Utah senator fights to protect payday loans

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Students are not only stressing about finals, but also about how they will pay for the upcoming semester. Tuition for Winter Semester is due on Dec. 24 and students are dashing for cash just to pay for it.

Many parents advise not to use payday loans, but one Utah senator is protecting them.

Although it may seem surprising, Sen. Curtis Bramble R-Provo, has sponsored multiples bills which have passed, keeping payday loans in the state.

“For anyone that is opposed to the payday industry, what is the alternative? If we were to simply make payday lending illegal in the state of Utah, pass a law that got rid of all of it, that doesn’t stop individuals from going online,” Bramble said. “That doesn’t stop individuals from finding loan sharks, I mean the kind of loan sharks that you see in Hollywood that break knee caps if you don’t repay.”

One of those bills requires payday lenders to have a large and bold font to disclose their interest rates in hopes of preventing financial abuse.

“We don’t protect payday lenders, as a matter of fact, we go after, our statutes go after the bad actors,” Bramble said.

Utah is one of the only states that requires a robust loan disclosure in addition to preventing pyramid loans. The state is strict on how payday lenders can refinance a loan.

“I’m not sympathetic to payday lenders. I’m sympathetic to the citizen who is working paycheck to paycheck who may have had something come up,” Bramble said.

Even though the law protects people who use payday loans, it is up to individuals to make a plan to get out of their financial crisis.

“As a financial advisor, I would prefer to work with individuals, help them understand budgeting, help them understand, you know, saving for a rainy day, living within your means, those kinds of things. But that’s not government’s role,” Bramble said.

Bramble said Utah is ahead in legislation and making sure that individuals are not throwing their money out the window.

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