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Utah senator fights to protect payday loans

Students don’t just care about finals, but also how they will pay for the upcoming semester. Tuition for the winter semester is due on December 24, and students are rushing for cash just to pay it.

Many parents advise against using payday loans, but a Utah senator is protecting them.

Although it might come as a surprise, Senator Curtis Bramble R-Provo, sponsored several bills that passed, keeping payday loans in the state.

“For anyone who opposes the tow industry, what is the alternative? If we were to just make payday loans illegal in the state of Utah, pass a law that removes them all, that won’t stop people from going online,” Bramble said. “That doesn’t stop people from finding loan sharks, I mean the kind of loan sharks you see in Hollywood who break your kneecaps if you don’t pay back.”

One such bill requires payday lenders to use large, bold typeface to disclose their interest rates in hopes of preventing financial abuse.

“We don’t protect payday lenders, in fact, we sue, our statutes sue bad actors,” Bramble said.

Utah is one of the only states that requires strong 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 sympathize with the citizen who works paycheck after paycheck and maybe got something,” 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, helping them understand budgeting, helping them understand, you know, saving for a rainy day, living within your means, that sort of thing. But that’s not the role of government,” Bramble said.

Bramble said Utah is ahead of the law and making sure people aren’t throwing their money away.