increases in the amount of credit extended. Each branch generally has one or two financial service representatives who take loan applications, process loan applications, apply payments, and assist in the preparation of operational reports, collection efforts, and marketing activities. Larger branches may employ additional financial service representatives.

New employees are required to review detailed training materials that explain the Company's operating policies and procedures. The Company tests each employee on the training materials during the first year of employment. In addition, each branch associate completes an online training session and attends periodic training sessions outside the branch. The Company utilizes an enhanced training tool, which provides continuous, real-time, online training to all locations. This allows for more training opportunities to be available to all employees throughout the course of their career with the Company.

Advertising. The Company actively advertises through direct mail, digital platforms, email and SMS/text, targeting both its present and former customers and potential customers who have used other sources of consumer credit. In addition to the general promotion of its loans for last-minute needs, back-to-school needs and other uses, the Company advertises extensively during the October through December holiday season and in connection with new branch openings. The Company believes its advertising contributes to its ability to compete effectively with other providers of small-loan consumer credit. Advertising expenses as a percent of revenue were approximately 1.7%, 1.0%, and 3.1% in fiscal 2024, 2023, and 2022, respectively.

Competition. The small-loan consumer finance industry is highly fragmented, with numerous competitors. The majority of the Company's competitors are independent operators with generally less than 100 branches. Competition from community banks and credit unions is limited because they typically do not make loans of less than $5,000. We believe that online lending could be affecting the consumer lending market within which we operate. While it currently appears online lenders are marketing to a different customer segment than that of our primary customers, some of our customers may overlap.

The Company believes that competition between small-loan consumer finance companies occurs primarily on the basis of the strength of customer relationships, customer service, and reputation in the local community. The Company believes that its relatively larger size affords it a competitive advantage over smaller companies by increasing its access to, and reducing its cost of, capital.  

Several of the states in which the Company currently operates limit the size of loans made by small-loan consumer finance companies and prohibit the extension of more than one loan to a customer by any one company. As a result, many customers borrow from more than one finance company, which enables the Company, subject to the limitations of various consumer protection and privacy statutes, including, but not limited to, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, to obtain information on the credit history of specific customers from other consumer finance companies.

Human Capital Resources

Our Mission. At World Acceptance Corporation, our employees (who we call our “Team Members”) create possibilities by embracing our mission to partner with customers to unlock their financial good. Creating a culture of opportunity for our Team Members is key to supporting this mission.
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Team Members. As a people-focused finance company, we value our Team Members by investing in competitive compensation and benefit packages and a vibrant, team-oriented environment centered on professional service and open communication. We strive to build and maintain a high-performing culture and believe in operating by strong values.

We value feedback from our Team Members and participate in an annual engagement survey that resulted in being named by Energage as a Top Workplaces USA winner in 2024, 2023, 2022, and 2021.

During fiscal 2024, our human capital efforts were focused on accelerating the transformation of our technology for workforce management through investments in upgraded systems and processes, and continuing to increase our agility to meet the quickly changing needs of the business. The Company maintains strong relations with its employees and seeks to hire people who will become long-term employees, and, as a result, the vast majority of our field leadership has been promoted from within.

As of March 31, 2024, we employed 2,872 full and part-time employees, approximately 272 of whom were corporate Team Members located in our main corporate office in Greenville, South Carolina and approximately 2,600 of whom were branch-based Team Members located in 16 states throughout the United States. None of our Team Members belong to a union or are party to any collective bargaining or similar agreement.

We strive toward having a powerful and diverse team of Team Members, knowing we are better together with our combined wisdom and intellect. With a commitment to equality, inclusion and workplace diversity, we focus on understanding, accepting, and valuing the differences between people.

As of March 31, 2024, our Team Members had the following gender, race and ethnicity demographics:

Gender - All Team Members
Female
85.38%
Male
14.59%
Undeclared
0.03%

Race/Ethnicity - All Team Members
White55.27%
Hispanic or Latino20.71%
Black or African American16.08%
Other Race/Ethnicity4.77%
Not provided3.17%

Total Rewards. We provide a comprehensive suite of benefits designed to help Team Members and their families stay healthy, meet their financial goals, protect their income and help them balance their work and personal lives. We provide competitive pay, as well as a wide array of benefits including the following:

Healthcare benefits, including medical, dental and vision, and flexible spending accounts
A 401(k) Plan (with an employer matching contribution)
Company-paid basic life insurance and long-term and short-term disability
Vacation, sick and holiday paid-time off, as well as volunteer paid time off and paid parental leave
Time off donation program for Team Members experiencing medical emergencies
Financial assistance program for Team Members impacted by natural disasters
Dependent Scholarship Program

Training and Development. We believe the development of our Team Members is key to our future success and are focused on delivering programs designed to increase our internal talent pools at all levels within the organization.

Information about our Executive Officers. The names and ages, positions, terms of office and periods of service of each of the Company's executive officers (and other business experience for executive officers who have served as such for less than five years) are set forth below.
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Name and AgePositionPeriod of Service as Executive Officer and
Pre-Executive Officer Experience (if an
Executive Officer for Less Than Five Years)
   
R. Chad Prashad (43)
President and Chief Executive Officer
President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2018
Senior Vice President, Chief Strategy & Analytics Officer from February 2018 to June 2018
Vice President of Analytics from June 2014 to February 2018
Senior Director of Strategy Development for Resurgent Capital Services (a consumer debt managing and servicing company) from 2013 to June 2014
Director of Legal Strategy for Resurgent Capital Services from 2009 to 2013
   
John L. Calmes Jr. (44)
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer, and Treasurer
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial and Strategy Officer and Treasurer since October 2018
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from November 2015 to October 2018
Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer from December 2013 to November 2015
Director of Finance - Corporate and Investment Banking Division of Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in 2013
Senior Manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers from 2011 to 2013; Manager of PricewaterhouseCoopers from 2008 to 2011.
  
D. Clinton Dyer (51)
Executive Vice President and Chief Branch Operations Officer
Executive Vice President and Chief Branch Operations Officer since February 2018
Executive Vice President of Branch Operations from September 2016 to February 2018
Senior Vice President, Southeastern Division from November 2015 to September 2016
Senior Vice President, Central Division from June 2005 to November 2015; Vice President, Operations –Tennessee and Kentucky from April 2002 to June 2005.
  
Luke J. Umstetter (44)
Senior Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary
Senior Vice President, Secretary and General Counsel since August 2018
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Shellpoint Mortgage Servicing from December 2015 to August 2018
General Counsel for Global Lending Services from May 2015 to December 2015; Managing Counsel for Resurgent Capital Services, June 2009 to May 2015.
   
A. Lindsay Caulder (48)
Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Senior Vice President, Human Resources since October 2018
Vice President, Human Resources from February 2016 to October 2018
Divisional Vice President - Human Resources of Family Dollar Corporation, a nationwide variety retail chain, from 2012 to 2016
Director - Learning and Talent Acquisition of Family Dollar Corporation from 2009-2012.
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Jason E. Childers (49)
Senior Vice President, Information Technology
Senior Vice President, Information Technology since October 2018
Vice President of IT Strategic Solutions from April 2016 to October 2018
Partner and Head of IT at Sabal Financial Group, LP from March 2009 until April 2016.
Scott McIntyre (47)
Senior Vice President, Accounting
Senior Vice President of Accounting since October 2018
Vice President of Accounting-US from June 2013 to October 2018
Controller-US from June 2011 to June 2013.

Government Regulation

Small-loan consumer finance companies are subject to extensive regulation, supervision, and licensing under various federal and state statutes, ordinances, and regulations. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors”, for a discussion of the risks related to our extensive regulation.

State Regulations and Legislation. The Company is subject to numerous state laws and regulations that affect our lending activities. Many of these regulations impose detailed and complex constraints on the terms of our loans, lending forms and operations. Further, there is a trend of increased state regulation on loan origination, servicing, and collection procedures, as well as more detailed reporting and examinations, and coordination of examinations among the states. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to regulatory enforcement action that could result in the assessment against us of civil, monetary, or other penalties. Generally, state regulations also establish minimum capital requirements for each local branch. Accordingly, the ability of the Company to expand by acquiring existing branches and opening new branches will depend in part on obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals.

For example, Texas regulation requires the approval of the Texas Consumer Credit Commissioner for the acquisition, directly or indirectly, of more than 10% of the voting or common stock of a consumer finance company. A Louisiana statute prohibits any person from acquiring control of 25% or more of the shares of stock of a licensed consumer lender, such as the Company, without first obtaining a license as a consumer lender. The overall effect of these laws, and similar laws in other states, is to make it more difficult to acquire a consumer finance company than it might be to acquire control of an unregulated company.

All of the Company's branches are licensed under the laws of the state in which the branch is located. Licenses in these states are subject to renewal every year and may be revoked for failure to comply with applicable state and federal laws and regulations. In the states in which the Company currently operates, licenses may be revoked only after an administrative hearing.

The Company and its operations are regulated by a variety of state agencies in the jurisdictions in which the Company operates, including those related to banking, finance, financial institutions and consumer credit. These state regulatory agencies audit the Company's local branches from time to time, and most state agencies perform an annual compliance audit of the Company's operations in that state.

Insurance Regulations. The Company is also subject to state regulations governing insurance agents in the states in which it sells credit insurance. State insurance regulations require that insurance agents be licensed, govern the commissions that may be paid to agents in connection with the sale of credit insurance and limit the premium amount charged for such insurance. The Company's captive insurance subsidiary is regulated by the insurance authorities of the Turks and Caicos Islands of the British West Indies, where the subsidiary is organized and domiciled.

In addition, state authorities regulate and supervise the Company's insurance operations. The extent of such regulation varies by product and by state, but relate primarily to the following: licensing; conduct of business, including marketing and sales practices; periodic financial and market conduct examination of the affairs of insurers; form and content of required financial reports; standards of solvency; limitations on the payment of dividends and other affiliate transactions; types of products offered; approval of policy forms and premium rates; formulas used to calculate any unearned premium refund due to an insured customer; permissible investments; deposits of securities for the benefit of policyholders; reserve requirements for unearned premiums, losses, and other purposes; and claims processing.

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Consumer finance companies are affected by changes in state and federal statutes and regulations. The Company actively participates in trade associations and in lobbying efforts in the states in which it operates and at the federal level. There have been, and the Company expects that there will continue to be, media attention, initiatives, discussions, proposals, and legislation regarding the entire consumer credit industry, as well as our particular installment loan business, and possible significant changes to the laws and regulations that govern our business, or the authority exercised pursuant to those laws and regulations. In some cases, proposed or pending legislative or regulatory changes have been introduced that would, if enacted, have a material adverse effect on, or possibly even eliminate, our ability to continue our current business. We can give no assurance that the laws and regulations that govern our business, or the interpretation or administration of those laws and regulations, will remain unchanged or that any such future changes will not materially and adversely affect, or in the worst case, eliminate, the Company’s lending practices, operations, profitability, or prospects. See “Federal legislation” below and Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” for a further discussion of the potential impact of regulatory changes on our business.

Federal legislation. In addition to state and local laws and regulations, we are subject to numerous federal laws and regulations that affect our lending operations. These laws include the Truth in Lending Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Military Lending Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and the regulations thereunder, and the Federal Trade Commission's Credit Practices Rule. These laws require the Company to provide complete disclosure of the principal terms of each loan to the borrower prior to the consummation of the loan transaction, prohibit misleading advertising, protect against discriminatory lending practices, and prohibit unfair, deceptive, or abusive credit practices. Violations of these statutes and regulations may result in actions for damages, claims for refund of payments made, certain fines and penalties, injunctions against certain practices, and the potential forfeiture of rights to repayment of loans.

Over the last several years, the laws and regulations directly affecting our lending activities have been under review and are subject to change as a result of various developments and changes in economic conditions, the make-up of the executive and legislative branches of government, and the political and media focus on issues of consumer and borrower protection. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors".

Various legislative proposals addressing consumer credit transactions have been passed in recent years or are currently pending in the U.S. Congress. Congressional members continue to receive pressure from consumer activists and other industry opposition groups to adopt legislation to address various aspects of consumer credit transactions. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd-Frank Act”) established the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (commonly referred to as the CFPB), which has sweeping regulatory, supervisory, and enforcement powers over providers of consumer financial products and services, including explicit supervisory authority to examine and require registration of non-depository lenders and to promulgate rules that can affect the practices and activities of lenders. The CFPB continues to actively engage in the announcement and implementation of various plans and initiatives generally in the area of consumer financial transactions. Some of these CFPB announced plans and initiatives, if implemented, would directly affect certain loan products we currently offer and subject us to the CFPB’s supervisory authority. See Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Regulatory Matters,” for more information regarding the CFPB's regulatory initiatives.

In addition to the grant of certain regulatory powers to the CFPB, the Dodd-Frank Act gives the CFPB authority to pursue administrative proceedings or litigation for violations of federal consumer financial laws. In these proceedings, the CFPB can obtain cease and desist orders (which can include orders for restitution or rescission of contracts, as well as other kinds of affirmative relief) and monetary penalties. Also, where a company has violated Title X of the Dodd-Frank Act or CFPB regulations thereunder, the Dodd-Frank Act empowers state attorneys general and state regulators to bring civil actions to remedy violations of state law.

Although the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits the CFPB from setting interest rates on consumer loans, efforts to create a federal usury cap, applicable to all consumer credit transactions and substantially below rates at which the Company could continue to operate profitably, are still ongoing. Any federal legislative or regulatory action that severely restricts or prohibits the provision of small-loan consumer credit, similar services and related products on terms substantially similar to those we currently provide would, if enacted, have a material, adverse impact on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition. Any federal law that would impose a national 36% or similar annualized credit rate cap on our services would, if enacted, almost certainly eliminate our ability to continue our current operations. See Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors” - "Federal legislative or regulatory proposals, initiatives, actions or changes that are adverse to our operations or result in adverse regulatory proceedings, or our failure to comply with existing or future federal laws and regulations, could force us to modify, suspend, or cease part or all of our nationwide operations,” for further information regarding the potential impact of adverse legislative and regulatory changes.

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Available Information. The Company maintains an Internet website, “www.LoansByWorld.com,” where interested persons will be able to access free of charge, among other information, the Company’s annual reports on Form 10-K, its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, and its current reports on Form 8-K, as well as any amendments to these filings via a link to a third-party website. These documents are available for access as soon as reasonably practicable after we electronically file these documents with the SEC. The Company files these reports with the SEC via the SEC’s EDGAR filing system, and such reports also may be accessed via the SEC’s EDGAR database at www.sec.gov/edgar. Information included on or linked to our website is not incorporated by reference into this annual report.

Item 1A. Risk Factors

Forward-Looking Statements

This annual report contains various “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on management’s beliefs and assumptions, as well as information currently available to management. Statements other than those of historical fact, including, but not limited to those identified by the use of words such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “plan,” “expect,” "project," “believe,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” "continue," "forecast," and any variations of the foregoing and similar expressions, are forward-looking statements. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in any such forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that such expectations will prove to be correct. Any such statements are subject to certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our actual financial results, performance or financial condition may vary materially from those anticipated, estimated, expected or implied by any forward-looking statements. Therefore, you should not rely on any of these forward-looking statements.

Investors should consider the risk factors described in this annual report, in addition to the other information presented in this annual report and the other reports and registration statements the Company files with or furnishes to the SEC from time to time, in evaluating us, our business, and an investment in our securities. Any of the risk factors described in this annual report, as well as other risks, uncertainties, and possibly inaccurate assumptions underlying our plans and expectations, could result in harm to our business, results of operations and financial condition and cause the value of our securities to decline, which in turn could cause investors to lose all or part of their investment in our Company. These factors, among others, could also cause actual results to differ materially from those we have experienced in the past or those we may express or imply from time to time in any forward-looking statements we make. Investors are advised that it is impossible to identify or predict all risks, and those risks not currently known to us or those we currently deem immaterial could also affect us in the future. The following risks should not be construed as exclusive and should be read with the other cautionary statements that are in this annual report on Form 10-K. The Company does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements, except as may be required by law, whether as a result of new information, future developments, or otherwise.

Media and public characterization of consumer installment loans as being predatory or abusive could have a materially adverse effect on our business, prospects, results of operations and financial condition.

Consumer activist groups and various other media sources continue to advocate for governmental and regulatory action to prohibit or severely restrict our products and services. These critics frequently characterize our products and services as predatory or abusive toward consumers. If this negative characterization of the consumer installment loans we make and/or ancillary services we provide becomes widely accepted by government policy makers or is embodied in legislative, regulatory, policy or litigation developments that adversely affect our ability to continue offering our products and services or the profitability of these products and services, our business, results of operations and financial condition would be materially and adversely affected. Furthermore, our industry is highly regulated, and announcements regarding new or expected governmental and regulatory action regarding consumer lending may adversely impact perceptions of our business even if such actions are not targeted at our operations and do not directly impact us.

Interest rate fluctuations may adversely affect our borrowing costs, profitability and liquidity.

Interest rate risk arises from the possibility that changes in interest rates will affect our results of operations and financial condition. Interest rates are highly sensitive to many factors that are beyond our control, including general economic conditions and policies of various governmental and regulatory agencies, in particular, the Federal Reserve Board. In response to elevated inflation, the Federal Reserve Board has increased interest rates on several occasions since early 2022. The Federal Reserve Board has indicated that it will raise rates further, if deemed necessary, to combat continued inflation growth.

In addition, our profitability may be directly affected by the level of and fluctuations in interest rates, whether caused by changes in economic conditions or other factors that affect our borrowing costs. Changes in monetary policy, including changes
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in interest rates, could influence the amount of interest we pay on our revolving credit facility or any other floating interest rate obligations we may incur. Our profitability and liquidity could be materially adversely affected during any period of higher interest rates. See Part II, Item 7A, “Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosure About Market Risk” for additional information regarding our interest rate risk.

We are exposed to credit risk in our lending activities.

Our ability to collect on loans to individuals, our single largest asset group, depends on the ability and willingness of our borrowers to repay such loans. Our customers generally do not qualify for, or have difficulty qualifying for, credit from traditional sources of consumer credit. These traditional sources of consumer credit typically impose more stringent credit requirements than the personal loan products that we provide. As a result, the historical delinquency and default experience on our loans may be higher than those experienced by financial products arising from traditional sources of consumer credit.

Any material adverse change in the ability or willingness of a significant portion of our borrowers to meet their obligations to us, whether due to changes in economic conditions, unemployment rates, the cost of consumer goods (particularly, but not limited to, food and energy costs) and inflationary pressures, disposable income, interest rates, health crises, natural disasters, acts of war or terrorism, political or social conditions, divorce, death, or other causes over which we have no control, would have a material adverse impact on our earnings and financial condition. Additionally, delinquency and default experience on our loans is likely to be more sensitive to changes in the economic climate in the areas in which our borrowers reside. Although new customers are required to submit a listing of personal property that will serve as collateral to secure their loans, the Company does not rely on the value of such collateral in the loan approval process and generally does not perfect its security interest in that collateral. Additionally, increases in the size of the loans we offer and average loan size could increase the chance a borrower does not meet their obligations to us and could further increase our credit risk. Additional information regarding our credit risk is included in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation-Allowance for Credit Losses.”

Our insurance operations are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including claims, catastrophic events, underwriting risks and dependence on a primary distribution channel.

Insurance claims and policyholder liabilities are difficult to predict and may exceed the related reserves set aside for claims (losses) and associated expenses for claims adjudication (loss adjustment expenses). Additionally, events such as cybersecurity attacks and breaches and other types of catastrophes, and prolonged economic downturns, could adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations. Other risks relating to our insurance operations include changes to laws and regulations applicable to us, as well as changes to the regulatory environment, such as: changes to laws or regulations affecting capital and reserve requirements; frequency and type of regulatory monitoring and reporting; restrictions on sales process, consumer privacy, use of customer data and data security; benefits or loss ratio requirements; insurance producer licensing or appointment requirements; required disclosures to consumers; and collateral protection insurance (i.e., insurance some of our lender companies purchase, at the customer’s expense, on that customer’s loan collateral for the periods of time the customer fails to adequately, as required by his loan, insure his collateral).

If our estimates of credit losses are not adequate to absorb actual losses, our provision for credit losses would increase, which would adversely affect our results of operations.

To estimate the appropriate level of allowance for credit losses, we consider known and relevant internal and external factors that affect loan collectability, including the total amount of loan receivables outstanding, historical loan receivable charge-offs, our current collection patterns, and economic trends. Our methodology for establishing our allowance for credit losses is based on the guidance in ASC 326, and, in part, on our historic loss experience. If customer behavior changes as a result of economic, political, social, or other conditions, or if we are unable to predict how these conditions may affect our allowance for credit losses, our allowance for credit losses may be inadequate. Our allowance for credit losses is an estimate, and if actual credit losses are materially greater than our allowance for credit losses, our provision for credit losses would increase, which would result in a decline in our future earnings, and thus our results of operations could be adversely affected. Neither state regulators nor federal regulators regulate our allowance for credit losses. Additional information regarding our allowance for credit losses is included in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Allowance for Credit Losses.”

In June of 2016, the FASB issued ASU 2016-13, Financial Instruments-Credit Losses (Topic 326): Measurement of Credit Losses on Financial Instruments (CECL). This ASU significantly changed the way that entities are required to measure credit losses. This standard requires that the estimated credit loss be based upon an “expected credit loss” approach rather than the “incurred loss” approach previously required. The new approach requires entities to measure all expected credit losses for financial assets based on historical experience, current conditions, and reasonable forecasts of collectability. As such, the
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expected credit loss model requires earlier recognition of credit losses than the incurred loss approach. CECL became effective for the Company April 1, 2020. Our financial results may be negatively affected as weak or deteriorating economic conditions are forecasted and alter our expectations for credit losses. In addition, due to the expansion of the time horizon over which we are required to estimate future credit losses under CECL, we may experience increased volatility in our future provisions for credit losses.

The concentration of our revenues in certain states could adversely affect us.

We currently operate consumer installment loan branches in sixteen states in the United States. Any adverse legislative or regulatory change in any one of our states or an economic downturn or catastrophic event that disproportionately affects one or more of our states, including in any of our larger states, could have a material adverse effect on our business, prospects, and results of operations or financial condition. See Part I, Item 1, “Description of Business” for information regarding the size of our business in the various states in which we operate.

We may be unable to execute our business strategy due to economic conditions and these economic conditions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.

Uncertainty and deterioration in general economic conditions in the U.S. historically have created a difficult operating environment for consumer lending. Our financial performance generally, and in particular the ability of our borrowers to make payments on outstanding loans, is highly dependent upon the business and economic environments in the markets where we operate and in the United States as a whole. Many factors, including factors that are beyond our control, may impact our financial position, liquidity, and results of operations and depend on management’s ability to execute our business strategy. The U.S. economy is undergoing a period of significant uncertainty. These macro-economic factors include general inflation, unemployment levels, housing markets, commodity prices, energy costs, volatile interest rates, natural disasters, acts of war and terrorism. Additionally, many of our customers are primarily non-prime borrowers, who have historically been more likely to be affected by adverse macro-economic factors than prime borrowers. Currently, due to a number of factors, the global economy is experiencing inflationary pressures not seen in a significant period of time. We cannot predict the timing or the duration of any inflation or downturn in the economy and we are not immune to the effects of general worldwide economic conditions. During an economic downturn or recession, demand for credit products often decreases and credit losses in the financial services industry generally increase. Additionally, during an economic downturn, our loan servicing costs and collection costs may increase as we may have to expend greater time and resources on these activities.

Key factors involved in the execution of our business strategy include achieving our desired loan volume and pricing strategies, the use of effective credit risk management techniques, marketing and servicing strategies, continued investment in technology to support operating efficiency, and continued access to funding and liquidity sources. Although our pricing strategy is intended to maximize the amount of economic profit we generate, within the confines of capital and infrastructure constraints, there can be no assurance that this strategy will have its intended effect. Our failure or inability to execute any element of our business strategy, due to economic conditions or otherwise, could materially adversely affect our financial position, liquidity, and results of operations.

Our ability to execute our growth strategy is subject to significant risks, including some beyond our control, and may be adversely affected.

Our growth strategy includes opening and acquiring branches in existing and new markets and is subject to significant risks, some of which are beyond our control, including:

the prevailing laws and regulatory environment of each state in which we operate or seek to operate, and, to the extent applicable, federal laws and regulations, which are subject to change at any time;
our ability to obtain and maintain any regulatory approvals, government permits, or licenses that may be required;
the degree of competition in new markets and its effect on our ability to attract new customers;
our ability to obtain adequate financing for our expansion plans; and
our ability to attract, train, and retain qualified personnel to staff our new operations.

We currently lack product and business diversification; as a result, our revenues and earnings may be disproportionately negatively impacted by external factors and may be more susceptible to fluctuations than more diversified companies.

Our primary business activity is offering small consumer installment loans together with, in some states in which we operate, related ancillary products. Thus, any developments, whether regulatory, economic or otherwise, that would hinder, reduce the profitability of, or limit our ability to operate our small consumer installment loan business on the terms currently conducted
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would have a direct and adverse impact on our business, profitability, and perhaps even our viability. Our current lack of product and business diversification could inhibit our opportunities for growth, reduce our revenues and profits, and make us more susceptible to earnings fluctuations than many other financial institutions whose operations are more diversified.

A reduction in demand for our products and a failure by us to adapt to such reduction could adversely affect our business and results of operations.
The demand for the products we offer may be reduced due to a variety of factors, such as demographic patterns, changes in customer preferences or financial condition, regulatory restrictions that decrease customer access to particular products, or the availability of competing products, including through alternative or competing marketing channels. For example, we are highly dependent upon selecting and maintaining attractive branch locations. These locations are subject to local market conditions, including the employment available in the area, housing costs, traffic patterns, crime, and other demographic influences, any of which may quickly change, thereby negatively impacting demand for our products in the area. Should we fail to adapt to significant changes in our customers’ demand for, or access to, our products, our revenues could decrease significantly and our operations could be harmed. Even if we do make changes to existing products or introduce new products and channels to fulfill customer demand, customers may resist or may reject such products. Moreover, the effect of any product change on the results of our business may not be fully ascertainable until the change has been in effect for some time, and by that time it may be too late to make further modifications to such product without causing further harm to our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our policies and procedures for underwriting, processing, and servicing loans are subject to potential failure or circumvention, which may adversely affect our results of operations.

We rely on certain inputs and verifications in the underwriting process to be performed by individual personnel at the branch level or a centralized location. If the training or supervision of our personnel fails to be effective, or if we are unable to attract and retain qualified employees, it is possible that our underwriting criteria would be improperly applied to a greater percentage of such applications. If such improper applications were to increase, delinquency and losses on our loan portfolio could increase and could increase significantly. In addition, we rely on certain third-party service providers in connection with loan underwriting and origination. Any error or failure by a third-party service provider in providing loan underwriting and origination services may cause us to originate loans to borrowers that do not meet our underwriting standards.

In addition, in deciding whether to extend credit or enter into other transactions with customers and counterparties, we rely heavily on information provided by customers, counterparties, and other third parties, including credit bureaus and data aggregators, the inaccuracy or incompleteness of which may adversely affect our results of operations. We further rely on representations of customers and counterparties as to the accuracy and completeness of that information. If a significant percentage of our customers were to intentionally or negligently misrepresent any of this information, or provide incomplete information, and our internal processes were to fail to detect such misrepresentations in a timely manner, or any or all of the other components of the underwriting process described above were to fail, it could result in our approval of a loan that, based on our underwriting criteria, we would not have otherwise made. As a result, our results of operations and financial condition could be negatively impacted.

We operate in a highly competitive market, and we cannot ensure that the competitive pressures we face will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity.

The consumer lending industry is highly competitive. We compete with other consumer finance companies as well as other types of financial institutions that offer similar consumer financial products and services. Some of these competitors may have greater financial, technical, and marketing resources than we possess. Some competitors may also have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that may not be available to us. While banks and credit card companies have decreased their lending to non-prime customers in recent years, there is no assurance that such lenders will not resume those lending activities. Further, because of increased regulatory pressure on payday lenders, many of those lenders are starting to make more traditional installment consumer loans in order to reduce regulatory scrutiny of their practices, which could increase competition in markets in which we operate. We cannot be sure that the competitive pressures we face will not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

We depend on secure information technology, and an attack on or a breach of those systems or those of third-party vendors could result in significant losses, unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer information, and reputational damage, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and/or results of operations, and could lead to significant financial and legal exposure and reputational harm.

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Our operations rely heavily on the secure collection, processing, storage, and transmission of personal, confidential, and other information about us, our customers and third parties with which we do business. We process a significant number of customer transactions on a continuous basis through our computer systems and networks and are subject to increasingly more risk related to security systems as we enhance our mobile payment technologies and otherwise attempt to keep pace with rapid technological changes in the financial services industry.

While we commit resources to the design, implementation, maintenance, testing, and monitoring of our networks and systems and training of our employees, we may be required to expend significant additional resources in the future to modify and enhance our security controls in response to new or more sophisticated threats, new regulations related to cybersecurity and other developments. Additionally, there is no guarantee that our security controls can provide absolute security or that our cybersecurity risk management program will be fully implemented, complied with or effective in preventing or mitigating future cybersecurity risks or successfully protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our critical systems and information.

Despite the measures we implement to protect our systems and data, we may not be able to anticipate, identify, prevent or detect cyber-attacks, ransomware, computer viruses or other security breaches, particularly because the techniques used by attackers change frequently and often are not immediately detected, and because cyber-attacks can originate from a wide variety of sources, including third parties who are or may be involved in organized crime or linked to terrorist organizations or hostile foreign governments. Such third parties may seek to gain unauthorized access to our systems directly, by fraudulently inducing employees, customers, or other users of our systems, or by using equipment or security passwords belonging to employees, customers, third-party service providers, or other users of our systems. Or, they may seek to disrupt or disable our services through attacks such as denial-of-service attacks and ransomware attacks. In addition, while we have a third-party risk management process for service providers, suppliers, and vendors, we cannot guarantee that their security controls and other protective measures will be successful in preventing an attack on their systems, which could negatively impact our operations or data. We may be unable to identify, or may be significantly delayed in identifying, cyber-attacks and incidents due to the increasing use of techniques and tools that are designed to circumvent controls, to avoid detection, and to remove or obfuscate forensic artifacts. As a result, our computer systems, software and networks, as well as those of third-party vendors we utilize, may be vulnerable to unauthorized access, computer viruses, malicious attacks and other events that could have a security impact beyond our control. Our staff, technologies, systems, networks, and those of third-parties we utilize also may become the target of cyber-attacks, unauthorized access, malicious code, computer viruses, denial of service attacks, ransomware, and physical attacks that could result in information security breaches, the unauthorized release, gathering, monitoring, misuse, loss or destruction of our or our customers’ confidential, proprietary and other information, or otherwise disrupt our or our vendors’ operations. We also routinely transmit and receive personal, confidential and proprietary information through third parties, which may be vulnerable to interception, misuse, or mishandling.

If one or more of such events occur, personal, confidential, and other information processed and stored in, and transmitted through our computer systems and networks, or those of third-party vendors, could be compromised or could cause interruptions or malfunctions in our operations that could result in significant losses, loss of confidence and business from customers, customer dissatisfaction, significant litigation, regulatory exposures, and harm to our reputation and brand.

In the event personal, confidential, or other information is threatened, intercepted, misused, mishandled, or compromised, we may be required to expend significant additional resources to modify our protective measures, to investigate the circumstances surrounding the event, and implement mitigation and remediation measures. We also may be subject to fines, penalties, litigation (including securities fraud class action lawsuits), regulatory investigation costs and settlements and financial losses that are either not insured against or not fully covered through any insurance maintained by us. If one or more of such events occur, our business, financial condition and/or results of operations could be significantly and adversely affected.

Any interruption of our information systems could adversely affect us.

Our business and reputation may be materially impacted by information system failures or network disruptions. We rely heavily on communications and information systems to conduct our business. Each branch is part of an information network that is designed to permit us to maintain adequate cash inventory, reconcile cash balances on a daily basis, and report revenues and expenses to our headquarters. Any failure or interruption of these systems, including any failure of our back-up systems, network outages, slow performance, breaches, unauthorized access, misuse, computer viruses, or other failures or disruptions could result in disruption to our business or the loss or theft of confidential information, including customer information. A disruption could impair our ability to offer and process our loans, provide customer service, perform collections or other necessary business activities, which could result in a loss of customer confidence or business, subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny or negative publicity, or expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability, or otherwise materially adversely affect our financial condition and operating results. Furthermore, we may not be able to immediately detect any such breach,
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which may increase the losses that we would suffer. In addition, our existing insurance policies may not reimburse us for all of the damages that we might incur as a result of a breach or other information system failure or network disruption.

We may not be able to make technological improvements as quickly as some of our competitors, which could harm our ability to compete with our competitors and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

The financial services industry is undergoing rapid technological changes, with frequent introductions of new technology-driven products and services. The effective use of technology increases efficiency and enables financial and lending institutions to better serve customers and reduce costs. Our future success and, in particular, the success of our centralized operations, will depend, in part, upon our ability to address the needs of our customers by using technology to provide products and services that will satisfy customer demands for convenience, as well as to create additional efficiencies in our operations. We may not be able to effectively implement new technology-driven products and services as quickly as some of our competitors or be successful in marketing these products and services to our existing and new customers. Failure to successfully keep pace with technological change affecting the financial services industry could harm our ability to compete with our competitors and adversely affect our results of operations, financial condition, and liquidity.

We are subject to data privacy laws, which may significantly increase our compliance and technology costs resulting in a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.

We are subject to various federal and state privacy, data protection, and information security laws and regulations, including requirements concerning security breach notification. Various federal and state regulatory agencies require us to notify customers in the event of a security breach. Moreover, federal and state legislators are increasingly considering and implementing new guidance, laws, and regulations. Compliance with current or future privacy, data protection and information security laws affecting customer or employee data to which we are subject could result in higher compliance and technology costs and could materially and adversely affect our profitability. Our failure to comply with privacy, data protection and information security laws may require us to change our business practices or operational structure, and could subject us to potentially significant regulatory and/or governmental investigations and/or actions, litigation, fines, sanctions, and damage to our reputation.

We are also subject to the risk of theft or misuse of physical customer and employee records at our facilities.

Our branch offices and centralized headquarters have physical and electronic customer records necessary for day-to-day operations that contain extensive confidential information about our customers. We also retain physical records in various storage locations. The loss or theft of customer information and data from our branch offices, headquarters, or other storage locations could subject us to additional regulatory scrutiny and penalties and could expose us to civil litigation and possible financial liability, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial condition and liquidity. In addition, if we cannot locate original documents (or copies, in some cases) for certain loans receivables, we may not be able to collect on those loans receivables.

Our off-site data centers and centralized IT functions are susceptible to disruption by catastrophic events, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

Our information systems, and administrative and management processes could be disrupted if a catastrophic event, such as severe weather, natural disaster, power outage, act of war or terror or similar event, destroyed or severely damaged our infrastructure. Any such catastrophic event or other unexpected disruption of our headquarters' functions or off-site data centers could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

A small number of our shareholders have the ability to significantly influence matters requiring shareholder approval and such shareholders may have interests which conflict with the interests of our other security holders.

As of March 31, 2024, based on filings made with the SEC and other information made available to us, Prescott General Partners, LLC and its affiliates beneficially owned approximately 46.0% of our common stock. As a result, these shareholders are able to significantly influence matters presented to shareholders, including the election and removal of directors, the approval of significant corporate transactions, such as any reclassification, reorganization, merger, consolidation or sale of all or substantially all of our assets, and the control of our management and affairs, including executive compensation arrangements. Their interests may conflict with the interests of our other security holders.

Initiating and processing potential acquisitions may be unsuccessful or difficult, leading to losses and increased delinquencies, which could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations.
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We have previously acquired, and in the future may acquire, assets or businesses, including large portfolios of loans receivables, either through the direct purchase of such assets or the purchase of the equity of a company with such a portfolio. Since we will not have originated or serviced the loans we acquire, we may not be aware of legal or other deficiencies related to origination or servicing, and our due diligence efforts of the acquisition prior to purchase may not uncover those deficiencies. Further, we may have limited recourse against the seller of the portfolio.

In pursuing these transactions, we may experience, among other things:

overvaluing potential targets;
difficulties in integrating any acquired companies or branches into our existing business, including integration of account data into our information systems;
inability to realize the benefits we anticipate in a timely fashion, or at all;
unexpected losses due to the acquisition of loan portfolios with loans originated using less stringent underwriting criteria;
significant costs, charges, or write-downs; or
unforeseen operating difficulties that require significant financial and managerial resources that would otherwise be available for the ongoing development and expansion of our existing operations.

Risks Related to our Indebtedness

We depend to a substantial extent on borrowings under our revolving credit agreement to fund our liquidity needs.

Our revolving credit agreement allows us to borrow up to $580.0 million, with an accordion feature permitting the maximum aggregate commitments to increase to $730.0 million provided that certain conditions are met. The maturity date of the revolving credit agreement is June 7, 2026. Pursuant to the terms of our revolving credit agreement, we are required to comply with a number of covenants and conditions, including a minimum borrowing base calculation. If our existing sources of liquidity become insufficient to satisfy our financial needs or our access to these sources becomes unexpectedly restricted, we may need to try to raise additional capital in the future. If such an event were to occur, we can give no assurance that such alternate sources of liquidity would be available to us at all or on favorable terms. Additional information regarding our liquidity risk is included in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources.”
Our current debt and any additional debt we may incur in the future could negatively impact our business, prevent us from satisfying our debt obligations and adversely affect our financial condition.

We may incur a substantial amount of debt in the future. As of March 31, 2024, the Company's debt outstanding was $496.0 million, net of $2.4 million unamortized debt issuance costs related to the unsecured senior notes payable, and a total debt-to-equity ratio of approximately 1.2 to 1.0. The amount of debt we may incur in the future could have important consequences, including the following:

our ability to obtain additional financing for working capital, debt refinancing, share repurchases or other purposes could be impaired;
a substantial portion of our cash flows from operations will be dedicated to paying principal and interest on our debt, reducing funds available for other purposes;
we may be vulnerable to interest rate increases, as borrowings under our revolving credit agreement bear interest at variable rates, as may any future debt that we incur;
we may be at a competitive disadvantage to competitors that are not as highly leveraged;
we could be more vulnerable to adverse developments in our industry or in general economic conditions;
we may be restricted from taking advantage of business opportunities or making strategic acquisitions;
we may be limited in our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in our business and the industry in which we operate;
we may have difficulty satisfying our obligations under the debt if accelerated upon the occurrence of an event of default; and
we may be more vulnerable to periods of negative or slow growth in the general economy or in our business.

In addition, meeting our anticipated liquidity requirements is contingent upon our continued compliance with our revolving credit agreement. An acceleration of our debt would have a material adverse effect on our liquidity and our ability to continue as a going concern. If our debt obligations increase, whether due to the increased cost of existing indebtedness or the incurrence of additional indebtedness, the consequences described above could be magnified.
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Although the terms of our revolving credit agreement contain restrictions on our ability to incur additional debt, as well as any future debt that we incur, these restrictions are subject, or likely to be subject, in the case of any future debt, to exceptions that could permit us to incur a substantial amount of additional debt. In addition, our existing and future debt agreements will not prevent us from incurring certain liabilities that do not constitute indebtedness as defined for purposes of those debt agreements. If new debt or other liabilities are added to our current debt levels, the risks associated with our having substantial debt could intensify. As of March 31, 2024, we had $355.9 million available for borrowing under our revolving credit agreement, subject to borrowing base limitations and other specified terms and conditions.

We may not be able to generate sufficient cash flows to service our outstanding debt and fund operations and may be forced to take other actions to satisfy our obligations under such debt.

Our ability to make scheduled payments on the principal of, to pay interest on, or to refinance our indebtedness will depend in part on our cash flows from operations, which are subject to regulatory, economic, financial, competitive, and other factors beyond our control. We may not generate a level of cash flows from operations sufficient to permit us to meet our debt service obligations. If we are unable to generate sufficient cash flows from operations to service our debt, we may be required to sell assets, refinance all or a portion of our existing debt, obtain additional financing, or obtain additional equity capital on terms that may be onerous or highly dilutive. There can be no assurance that any refinancing will be possible or that any asset sales or additional financing can be completed on acceptable terms or at all.

The terms of our debt limit how we conduct our business.

Our revolving credit agreement contains covenants that restrict our ability to, among other things:

incur and guarantee debt;
pay dividends or make other distributions on or redeem or repurchase our stock;
make investments or acquisitions;
create liens on our assets;
sell assets;
merge with or into other companies;
enter into transactions with shareholders and other affiliates; and
make capital expenditures.

Our revolving credit agreement also imposes requirements that we maintain specified financial measures not in excess of, or not below, specified levels. In particular, our revolving credit agreement requires, among other things, that we maintain (i) at all times a specified minimum consolidated net worth, (ii) as of the end of each fiscal quarter, a minimum ratio of consolidated net income available for fixed charges for the period of four consecutive fiscal quarters most recently ended to consolidated fixed charges for that period of not less than a specified minimum, (iii) at all times a specified maximum ratio of total debt on a consolidated basis to consolidated adjusted net worth and (iv) at all times a specified maximum collateral performance indicator. These covenants limit the manner in which we can conduct our business and could prevent us from engaging in favorable business activities or financing future operations and capital needs and impair our ability to successfully execute our strategy and operate our business.

The indenture governing our 7.0% senior notes due 2026 (the “Notes”) contains certain covenants that, among other things, limit the Company’s ability and the ability of its restricted subsidiaries to (i) incur additional indebtedness or issue certain disqualified stock and preferred stock; (ii) pay dividends or distributions or redeem or purchase capital stock; (iii) prepay subordinated debt or make certain investments; (iv) transfer and sell assets; (v) create or permit to exist liens; (vi) enter into agreements that restrict dividends, loans and other distributions from their subsidiaries; (vii) engage in a merger, consolidation or sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of their assets; and (viii) engage in transactions with affiliates. However, these covenants are subject to a number of important detailed qualifications and exceptions.

A breach of any of the covenants in our revolving credit agreement would result in an event of default thereunder. Any event of default would permit the creditors to accelerate the related debt, which could also result in the acceleration of any other or future debt containing a cross-acceleration or cross-default provision. In addition, an event of default under our revolving credit agreement would permit the lenders thereunder to terminate all commitments to extend further credit under the revolving credit agreement. Furthermore, if we were unable to repay the amounts due and payable under the revolving credit agreement or any other secured debt we may incur, the lenders thereunder could cause the collateral agent to proceed against the collateral securing that debt. In the event our creditors accelerate the repayment of our debt, there can be no assurance that we would have sufficient assets to repay that debt, and our financial condition, liquidity and results of operations would suffer. A breach of our
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covenants under the Notes would have similar consequences. Additional information regarding our revolving credit facility and Notes is included in Part II, Item 7 “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

The conditions of the U.S. and international capital markets may adversely affect lenders with which we have relationships, causing us to incur additional costs and reducing our sources of liquidity, which may adversely affect our financial position, liquidity and results of operations.

Turbulence in the global or domestic capital markets or other macro-economic factors can result in disruptions in the financial sector, including bank failures, and can affect lenders with which we have relationships, including members of the syndicate of banks that are lenders under our revolving credit agreement. Disruptions in the financial sector may increase our exposure to credit risk and adversely affect the ability of lenders to perform under the terms of their lending arrangements with us. Failure by our lenders to perform under the terms of our lending arrangements could cause us to incur additional costs that may adversely affect our liquidity, financial condition, and results of operations. There can be no assurance that future disruptions in the financial sector will not occur that could have adverse effects on our business. Additional information regarding our liquidity and related risks is included in Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources.”

Risks Related to Legal Proceedings and Regulation

Federal legislative or regulatory proposals, initiatives, actions, or changes that are adverse to our operations or result in adverse regulatory proceedings, or our failure to comply with existing or future federal laws and regulations, could force us to modify, suspend, or cease part or all of our nationwide operations.

We are subject to numerous federal laws and regulations that affect our lending operations. From time to time, we may become involved in formal and informal reviews, investigations, examinations, proceedings, and information-gathering requests by federal and state government and self-regulatory agencies. Should we become subject to such an investigation, examination, or proceeding, the matter could result in material adverse consequences to us, including, but not limited to, increased compliance costs, adverse judgments, significant settlements, fines, penalties, injunction, or other actions.

The laws and regulations directly affecting our lending activities have been under review and subject to change in recent years as a result of various developments and changes in economic conditions, the make-up of the executive and legislative branches of government, and the political and media focus on issues of consumer and borrower protection. Any changes in such laws and regulations could force us to modify, suspend, or cease part or, in the worst case, all of our existing operations. It is also possible that the scope of federal regulations could change or expand in such a way as to preempt what has traditionally been state law regulation of our business activities. See Part I, Item 1, “Description of Business-Government Regulation” for more information regarding legislation we are subject to and related risks.

The Company is under the supervisory authority of the CFPB. Regulations issued by the CFPB or examinations by the CFPB could adversely impact earnings due to, among other things, increased compliance costs or costs due to noncompliance.

In July 2010 the Dodd-Frank Act was enacted. The Dodd-Frank Act restructured and enhanced the regulation and supervision of the financial services industry and created the CFPB, an agency with sweeping regulatory and enforcement authority over consumer financial transactions. The CFPB’s rulemaking and enforcement authority extends to certain non-depository institutions, including us. The CFPB is specifically authorized, among other things, to take actions to prevent companies providing consumer financial products or services and their service providers from engaging in unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices in connection with consumer financial products and services, and to issue rules requiring enhanced disclosures for consumer financial products or services. The CFPB also has authority to interpret, enforce, and issue regulations implementing enumerated consumer laws, including certain laws that apply to our business. Further, the CFPB has authority to designate non-depository “larger participants” in certain markets for consumer financial services and products for purposes of the CFPB’s supervisory authority under the Dodd-Frank Act. Such designated “larger participants” are subject to reporting and on-site compliance examinations by the CFPB, which may result in increased compliance costs and potentially greater enforcement risks based on these supervisory activities. Although the CFPB has not yet developed a “larger participant” rule that directly covers the Company’s installment lending business, the Company believes that the implementation of any such rules would likely bring the Company’s business under the CFPB’s direct supervisory authority. In addition, even in the absence of a “larger participant” rule, the CFPB has the power to order individual nonbank financial institutions to submit to supervision where the CFPB has reasonable cause to determine that the institution is engaged in “conduct that poses risks to consumers” under 12 USC 5514(a)(1)(C). In 2022, the CFPB announced that it has begun using this “dormant authority” to examine nonbank entities and the CFPB is attempting to expand the number of nonbank entities it currently supervises. Specifically, the CFPB previously
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notified the Company that it was seeking to establish such supervisory authority over the Company. Since then, the CFPB has issued a public designation order setting forth its determination that the Company has met the legal requirements for supervision (the "Order"). Pursuant to the terms of the Order, the CFPB has supervisory authority over the Company until such time as the Order is terminated. Importantly, while the Order establishes that the CFPB has supervisory authority over the Company, it does not constitute a finding that the Company has engaged in wrongdoing, nor does it require any immediate action on the part of the Company. However, the outcome of such supervision could result in operational changes which could reduce our ability to operate profitably or increase compliance costs. The supervision could also result in additional examinations, litigation, consent orders or administrative proceedings, which could require considerable resources, time, effort and attention from our management, and may result in operational changes, monetary penalties or declines in our stock price.

Although the Dodd-Frank Act prohibits the CFPB from setting interest rates on consumer loans, efforts to create a federal usury cap, applicable to all consumer credit transactions and substantially below rates at which the Company could continue to operate profitably, are still ongoing. Any federal legislative or regulatory action that severely restricts or prohibits the provision of small-loan consumer credit and similar services on terms substantially similar to those we currently provide would, if enacted, have a material adverse impact on our business, prospects, results of operations, and financial condition. Any federal law that would impose a maximum annualized credit rate cap in the range of 36% on our products would, if enacted, almost certainly eliminate our ability to continue our current operations. Given the uncertainty associated with the manner in which various expected provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act have been and are expected to continue to be implemented by the various regulatory agencies and through regulations, the full extent of the impact such requirements will have on our operations remains unclear; however, these regulations have increased and are expected to further increase our cost of doing business and time spent by management on regulatory matters, which may have a material adverse effect on the Company’s operations and results.

In 2017, the CFPB issued a final rule under its unfair, deceptive and abusive acts and practices rulemaking authority relating to payday and certain high-cost installment loans (the "Rule"). The Rule curtails repeated unsuccessful attempts to debit consumers’ accounts for short-term loans, balloon payment loans, and installment loans that involve a payment authorization and an annual percentage rate over 36% (“payment requirements”). The Rule's ability to repay requirements were rescinded in July 2020. Implementation of the Rule’s payment requirements may require changes to the Company’s practices and procedures for such loans, which could materially and adversely affect the Company’s ability to make such loans, the cost of making such loans, the Company’s ability to, or frequency with which it could, refinance any such loans, and the profitability of such loans. Additionally, any further regulatory changes to the Rule could have effects beyond those currently contemplated that could further materially and adversely impact our business and operations.

In addition to the specific matters described above, other aspects of our business may be the subject of future CFPB rulemaking. The enactment of one or more of such regulatory changes, or the exercise of broad regulatory authority by regulators, including but not limited to, the CFPB, having jurisdiction or supervisory authority over the Company’s business or discretionary consumer financial transactions, generically, could materially and adversely affect our business, results of operations and prospects. See Part I, Item 1, “Description of Business-Government Regulation” for more information regarding legislation we are subject to and related risks.

Litigation and regulatory actions, including challenges to the arbitration clauses in our customer agreements, could subject us to significant class actions, fines, penalties, judgments and requirements resulting in increased expenses and potential material adverse effects on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In the normal course of business, from time to time, we have been involved in various legal actions, including arbitration, class actions and other litigation, arising in connection with our business activities. All such legal proceedings are inherently unpredictable and, regardless or the merits of the claims, litigation is often expensive, time consuming, disruptive to our operations and resources, and distracting to management. If resolved against us, such legal proceedings could result in excessive verdicts and judgments, injunctive relief, equitable relief, and other adverse consequences that may affect our financial condition and how we operate our business. Similarly, if we settle such legal proceedings, it may affect our financial condition and how we operate our business. Future court decisions, alternative dispute resolution awards, business expansion or legislative activity may increase our exposure to litigation and regulatory investigations. In some cases, substantial non-economic remedies or punitive damages may be sought.

Although we maintain liability insurance coverage, there can be no assurance that such coverage will cover any particular verdict, judgment, or settlement that may be entered against us, that such coverage will prove to be adequate, or that such coverage will continue to remain available on acceptable terms, if at all. If in any legal proceeding we incur liability or defense costs that exceed our insurance coverage or that are not within the scope of our insurance coverage, it could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

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Certain legal actions include claims for substantial compensatory and punitive damages, or claims for indeterminate amounts of damages. While the arbitration provisions in our customer agreements historically have limited our exposure to consumer class action litigation, there can be no assurance that we will be successful in enforcing our arbitration clause in the future. There may also be legislative, administrative or regulatory efforts to directly or indirectly prohibit the use of pre-dispute arbitration clauses, or we may be compelled as a result of competitive pressure or reputational concerns to voluntarily eliminate pre-dispute arbitration clauses.

Additionally, if we are subject to regulatory actions or other litigation, we may not be able to maintain all requisite licenses and permits or obtain additional licenses and permits necessary for future business operations, and the failure to satisfy those or other regulatory requirements could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, and results of operations. Material changes in laws or regulations applicable to us could also subject us to additional licensing, registration and other regulatory requirements in the future or could adversely affect our business, financial condition, and results of operations.

Unfavorable state legislation, executive orders, or regulatory actions, adverse outcomes in litigation or regulatory proceedings or failure to comply with existing laws and regulations could force us to cease, suspend or modify our operations in a state, potentially resulting in a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

In addition to federal laws and regulations, we are subject to numerous state laws and regulations that affect our lending activities. Many of these regulations impose detailed and complex constraints on the terms of our loans, lending forms and operations. Failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations could subject us to regulatory enforcement action that could result in the assessment against us of civil, monetary, or other penalties, including the suspension or revocation of our licenses to lend in one or more jurisdictions.

As discussed elsewhere in this report, the Company’s operations are subject to extensive state and federal laws and regulations, and changes in those laws or regulations or their application could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, prospects, or ability to continue operations in the jurisdictions affected by these changes. See Part I, Item 1, “Description of Business-Government Regulation” for more information regarding this legislation and related risks.

Passage of adverse legislation, such as rate caps on financial lending products or similar initiatives, in any of the states in which we operate could have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business, results of operations, prospects, or ability to continue operations in the jurisdictions affected by such changes. We can give no assurance that the laws and regulations that govern our business, or the interpretation or administration of those laws and regulations, will remain unchanged or that any such future changes will not materially and adversely affect or in the worst case, eliminate the Company’s lending practices, operations, profitability, or prospects.

In addition, any adverse change in existing laws or regulations, or any adverse interpretation or litigation relating to existing laws and regulations in any state in which we operate, could subject us to liability for prior operating activities or could lower or eliminate the profitability of our operations going forward by, among other things, reducing the amount of interest and fees we can charge in connection with our loans. If these or other factors lead us to close our branches in a state, then in addition to the loss of net revenues attributable to that closing, we would also incur closing costs such as lease cancellation payments and we would have to write off assets that we could no longer use. If we were to suspend rather than permanently cease our operations in a state, we may also have continuing costs associated with maintaining our branches and our employees in that state, with little or no revenues to offset those costs.
Changes in local laws and regulations or interpretations of local laws and regulations could negatively impact our business, results of operations, and financial condition.
In addition to state and federal laws and regulations, our business is subject to various local laws and regulations, such as local zoning regulations. Local zoning boards and other local governing bodies have been increasingly restricting the permitted locations of consumer finance companies. Any future actions taken to require special use permits for or impose other restrictions on our ability to provide products could adversely affect our ability to expand our operations or force us to attempt to relocate existing branches. If we were forced to relocate any of our branches, in addition to the costs associated with the relocation, we may be required to hire new employees in the new areas, which may adversely impact the operations of those branches. Relocation of an existing branch may also hinder our collection abilities, as our business model relies in part on the locations of our branches being close to where our customers live in order to successfully collect on outstanding loans.
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Changes in laws or regulations may have a material adverse effect on all aspects of our business in a particular state and on our overall business, financial condition, and results of operations, including our ability to generate new loans and the manner in which existing loans are serviced and collected.
Defaults by, or force majeure events involving, our third-party vendors and service providers could adversely impact our business.

We rely upon third parties for the performance of certain functions within our operations. If the third-party contracts were breached or disrupted by events of force majeure, we may be unable to service the needs of our customers or replace the third party with an alternative provider in a timely manner. Such failure could have a material adverse impact on our business, results of operations, and financial condition. Further, federal and state regulators have been scrutinizing the practices of lead aggregators and providers recently. If regulators place restrictions on certain practices by lead aggregators or providers, our ability to use them as a source for applicants could be affected.
Employee misconduct or misconduct by third parties acting on our behalf could harm us by subjecting us to monetary loss, significant legal liability, regulatory scrutiny, and reputational harm.

There is a risk that our employees or third-party contractors could engage in misconduct that adversely affects our business. Due to the general decentralized nature in which the loan application process occurs, employee misconduct or error in the application or closing process could also result in the origination of loans that do not satisfy our underwriting standards, which could in turn have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition. Additionally, for example, if an employee or a third-party contractor were to engage in, or be accused of engaging in, illegal or suspicious activities including fraud or theft, we could suffer direct losses from the activity. Additionally, we could be subject to regulatory sanctions and suffer serious harm to our reputation, financial condition, customer relationships and ability to attract future customers. Employee or third-party misconduct could prompt regulators to allege or to determine based upon such misconduct that we have not established adequate supervisory systems and procedures to inform employees of applicable rules or to detect violations of such rules. Our branches have experienced employee fraud from time to time, and it is not always possible to deter employee or third-party misconduct. The precautions that we take to detect and prevent misconduct may not be effective in all cases. Misconduct by our employees or third-party contractors, or even unsubstantiated allegations of misconduct, could result in a material adverse effect on our reputation and our business.

We sell loan accounts that are charged-off, which may result in increased regulator scrutiny, potential reputational damage and financial loss.

As part of our business, from time to time, we may sell loans that are charged off. If we do not appropriately assess a debt buyer’s collection practices for compliance with laws and regulations, there is risk potential. Failure to appropriately select and manage debt buyers can lead to additional regulatory scrutiny, penalties and potentially limit our collection practices on certain debts. In addition, if we do not maintain and provide sufficient documentation of the loans sold, debt buyers may pursue collection without complete and accurate information, subjecting us to potential fines by regulators as well as repurchase risk from debt buyers.

General Risk Factors

Our risk management efforts may not be effective.

We could incur substantial losses and our business operations could be disrupted if we are unable to effectively identify, manage, monitor, and mitigate financial risks, such as credit risk, interest rate risk, prepayment risk, liquidity risk, and other market-related risks, as well as regulatory and operational risks related to our business, assets, and liabilities. Our risk management policies, procedures, and techniques may not be sufficient to identify all of the risks we are exposed to, mitigate the risks we have identified, or identify additional risks to which we may become subject in the future.

We may experience significant turnover in our senior management, and our business may be adversely affected by the transitions in our senior management team.

Executive leadership transitions can be inherently difficult to manage and may cause disruption to our business. In addition, management transition inherently causes some loss of institutional knowledge, which can negatively affect strategy and execution, and our results of operations and financial condition could be negatively impacted as a result. The loss of services of one or more other members of senior management, or the inability to attract qualified permanent replacements, could have a
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material adverse effect on our business. If we fail to successfully attract and appoint permanent replacements with the appropriate expertise, we could experience increased employee turnover and harm to our business, results of operations, cash flow and financial condition. The search for permanent replacements could also result in significant recruiting and relocation costs.

The departure, transition, or replacement of key personnel could significantly impact the results of our operations. If we cannot continue to hire and retain high-quality employees, our business and financial results may be negatively affected.

Our future success significantly depends on the continued service and performance of our key management personnel. Competition for these employees is intense. Our operating results could be adversely affected by higher employee turnover or increased salary and benefit costs. Like most businesses, our employees are important to our success and we are dependent in part on our ability to retain the services of our key management, operational, compliance, finance, and administrative personnel. We have built our business on a set of core values, and we attempt to hire employees who are committed to these values. We want to hire and retain employees who will fit our culture of compliance and of providing exceptional service to our customers. In order to compete and to continue to grow, we must attract, retain, and motivate employees, including those in executive, senior management, and operational positions. As our employees gain experience and develop their knowledge and skills, they become highly desired by other businesses. Therefore, to retain our employees, we must provide a satisfying work environment and competitive compensation and benefits. If costs to retain our skilled employees increase, then our business and financial results may be negatively affected.

Changes in federal, state and local tax law, interpretations of existing tax law, or adverse determinations by tax authorities, could increase our tax burden or otherwise adversely affect our financial condition or results of operations.

We are subject to taxation at the federal, state and local levels. Furthermore, we are subject to regular review and audit by tax authorities. While we believe our tax positions will be sustained, the final outcome of tax audits and related litigation may differ materially from the tax amounts recorded in our Consolidated Financial Statements, which could adversely impact our cash flows and financial results.
Damage to our reputation could negatively impact our business.
Maintaining a strong reputation is critical to our ability to attract and retain customers, investors, and employees. Harm to our reputation can arise from many sources, including employee misconduct, misconduct by third-party service providers or other vendors, litigation or regulatory actions, failure by us to meet minimum standards of service and quality, inadequate protection of customer information, and compliance failures. Negative publicity regarding our Company (or others engaged in a similar business or similar activities), whether or not accurate, may damage our reputation, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, and financial condition.

If we fail to maintain appropriate controls and procedures, we may not be able to accurately report our financial results, which could have a material adverse effect on our operations, financial condition, and the trading price of our common stock.

We are required to maintain disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting. Section 404(a) of the Sarbanes Oxley Act requires us to include in our annual reports on Form 10-K an assessment by management of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes Oxley Act requires us to engage our independent registered public accounting firm to attest to the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting. We expect to incur significant expenses and to devote resources to Section 404 compliance on an ongoing basis. It is difficult for us to predict how long it will take or costly it will be to complete the assessment of the effectiveness of our internal control over financial reporting for each year and to remediate any deficiencies in our internal control over financial reporting.

If we identify a material weakness in our controls and procedures, our ability to record, process, summarize, and report financial information accurately and within the time periods specified in the rules and forms of the SEC could be adversely affected. In addition, remediation of a material weakness would require our management to devote significant time and incur significant expense. A material weakness is a deficiency, or a combination of deficiencies, such that there is a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of our annual or interim financial statements will not be prevented or detected on a timely basis. If we are unable to maintain effective controls and procedures we could lose investor confidence in the accuracy and completeness of our financial reports, and we may be subject to investigation or sanctions by the SEC. Any such consequence or other negative effect could adversely affect our operations, financial condition, and the trading price of our common stock.

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Regular turnover among our managers and other employees at our branches makes it more difficult for us to operate our branches and increases our costs of operations, which could have an adverse effect on our business, results of operations and financial condition.

The annual turnover as of March 31, 2024 among our branch employees was approximately 42.8%. This turnover increases our cost of operations and makes it more difficult to operate our branches. If we are unable to keep our employee turnover rates consistent with historical levels or if unanticipated problems arise from our high employee turnover, our business, results of operations, and financial condition could be adversely affected.

Absence of dividends could reduce our attractiveness to investors.

Since 1989, we have not declared or paid cash dividends on our common stock and may not pay cash dividends in the foreseeable future. As a result, our common stock may be less attractive to certain investors than the stock of dividend-paying companies. Investors may need to rely on sales of their common stock after price appreciation, which may not occur, as the only way to realize future gains on their investment.

Various provisions of our charter documents and applicable laws could delay or prevent a change of control that shareholders may favor.

Provisions of our articles of incorporation, South Carolina law, and the laws in several of the states in which our operating subsidiaries are incorporated could delay or prevent a change of control that the holders of our common stock may favor or may impede the ability of our shareholders to change our management. In particular, our articles of incorporation and South Carolina law, among other things, authorize our Board of Directors to issue preferred stock in one or more series, without shareholder approval, and will require the affirmative vote of holders of two-thirds of our outstanding shares of voting stock, to approve our merger or consolidation with another corporation. Additional information regarding the similar effect of laws in certain states in which we operate is described in Part 1, Item 1, “Description of Business - Government Regulation.”

Overall stock market volatility may materially and adversely affect the market price of our common stock.

The Company’s common stock price has been and is likely to continue to be subject to significant volatility. Securities markets worldwide experience significant price and volume fluctuations. This market volatility, as well as general economic, market, or political conditions, could reduce the market price of shares of our common stock in spite of our operating performance. Additionally, a variety of factors could cause the price of the common stock to fluctuate, perhaps substantially, including: general market fluctuations resulting from factors not directly related to the Company’s operations or the inherent value of its common stock; state or federal legislative or regulatory proposals, initiatives, actions or changes that are, or are perceived to be, adverse to our operations or the broader consumer finance industry in general; announcements of developments related to our business; fluctuations in our operating results and the provision for credit losses; low trading volume in our common stock; decreased availability of our common stock resulting from stock repurchases and concentrations of ownership by large or institutional investors; general conditions in the financial service industry; disruption to the domestic financial services industry, the domestic or global economy, including inflationary pressures, or the domestic or global credit or capital markets; changes in financial estimates by securities analysts; our failure to meet the expectations of securities analysts or investors; negative commentary regarding our Company and corresponding short-selling market behavior; adverse developments in our relationships with our customers; investigations or legal proceedings brought against the Company or its officers; or significant changes in our senior management team.

Changes to accounting rules, regulations or interpretations could significantly affect our financial results.

New accounting rules or regulations, changes to existing accounting rules or regulations, and changing interpretations of existing rules and regulations have been issued or occurred and may continue to be issued or occur in the future. Our methodology for valuing our receivables and otherwise accounting for our business is subject to change depending upon the changes in, and interpretation of, accounting rules, regulations, or interpretations. Any such changes to accounting rules, regulations, or interpretations could negatively affect our reported results of operations and could negatively affect our financial condition through increased cost of compliance.

In addition, the FASB may propose changes to financial accounting and reporting standards that govern key aspects of our financial statements, including areas where assumptions or estimates are required. As a result of changes to financial accounting or reporting standards, whether promulgated or required by the FASB or other regulators, we could be required to change certain assumptions or estimates we previously used in preparing our financial statements, which could negatively impact how we record and report our results of operations and financial condition.
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If assumptions or estimates we use in preparing our financial statements are incorrect or are required to change, our reported results of operations and financial condition may be adversely affected.
We are required to use certain assumptions and estimates in preparing our financial statements under GAAP, including determining allowances for credit losses, the fair value of financial instruments, asset impairment, reserves related to litigation and other legal matters, the fair value of share-based compensation, valuation of income, and other taxes and regulatory exposures. In addition, significant assumptions and estimates are involved in determining certain disclosures required under GAAP, including those involving the fair value of our financial instruments. If the assumptions or estimates underlying our financial statements are incorrect, the actual amounts realized on transactions and balances subject to those estimates will be different, and this could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations and financial condition.
In addition, the FASB may propose changes to several financial accounting and reporting standards that govern key aspects of our financial statements, including areas where assumptions or estimates are required. As a result of changes to financial accounting or reporting standards, whether promulgated or required by the FASB or other regulators, we could be required to change certain assumptions or estimates we previously used in preparing our financial statements, which could negatively impact how we record and report our results of operations and financial condition.

The future issuance of additional shares of our common stock in connection with potential acquisitions or otherwise will dilute all other shareholders.

Except in certain circumstances, we are not restricted from issuing additional shares of common stock, including any securities that are convertible into or exchangeable for, or that represent the right to receive, common stock. The market price of shares of our common stock could decline as a result of sales of a large number of shares of common stock in the market or the perception that such sales could occur. We intend to continue to evaluate acquisition opportunities and may issue shares of common stock in connection with these acquisitions. Any shares of common stock issued in connection with acquisitions, the exercise of outstanding stock options, or otherwise would dilute the percentage ownership held by our existing shareholders.


Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments

None. 

Item 1C. 
Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity Risk Management and Strategy

We have developed and implemented a cybersecurity risk management program intended to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of our critical systems and information.

We design and assess our program based on the National Institute of Standards and Technology Cybersecurity Framework (NIST CSF). This does not imply that we meet any particular technical standards, specifications, or requirements, but rather that we use the NIST CSF as a guide to help us identify, assess, and manage cybersecurity risks relevant to our business.

Our cybersecurity risk management program operates within the Company's overall enterprise risk management program and is aligned to the Company’s business strategy. It shares common methodologies, reporting channels and governance processes that apply to other areas of our overall enterprise risk, including legal, compliance, strategic, operational, and financial risk.

As part of its responsibility to oversee the management, business, and strategy of the Company, the Company’s Board of Directors reviews and approves the Company’s risk management framework annually through its Audit and Compliance Committee and oversees the Company’s risk management processes by informing itself about the Company’s key risks and evaluating whether management has reasonable risk management and control processes in place to address those risks.

Key elements of our cybersecurity risk management program include:

periodic risk assessments designed to help identify material cybersecurity risks to our critical systems, information, products, services, and our broader enterprise information technology environment;

28

a security team principally responsible for managing our cybersecurity risk assessment processes, our security controls, and our response to cybersecurity incidents;

the use of external service providers, where appropriate, to assess, test or otherwise assist with aspects of our security controls;

training and awareness programs for team members that include periodic and ongoing assessments to drive adoption and awareness of cybersecurity processes and controls;

a cybersecurity incident response plan that includes procedures for responding to cybersecurity incidents; and

a third-party risk management process for service providers, suppliers, and vendors.

We are not aware of any cybersecurity incidents that have materially affected or are reasonably likely to materially affect our Company, including its business strategies, results of operations or financial condition. We face risks from cybersecurity threats that, if realized, may materially affect our business strategy, results of operations or financial condition. Despite our efforts, we cannot provide full assurance that our cybersecurity risk management processes will be fully implemented, complied with or effective in preventing or mitigating future cybersecurity risks. Refer to “Item 1A. Risk Factors” in this annual report on Form 10-K, including “We depend on secure information technology, and an attack on or a breach of those systems or those of third-party vendors could result in significant losses, unauthorized disclosure of confidential customer information, and reputational damage, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and/or results of operations, and could lead to significant financial and legal exposure and reputational harm.”, for additional discussion about cybersecurity-related risks.

Cybersecurity Governance

Our Board of Directors and Audit and Compliance Committee oversee the Company’s cybersecurity risk management program, which is operated by senior management. Our Board of Directors has delegated the primary responsibility to oversee cybersecurity matters to the Audit and Compliance Committee.

Both the Board of Directors and the Audit and Compliance Committee periodically review the measures we have implemented to identify and mitigate cybersecurity risks.

Our Vice President of Information Security is responsible for overseeing the Company’s cybersecurity practices. He joined the Company in 2018 and has over 10 years of information security and cybersecurity experience. He has an undergraduate degree from Clemson University, and has obtained professional security certifications and trainings, including the Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification. In his role as Vice President of Information Security, he meets with the Audit and Compliance Committee and Board of Directors each quarter to discuss the Company's cybersecurity risk management program.

The cybersecurity team is led by the Vice President of Information Security and the Senior Vice President of IT. Our team is comprised of highly skilled analysts, all of whom hold professional certifications and have undergone extensive training to assist in safeguarding our sensitive customer data.

We strive to integrate cybersecurity into our corporate governance, engaging with expert third parties, managing third-party risks, and ensuring that both management and the Board of Directors are actively involved in overseeing and mitigating these risks.

Item 2. Properties
 
Our headquarters is located in approximately 45,000 square feet of leased space in downtown Greenville, South Carolina. This lease expires on January 31, 2030 and includes two five-year renewal options. We also lease approximately 8,000 square feet of space in Greenville, South Carolina which expires in January 31, 2032.

As of March 31, 2024, we had 1,048 branches, most of which are leased and are classified as operating leases. Our branch leases generally provide for an initial three-to-five-year term with renewal options. Our branches are typically located in shopping centers, malls and the first floors of downtown buildings. Branches have an average size of 1,600 square feet. We own all of the furniture, fixtures and computer terminals located in each of our branches. 

Item 3.Legal Proceedings

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From time to time, the Company is involved in litigation matters relating to claims arising out of its operations in the normal course of business.

Estimating an amount or range of possible losses resulting from litigation, government actions, and other legal proceedings is inherently difficult and requires an extensive degree of judgment, particularly where the matters involve indeterminate claims for monetary damages, may involve fines, penalties, or damages that are discretionary in amount, involve a large number of claimants or significant discretion by regulatory authorities, represent a change in regulatory policy or interpretation, present novel legal theories, are in the early stages of the proceedings, are subject to appeal or could result in a change in business practices. In addition, because most legal proceedings are resolved over extended periods of time, potential losses are subject to change due to, among other things, new developments, changes in legal strategy, the outcome of intermediate procedural and substantive rulings and other parties’ settlement posture and their evaluation of the strength or weakness of their case against us. For these reasons, we are currently unable to predict the ultimate timing or outcome of, or reasonably estimate the possible losses or a range of possible losses resulting from, currently pending claims. Based on information currently available, the Company does not believe that any reasonably possible losses arising from currently pending legal matters will be material to the Company’s results of operations or financial conditions. However, in light of the inherent uncertainties involved in such matters, an adverse outcome in one or more of these matters could materially and adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations or cash flows in any particular reporting period.

Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures

None.

PART II.

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Item 5.Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

Market Information

Since November 26, 1991, the Company’s common stock has traded on NASDAQ and is currently listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market (“NASDAQ”) under the symbol WRLD. 

Holders

As of May 17, 2024, there were 23 holders of record of our common stock and a significant number of persons or entities who hold their stock in nominee or “street” names through various brokerage firms.

Dividends

Since April 1989, the Company has not declared or paid any cash dividends on its common stock. Its policy has been to retain earnings for use in its business and selectively use cash to repurchase its common stock on the open market. In addition, the Company’s revolving credit agreement and indenture governing the Notes contain certain restrictions on the payment of cash dividends on its capital stock. See Part II, Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations-Liquidity and Capital Resources.” In the future, the Company’s Board of Directors may determine whether to pay cash dividends based on conditions then existing, including the Company’s earnings, financial condition, capital requirements and other relevant factors. 

Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities

On February 24, 2024, the Board of Directors authorized the Company to repurchase up to $30.0 million of the Company’s outstanding common stock, inclusive of the amount that remained available for repurchase under prior repurchase authorizations. As of March 31, 2024, the Company had $11.2 million in aggregate remaining repurchase capacity under its current share repurchase program. The timing and actual number of shares repurchased will depend on a variety of factors, including the stock price, corporate and regulatory requirements, available funds, alternative uses of capital, restrictions under the Company's debt agreements, and other market and economic conditions. The Company’s stock repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

The repurchase authorization does not have a stated expiration date. The following table details purchases of the Company's common stock, if any, made by the Company during the three months ended March 31, 2024:
(a)
Total number of
shares purchased
(b)
Average price paid
per share
(c)
Total number of shares purchased
as part of publicly announced
plans or programs
(d)
Approximate dollar value of shares
that may yet be purchased
under the plans or programs
January 1 through January 31, 20241,383 $129.99 1,383 $2,649,704 
February 1 through February 29, 2024— — — 2,649,704 
March 1 through March 31, 2024145,053 129.94 145,053 11,151,669 
Total for the quarter146,436 $129.94 146,436 

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Stock Performance Graph
2179
Item 6. [Reserved]

Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

General

The Company's financial performance continues to be dependent in large part upon the growth in its outstanding loans receivable, the maintenance of loan quality and acceptable levels of operating expenses. Since March 31, 2020, gross loans receivable have increased at a 1.36% annual compounded rate from $1.21 billion to $1.28 billion at March 31, 2024. We believe we were able to improve our gross loans receivable growth rates through acquisitions, improved marketing processes, and analytics. The Company plans to enter into new markets through opening new branches and acquisitions as opportunities arise.

The Company offers an income tax return preparation and electronic filing program in all but a few of its branches. The Company prepared approximately 83,000, 75,000, and 80,000 returns in each of the fiscal years 2024, 2023, and 2022, respectively. Revenues from the Company’s tax preparation business in fiscal 2024 amounted to approximately $29.5 million, a 23.1% increase over the $24.0 million earned during fiscal 2023.  

The following table sets forth certain information derived from the Company's Consolidated Statements of Operations and Balance Sheets, as well as operating data and ratios, for the periods indicated:
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 Years Ended March 31,
 202420232022
 (Dollars in thousands)
Gross loans receivable$1,277,149 $1,390,016 $1,522,789 
Average gross loans receivable (1)
$1,378,329 $1,555,655 $1,377,740 
Net loans receivable (2)
$950,403 $1,013,341 $1,119,758 
Average net loans receivable (3)
$1,012,544 $1,133,051 $1,014,984 
Expenses as a percentage of total revenue:   
Provision for credit losses27.4 %42.1 %31.8 %
General and administrative46.9 %45.3 %51.3 %
Interest expense8.4 %8.2 %5.7 %
Operating income as a % of total revenue (4)
25.8 %12.6 %16.9 %
Loan volume (5)
2,758,260 3,078,672 3,267,860 
Net charge-offs as percent of average net loans receivable17.7 %23.7 %14.2 %
Return on average assets (trailing 12 months)7.0 %1.7 %4.8 %
Return on average equity (trailing 12 months)19.1 %5.8 %13.4 %
Branches opened or acquired (merged or closed), net(25)(94)(38)
Branches open (at period end)1,048 1,073 1,167 
_______________________________________________________
(1) Average gross loans receivable have been determined by averaging month-end gross loans receivable over the indicated period, excluding tax advances.
(2) Net loans receivable is defined as gross loans receivable less unearned interest and deferred fees.
(3) Average net loans receivable have been determined by averaging month-end gross loans receivable less unearned interest and deferred fees over the indicated period, excluding tax advances.
(4) Operating income is computed as total revenue less provision for credit losses and general and administrative expenses.
(5) Loan volume includes all loan balances originated by the Company. It does not include loans purchased through acquisitions.

Comparison of Fiscal 2024 Versus Fiscal 2023

Net income for fiscal 2024 was $77.3 million, a 264.3% increase from the $21.2 million earned during fiscal 2023. The increase in net income was primarily due to a $102.5 million decrease in the provision for credit losses partially offset by a $43.3 million decrease in revenue.

Operating income (revenues less provision for credit losses and general and administrative expenses) during fiscal 2024 increased $70.0 million.

Total revenues decreased $43.33 million, or 7.0%, to $573.21 million in fiscal 2024, from $616.55 million in fiscal 2023. At March 31, 2024, the Company had 1,048 branches in operation, a decrease of 25 branches from March 31, 2023.

Interest and fee income during fiscal 2024 decreased by $39.8 million, or 7.8%, from fiscal 2023. The decrease was primarily due to a decrease in average net loans receivable, which decreased 10.6% during fiscal 2024 compared to fiscal 2023. Interest and fee income was also impacted by a shift away from larger, lower interest rate loans. The large loan portfolio decreased from 58.1% of the overall portfolio as of March 31, 2023, to 55.8% as of March 31, 2024.

Insurance revenue and other income decreased by $3.5 million, or 3.3%, from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2024. See Note 7 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for the material components of Insurance and other income for the fiscal years ended March 31, 2024, 2023 and 2022.
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Insurance revenue decreased by $7.9 million, or 11.8%, from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2024 due to a decrease in loan volume in states where we offer our insurance products along with the shift away from larger loans. The sale of insurance products is limited to large loans in several states in which we operate. Other income increased by $4.4 million, or 10.7%, from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2024 primarily due to an increase in tax preparation revenue of $5.5 million, partially offset by a decrease in revenue from the Company's motor club product of $1.6 million.

The provision for credit losses during fiscal 2024 decreased by $102.5 million, or 39.5%, from the previous year. This decrease can mostly be attributed to a decrease in charge-off rates during the year. Accounts that were 91 days or more past due represented 3.1% and 3.5% of our loan portfolio on a recency basis at March 31, 2024 and March 31, 2023, respectively.

The Company's year-over-year net charge-off ratio (net charge-offs as a percentage of average net loans receivable) decreased from 23.7% for the year ended March 31, 2023 to 17.7% for the year ended March 31, 2024. The net charge-off rate for the past ten fiscal years averaged 16.3%, with a high of 23.7% (fiscal 2023) and a low of 12.8% (fiscal 2015). The following table presents the Company's net charge-off ratios since 2013.

5248
    _______________________________________________________
2015 In fiscal 2015, the Company's net charge-off rate decreased to 12.8%. The net charge-off rate benefited from a change in branch level incentives during the year, which allowed branch managers to continue collection efforts on accounts that are 91 days or more past due without having their monthly bonus negatively impacted. As expected, the change resulted in an increase in accounts 91 days or more past due and fewer net charge-offs during fiscal 2015. We estimate the net charge-off rate would have been approximately 14.0% for fiscal 2015 excluding the impact of the change.
2023 In fiscal 2023, the Company's net charge-off rate increased to 23.7%. This increase is primarily attributable to the higher proportion of NBs at the beginning of the current fiscal year. Additionally, NBs originated in the prior fiscal year performed worse than expected as a result of the rapid rise in inflation during Q4 of fiscal 2022.
2024 In fiscal 2024, the Company's net charge-off rate decreased to 17.7%. This decrease is primarily attributable to the Company's continued focus on credit quality and a conservative approach to its lending operations.

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General and administrative expenses during fiscal 2024 decreased by $10.9 million, or 3.9%, over the previous fiscal year. General and administrative expenses, when divided by average open branches, increased 1.6% from fiscal 2023 to fiscal 2024 and, overall, general and administrative expenses as a percent of total revenues increased to 46.9% in fiscal 2024 from 45.3% in fiscal 2023. The change in general and administrative expense is explained in greater detail below.

Personnel expense totaled $164.5 million for fiscal 2024, a $13.2 million, or 7.4%, decrease over fiscal 2023. The decrease was largely due to a $10.7 million decrease in stock compensation expense and a $2.2 million decrease in bonus expense.

Occupancy and equipment expense totaled $49.8 million for fiscal 2024, a 2.3 million, or 4.5%, decrease over fiscal 2023. Occupancy and equipment expense is generally a function of the number of branches the Company has open throughout the year. In fiscal 2024, the expense per average open branch increased to $47.2 thousand, up from $46.7 thousand in fiscal 2023.

Advertising expense totaled $9.9 million for fiscal 2024, a $3.8 million, or 62.9%, increase over fiscal 2023. The increase was primarily due to increased spending in our new customer acquisition programs.

Amortization of intangible assets totaled $4.2 million for fiscal 2024, a $0.2 million, or 5.5%, decrease over fiscal 2023, which primarily relates to a corresponding decrease in intangible assets acquired in the current fiscal year compared to the previous fiscal year.

Other expense totaled $40.2 million for fiscal 2024, a $1.1 million, or 2.8%, increase over fiscal 2023.

Interest expense decreased by $2.2 million, or 4.4%, during fiscal 2024 when compared to the previous fiscal year as a result of a 21.1% decrease in average debt outstanding, partially offset by an increase in the effective interest rate from 7.1% to 8.6%.

Income tax expense increased $16.1 million for fiscal 2024 compared to the prior fiscal year. The effective tax rate increased to 22.2% for fiscal 2024 compared to 21.8% for fiscal 2023. The effective tax rate remained substantially unchanged from prior year with the slight increase related to the effects of increased pretax book earnings relative to the effect of permanent items included in the current fiscal year.

Comparison of Fiscal 2023 Versus Fiscal 2022

For a comparison of our results of operations for the years ended March 31, 2023 and March 31, 2022, see Part II, Item 7, "Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2023 (which was filed with the SEC on June 1, 2023).

Regulatory Matters

CFPB Rulemaking Initiative

On October 5, 2017, the CFPB issued a final rule (the "Rule") imposing limitations on (i) short-term consumer loans, (ii) longer-term consumer installment loans with balloon payments, and (iii) higher-rate consumer installment loans repayable by a payment authorization. The Rule originally required lenders originating short-term loans and longer-term balloon payment loans to evaluate whether each consumer has the ability to repay the loan along with current obligations and expenses (“ability to repay requirements”); however, the ability to repay requirements was rescinded in July 2020. The Rule also curtails repeated unsuccessful attempts to debit consumers’ accounts for short-term loans, balloon payment loans, and installment loans that involve a payment authorization and an annual percentage rate over 36% (“payment requirements”). Implementation of the Rule’s payment requirements may require changes to the Company’s practices and procedures for such loans, which could materially and adversely affect the Company’s ability to make such loans, the cost of making such loans, the Company’s ability to, or frequency with which it could, refinance any such loans, and the profitability of such loans.

In July 2020, the CFPB rescinded provisions of the Rule governing the ability to repay requirements. The payment requirements were scheduled to take effect in June 2022. However, on October 19, 2022, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled, in Community Financial Services Association of America v. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, that the funding mechanism for the CFPB violates the appropriations clause of the U.S. Constitution, and as a result, vacated the Rule. On October 3, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court held oral argument to decide the constitutionality of the CFPB's funding mechanism. On May 16, 2024, the Supreme Court held that the funding mechanism for the CFPB complies with the appropriations clause of the U.S. Constitution, reversing the judgment of the Court of Appeals, and remanding the
35

cause for further proceedings. To the extent that the Rule is reinstated and takes effect, any regulatory changes could have effects beyond those currently contemplated that could further materially and adversely impact our business and operations. Unless rescinded or otherwise amended, the Company will have to comply with the Rule’s payment requirements if it continues to allow consumers to set up future recurring payments online for certain covered loans such that it meets the definition of having a “leveraged payment mechanism” under the Rule. If the payment provisions of the Rule apply, the Company will have to modify its loan payment procedures to comply with the required notices and mandated timeframes set forth in the final rule.

The CFPB also has stated that it expects to conduct separate rulemaking to identify larger participants in the installment lending market for purposes of its supervision program. This initiative was classified as “inactive” on the CFPB’s Spring 2018 rulemaking agenda and has remained inactive since, but the CFPB indicated that such action was not a decision on the merits. Though the likelihood and timing of any such rulemaking is uncertain, the Company believes that the implementation of such rules would likely bring the Company’s business under the CFPB’s supervisory authority which, among other things, would subject the Company to reporting obligations to, and on-site compliance examinations by, the CFPB. In addition, even in the absence of a “larger participant” rule, the CFPB has the power to order individual nonbank financial institutions to submit to supervision where the CFPB has reasonable cause to determine that the institution is engaged in “conduct that poses risks to consumers” under 12 USC 5514(a)(1)(C). In 2022, the CFPB announced that it had begun using this “dormant authority” to examine nonbank entities and the CFPB is attempting to expand the number of nonbank entities it currently supervises. Specifically, the CFPB previously notified the Company that it was seeking to establish such supervisory authority over the Company. Since then, the CFPB issued a public designation order setting forth its determination that the Company has met the legal requirements for supervision (the "Order"). Pursuant to the terms of the Order, the CFPB has supervisory authority over the Company pursuant to section 1024(a)(1)(C) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010 until such time as the Order is terminated consistent with 12 C.F.R. 1091.113. Importantly, while the Order establishes that the CFPB has supervisory authority over the Company, it does not constitute a finding that the Company has engaged in wrongdoing, nor does it require any immediate action on the part of the Company. However, the outcome of such supervision could result in operational changes which could reduce our ability to operate profitably or increase compliance costs. The supervision could also result in additional examinations, investigations, litigation, consent orders or administrative proceedings, which could require considerable resources, time, effort and attention from our management, and may result in operational changes, monetary penalties or declines in our stock price. See Part I, Item 1, “Description of Business - Government Regulation - Federal legislation,” for a further discussion of these matters and the federal regulations to which the Company’s operations are subject and Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” for more information regarding these regulatory and related risks.

Quarterly Information and Seasonality

The Company's loan volume and corresponding loans receivable follow seasonal trends. The Company's highest loan demand typically occurs from October through December, its third fiscal quarter. Loan demand has generally been the lowest and loan repayment highest from January to March, its fourth fiscal quarter. Loan volume and average balances typically remain relatively level during the remainder of the year. This seasonal trend affects quarterly operating performance through corresponding fluctuations in interest and fee income and insurance commissions earned and the provision for credit losses recorded, as well as fluctuations in the Company's cash needs. Consequently, operating results for the Company's third fiscal quarter generally are significantly lower than in other quarters and operating results for its fourth fiscal quarter are significantly higher than in other quarters.
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The following table sets forth, on a quarterly basis, certain items included in the Company's unaudited Consolidated Financial Statements and shows the number of branches open during fiscal years 2024 and 2023.
 
 At or for the Three Months Ended
 Fiscal 2024Fiscal 2023
June
30,
September
30,
December
31,
March
31,
June
30,
September
30,
December
31,
March
31,
(Dollars in thousands)
Total revenues$139,324 $136,875 $137,749 $159,265 $157,918 $151,258 $146,533 $160,837 
Provision for credit losses$46,602 $40,463 $40,632 $29,276 $85,822 $68,620 $59,609 $45,412 
General and administrative expenses$68,125 $62,948 $65,909 $71,619 $71,650 $69,694 $64,951 $73,178 
Net income (loss)$9,539 $16,082 $16,665 $35,058 $(8,566)$(637)$5,806 $24,632 
Gross loans receivable$1,397,966 $1,379,514 $1,400,622 $1,277,149 $1,641,798 $1,598,362 $1,553,985 $1,390,016 
Number of branches open1,055 1,053 1,052 1,048 1,146 1,104 1,084 1,073 


Critical Accounting Policies

The Company’s accounting and reporting policies are in accordance with GAAP and conform to general practices within the finance company industry. The significant accounting policies used in the preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statements are discussed in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. Certain critical accounting policies involve significant judgment by the Company’s management, including the use of estimates and assumptions which affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues, and expenses. As a result, changes in these estimates and assumptions could significantly affect the Company’s financial position and results of operations. The Company considers its policies regarding the allowance for credit losses, share-based compensation, and income taxes to be its most critical accounting policies due to the significant degree of management judgment involved.

Allowance for Credit Losses

Accounting policies related to the allowance for credit losses are considered to be critical as these policies involve considerable subjective judgement and estimation by management. In the case of loans, the allowance for credit losses is a contra-asset valuation account, calculated in accordance with ASC 326 that is deducted from the amortized cost basis of loans to present the net amount expected to be collected. The amount of the allowance account represents management’s best estimate of current expected credit losses on these financial instruments considering available information, from internal and external sources, relevant to assessing exposure to credit loss over the contractual term of the instrument. Relevant available information includes historical credit loss experience, current conditions, and reasonable and supportable forecasts.

Share-Based Compensation

The Company measures compensation cost for share-based awards at fair value and recognizes compensation over the service period for awards expected to vest. The fair value of restricted stock is based on the number of shares granted and the quoted price of our common stock at the time of grant, and the fair value of stock options is determined using the Black-Scholes valuation model. The Black-Scholes model requires the input of highly subjective assumptions, including expected volatility, risk-free interest rate and expected life, changes to which can materially affect the fair value estimate. Actual results, and future changes in estimates, may differ substantially from our current estimates.

Income Taxes
 
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Management uses certain assumptions and estimates in determining income taxes payable or refundable, deferred income tax liabilities and assets for events recognized differently in its financial statements and income tax returns, and income tax expense. Determining these amounts requires analysis of certain transactions and interpretation of tax laws and regulations. Management exercises considerable judgment in evaluating the amount and timing of recognition of the resulting income tax liabilities and assets. These judgments and estimates are re-evaluated on a periodic basis as regulatory and business factors change.

Pursuant to ASC 740, a deferred tax asset or liability is generally recognized for the estimated future tax effects attributable to temporary differences, net operating losses, and tax credit carryforwards. Deferred tax assets are to be reduced by a valuation allowance if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax assets will not be realized. Significant judgment is required in assessing the realizability of the Company’s deferred tax assets. The Company considers all available evidence, both positive and negative, in assessing the extent to which a valuation allowance should be applied against its deferred tax asset. If, based on its assessment, the Company determines that it is more likely than not (intended to mean a likelihood that is more than 50%) that some portion or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized, a valuation allowance is established. The ultimate realization of deferred tax assets is dependent upon generation of future taxable income of the appropriate character during the periods in which the temporary differences become deductible. Management considers the timing of the reversal of deferred liabilities, projected future taxable income, tax planning strategies, and the ability to carryback tax attributes in making this assessment.

No assurance can be given that either the tax returns submitted by management or the income tax reported on the Consolidated Financial Statements will not be adjusted by either adverse rulings, changes in the tax code, or assessments made by the IRS or by state or foreign taxing authorities. The Company is subject to potential adverse adjustments including, but not limited to: an increase in the statutory federal or state income tax rates, the permanent non-deductibility of amounts currently considered deductible either now or in future periods, and the dependency on the generation of future taxable income in order to ultimately realize deferred income tax assets.

Under FASB ASC 740, the Company includes the current and deferred tax impact of its tax positions in the financial statements when it is more likely than not (likelihood of greater than 50%) that such positions will be sustained by taxing authorities, with full knowledge of relevant information, based on the technical merits of the tax position. While the Company supports its tax positions by unambiguous tax law, prior experience with the taxing authority, and analysis that considers all relevant facts, circumstances and regulations, management must still rely on assumptions and estimates to determine the overall likelihood of success and proper quantification of a given tax position.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

The Company has financed and continues to finance its operations, acquisitions and branch expansion through a combination of cash flows from operations and borrowings from its institutional lenders. The Company has generally applied its cash flows from operations to fund its loan volume, fund acquisitions, repay long-term indebtedness and repurchase its common stock. As the Company's gross loans receivable increased from $1.10 billion at March 31, 2021 to $1.28 billion at March 31, 2024, net cash provided by operating activities for fiscal years 2024, 2023, and 2022 was $265.8 million, $291.6 million, and $272.4 million, respectively.

On September 27, 2021, we issued $300 million in aggregate principal amount of 7.0% senior notes due 2026. The Notes were sold in a private placement in reliance on Rule 144A and Regulation S under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. The Notes are unconditionally guaranteed, jointly and severally, on a senior unsecured basis by all of the Company’s existing and certain of its future subsidiaries that guarantee the revolving credit facility. Interest on the notes is payable semi-annually in arrears on May 1 and November 1 of each year, commencing May 1, 2022. At any time prior to November 1, 2023, the Company could have redeemed the Notes, in whole or in part, at a redemption price equal to 100% of the principal amount plus a make-whole premium, as described in the indenture, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but not including, the date of redemption. At any time on or after November 1, 2023, the Company may redeem the Notes at redemption prices set forth in the indenture, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but not including, the date of redemption. In addition, at any time prior to November 1, 2023, the Company could have used the proceeds of certain equity offerings to redeem up to 40% of the aggregate principal amount of the Notes issued under the indenture at a redemption price equal to 107.0% of the principal amount of Notes redeemed, plus accrued and unpaid interest, if any, to, but not including, the date of redemption.

We used the net proceeds from this offering to repay a portion of the outstanding indebtedness under our revolving credit facility and for general corporate purposes.

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During fiscal 2024, the Company repurchased and extinguished $15.7 million of its Notes, net of $0.2 million unamortized debt issuance costs related to the extinguished debt, on the open market for a reacquisition price of $14.1 million.

During fiscal 2023, the Company repurchased and extinguished $9.0 million of its Notes, net of $0.1 million unamortized debt issuance costs related to the extinguished debt, on the open market for a reacquisition price of $7.2 million.

As a result, the Company recognized a $1.6 million and $1.8 million gain on extinguishment for the years ended March 31, 2024 and 2023, respectively. In accordance with ASC 470, the Company recognized the gain on extinguishment as a component of interest expense in the Company's Consolidated Statements of Operations.

The indenture governing the Notes contains certain covenants that, among other things, limit the Company’s ability and the ability of its restricted subsidiaries to (i) incur additional indebtedness or issue certain disqualified stock and preferred stock; (ii) pay dividends or distributions or redeem or purchase capital stock; (iii) prepay subordinated debt or make certain investments; (iv) transfer and sell assets; (v) create or permit to exist liens; (vi) enter into agreements that restrict dividends, loans and other distributions from their subsidiaries; (vii) engage in a merger, consolidation or sell, transfer or otherwise dispose of all or substantially all of their assets; and (viii) engage in transactions with affiliates. However, these covenants are subject to a number of important detailed qualifications and exceptions.

The Company continues to believe stock repurchases are a viable component of the Company’s long-term financial strategy and an excellent use of excess cash when the opportunity arises. However, our revolving credit facility and the Notes limit share repurchases to up to $90.0 million from March 26, 2021 through June 30, 2022 plus up to 50% of consolidated adjusted net income for the period commencing January 1, 2019. As of March 31, 2024, subject to further approval from our Board of Directors, we could repurchase approximately $30.1 million of shares under the terms of our debt facilities. Additional share repurchases can be made subject to compliance with, among other things, applicable restricted payment covenants under the revolving credit facility and the Notes.

The Company acquired $2.1 million and $28.3 million in loans receivable, net during fiscal 2024 and 2023, respectively. The Company believes that attractive opportunities to acquire new branches or receivables from its competitors or to acquire branches in communities not currently served by the Company will continue to become available as conditions in local economies and the financial circumstances of owners change.
 
The Company has a revolving credit facility with a syndicate of banks. The revolving credit facility provides for revolving borrowings of up to the lesser of (a) the aggregate commitments under the facility and (b) a borrowing base, and it includes a $725.8 thousand letter of credit under a $1.5 million subfacility.

Subject to a borrowing base formula, the Company may borrow at the rate of one month SOFR plus a spread adjustment of 0.10% and an applicable margin of 3.5% with a minimum rate of 4.5%. At March 31, 2024, the aggregate commitments under the revolving credit facility were $580.0 million. The Company had $725.8 thousand in outstanding standby letters of credit which include (i) $300.0 thousand related to worker's compensation expiring on December 31, 2024 and (ii) $425.8 thousand related to the Company's investment in captive insurance expiring on April 12, 2024. Both letters of credit automatically extend for one year on their expiration dates. The borrowing base limitation is equal to the product of (a) the Company’s eligible loans receivables, less unearned finance charges, insurance premiums and insurance commissions, and (b) an advance rate percentage that ranges from 70% (decreasing to as low as 62% for the calendar months ended October 31, 2022 through June 30, 2023) to 80% based on a collateral performance indicator, as more completely described below. Further, under the revolving credit facility, the administrative agent has the right to set aside reasonable reserves against the available borrowing base in such amounts as it may deem appropriate, including, without limitation, reserves with respect to certain regulatory events or any increased operational, legal, or regulatory risk of the Company and its subsidiaries.

For the year ended March 31, 2024, the effective interest rate, including the commitment fee, on borrowings under the revolving credit facility was 9.9%. The Company pays a commitment fee equal to 0.50% per annum of the daily unused portion of the commitments. On March 31, 2024, $223.4 million was outstanding under this facility, and there was $355.9 million of unused borrowing availability under the borrowing base limitations.

The Company’s obligations under the revolving credit facility, together with treasury management and hedging obligations owing to any lender under the revolving credit facility or any affiliate of any such lender, are required to be guaranteed by each of the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries. The obligations of the Company and the subsidiary guarantors under the revolving credit facility, together with such treasury management and hedging obligations, are secured by a first-priority security interest in substantially all assets of the Company and the subsidiary guarantors.

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The agreement governing the Company’s revolving credit facility contains affirmative and negative covenants, including covenants that restrict the ability of the Company and its subsidiaries to, among other things, incur or guarantee indebtedness, incur liens, pay dividends and repurchase or redeem capital stock, dispose of assets, engage in mergers and consolidations, make acquisitions or other investments, redeem or prepay subordinated debt, amend subordinated debt documents, make changes in the nature of its business, and engage in transactions with affiliates. The agreement allows the Company to incur subordinated debt that matures after the termination date for the revolving credit facility and that contains specified subordination terms, subject to limitations on amount imposed by the financial covenants under the agreement. The agreement's financial covenants include (i) a minimum consolidated net worth of $325.0 million; (ii) a maximum ratio of total debt to consolidated adjusted net worth of 2.25 to 1.0 for the fiscal quarter ended December 31, 2023 and each fiscal quarter thereafter); (iii) a maximum collateral performance indicator of 26.0% as of the end of each calendar month; and (iv) a minimum fixed charges coverage ratio of 2.0 to 1.0 for the fiscal quarters ending December 31, 2023 through December 31, 2024, and 2.25 to 1.0 for each fiscal quarter thereafter, where the ratio for the most recent four consecutive fiscal quarters (other than for the fiscal quarter ended September 30, 2023) must be at least 2.0 to 1.0 in order for the Company to declare dividends or purchase any class or series of its capital stock or other equity.

The collateral performance indicator is equal to the sum of (a) a three-month rolling average rate of receivables at least sixty days past due and (b) an eight-month rolling average net charge-off rate. The Company was in compliance with these covenants at March 31, 2024 and does not believe that these covenants will materially limit its business and expansion strategy.

The agreement contains events of default including, without limitation, nonpayment of principal, interest or other obligations, violation of covenants, misrepresentation, cross-default to other debt, bankruptcy and other insolvency events, judgments, certain ERISA events, actual or asserted invalidity of loan documentation, invalidity of subordination provisions of subordinated debt, certain changes of control of the Company, and the occurrence of certain regulatory events (including the entry of any stay, order, judgment, ruling or similar event related to the Company’s or any of its subsidiaries’ originating, holding, pledging, collecting or enforcing its eligible loans receivables that is material to the Company or any subsidiary) which remains unvacated, undischarged, unbonded or unstayed by appeal or otherwise for a period of 60 days from the date of its entry and is reasonably likely to cause a material adverse change.

As of March 31, 2024, the Company's debt outstanding was $496.0 million, net of $2.4 million unamortized debt issuance costs related to the unsecured senior notes payable, and its shareholders' equity was $424.4 million resulting in a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.2:1.0. Management will continue to monitor the Company's debt-to-equity ratio and is committed to maintaining a debt level that will allow the Company to continue to execute its business objectives, while not putting undue stress on its Consolidated Balance Sheets.

The Company believes that cash flow from operations and borrowings under its revolving credit facility or other sources will be adequate to fund the expected cash requirements from contractual and other obligations and cost of opening or acquiring new branches, including funding initial operating losses of new branches and funding loans receivable originated by those branches and the Company's other branches (for the next 12 months and for the foreseeable future beyond that). Except as otherwise discussed in this report including, but not limited to, any discussions in Part 1, Item 1A, "Risk Factors" (as supplemented by any subsequent disclosures in information the Company files with or furnishes to the SEC from time to time), management is not currently aware of any trends, demands, commitments, events or uncertainties that it believes will or could result in, or are or could be reasonably likely to result in, any material adverse effect on the Company’s liquidity.

Share Repurchase Program

On February 24, 2024, the Board of Directors authorized the Company to repurchase up to $30.0 million of the Company’s outstanding common stock, inclusive of the amount that remains available for repurchase under prior repurchase authorizations. As of March 31, 2024, the Company had $11.2 million in aggregate remaining repurchase capacity under its current share repurchase program. The timing and actual number of shares of common stock repurchased will depend on a variety of factors, including the stock price, corporate and regulatory requirements, restrictions under the Company's debt agreements and other market and economic conditions. The Company’s stock repurchase program may be suspended or discontinued at any time.

The Company continues to believe stock repurchases are a viable component of the Company’s long-term financial strategy and an excellent use of excess cash when the opportunity arises. Additional share repurchases can be made subject to compliance with, among other things, applicable restricted payment covenants under the revolving credit facility and the Notes. Our first priority is to ensure we have enough capital to fund loan growth. As of March 31, 2024, subject to further approval from our Board of Directors, we could repurchase approximately $30.1 million of shares under the terms of our debt facilities. To the extent we have excess capital, we may repurchase stock, if appropriate and as authorized by our Board of Directors.

Inflation

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The Company does not believe that inflation will have a materially adverse effect on its financial condition, unless changes in inflation are particularly severe and sudden in nature. Although inflation would increase the Company’s operating costs in absolute terms and may impact the ability or willingness of borrowers to repay their loans, the Company expects that the same decrease in the value of money would result in an increase in the size of loans demanded by its customer base. It is reasonable to anticipate that such a change in customer preference would result in an increase in total loan receivables and an increase in absolute revenues to be generated from that larger amount of loans receivable. The Company believes that this increase in absolute revenues should offset any increase in operating costs. In addition, because the Company’s loans have a relatively short contractual term and average life, it is unlikely that loans made at any given point in time will be repaid with significantly inflated dollars.

Legal Matters

From time to time the Company is involved in litigation relating to claims arising out of its operations in the normal course of business. See Part I, Item 3, “Legal Proceedings” and Note 16 to our audited Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of legal matters. 

Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
 
Our operations expose us to a variety of market risks, including the effects of changes in interest rates. We monitor and manage these financial exposures as an integral part of our overall risk management program.

Interest Rate Risk

The Company’s outstanding debt under its revolving credit facility was $223.4 million at March 31, 2024. Interest on borrowings under this facility is based on the greater of 4.5% or one month SOFR plus 0.10% and an applicable margin of 3.5%.

Based on the outstanding balance under the Company's revolving credit facility at March 31, 2024, a change of 1% in the interest rate would cause a change in interest expense of approximately $2.2 million on an annual basis.

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Part II
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
March 31,
 20242023
ASSETS  
Cash and cash equivalents$11,839,460 $16,508,935 
Gross loans receivable1,277,149,256 1,390,015,568 
Less:  
Unearned interest, insurance and fees(326,746,136)(376,674,349)
Allowance for credit losses(102,962,811)(125,552,733)
Loans receivable, net847,440,309 887,788,486 
Income taxes receivable3,091,229  
Operating lease ROU assets, net
79,501,238 81,289,240 
Property and equipment, net22,897,197 23,926,080 
Deferred income taxes, net30,942,844 41,722,361 
Other assets, net42,198,242 43,422,669 
Goodwill7,370,791 7,370,791 
Intangible assets, net11,069,733 15,289,579 
Total assets$1,056,351,043 $1,117,318,141 
LIABILITIES & SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY  
Liabilities:  
Senior notes payable$223,419,132 $307,910,824 
Senior unsecured notes payable, net272,609,632 287,352,892 
Income taxes payable 2,532,766 
Operating lease liability81,920,865 83,735,002 
Accounts payable and accrued expenses53,974,198 50,559,920 
Total liabilities631,923,827 732,091,404 
Commitments and contingencies (Notes 9 and 16)
Shareholders' equity:  
Preferred stock, no par value Authorized 5,000,000, no shares issued or outstanding
 
Common stock, no par value Authorized 95,000,000 shares; issued and outstanding 5,938,665 and 6,231,082 shares at March 31, 2024 and March 31, 2023, respectively
 
Additional paid-in capital286,432,952 288,071,839 
Retained earnings137,994,264 97,154,898 
Total shareholders' equity424,427,216 385,226,737 
Total liabilities and shareholders' equity$1,056,351,043 $1,117,318,141 


See accompanying notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
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CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS 
 Years Ended March 31,
 202420232022
Revenues:   
Interest and fee income$468,527,861 $508,335,681 $485,666,579 
Insurance and other income, net104,685,541 108,209,683 99,520,174 
Total revenues573,213,402 616,545,364 585,186,753 
Expenses:   
Provision for credit losses156,973,220 259,463,199 186,207,341 
General and administrative expenses:   
Personnel164,454,210 177,690,957 183,058,343 
Occupancy and equipment49,776,200 52,106,567 52,084,641 
Advertising9,932,122 6,096,083 18,298,212 
Amortization of intangible assets4,219,846 4,466,535 5,010,275 
Other40,217,781 39,113,656 41,523,834 
Total general and administrative expenses268,600,159 279,473,798 299,975,305 
Interest expense48,232,287 50,462,594 33,424,788 
Total expenses473,805,666 589,399,591 519,607,434 
Income before income taxes99,407,736 27,145,773 65,579,319 
Income taxes22,062,509 5,913,783 11,659,482 
Net income$77,345,227 $21,231,990 $53,919,837 
Net income per common share:
Basic$13.45 $3.69 $8.88 
Diluted$13.19 $3.60 $8.47 
Weighted average common shares outstanding:
Basic5,748,554 5,749,492 6,072,170 
Diluted5,861,900 5,898,670 6,364,066 













See accompanying notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
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CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY
    
Year ended March 31, 2024
Common Stock
SharesAdditional Paid-in CapitalRetained EarningsTotal Shareholders' Equity
Balances at March 31, 20236,231,082 $288,071,839 $97,154,898 $385,226,737 
Proceeds from exercise of stock options34,649