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Utah Better Business Bureau seeing increase in payday loan complaints

Posted at 10:18 PM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 00:29:21-04

Millions of people across the country are filling unemployment claims, as the Coronavirus Pandemic continues to take a devastating toll.

“More people are turning to payday loans because they’re desperate for money,” Jane Rupp, Pres. Better Business Bureau Utah and Northern Nevada, said.

So far this year, the BBB Utah has already received almost the same number of payday loan complaints as they did for all of 2019, Rupp said.

The BBB has offered some Payday loan tips, click here to read them.

It’s important people understand what taking out a payday loan entails, including its high-interest rate, Rupp said.

The average annual percentage rate charged in Utah on a payday loan is 522.56 percent, according to the most recent report from the Utah Department of Financial Institutions. To see the latest report from the Annual Report of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions for Utah, click here.

“Sometimes people are desperate enough that they have to do payday loans unfortunately. If you know everything that you’re going to be paying and you can pay it back, a payday loan may be the thing you are looking for,” Rupp said.

Each day, people come to CrossRoads Urban Center in Downtown Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, Associate Dir. Bill Tibbitts has seen many people in a bad situation get taken advantage of or take out a payday loan they can’t pay back.

“We are concerned that people that barely have enough money to make ends meet, or who don’t have enough money to make ends meet will make mistakes that will leave them with even less money,” he said.

When people need financial help, the non-profit, Utah Fair Credit Foundation, is there to help. While thing seem okay for many people now that they are getting unemployment and the stimulus check, Ellen Billie, Programs Dir. Fair Credit Foundation, said she is nervous for the future.

“I haven’t seen a whole bunch of payday loans yet, but I am very, very worried about that,” she said.

As many payments can be deferred right now, Billie worries what the fall will bring when the bills come due.

“It all comes to an end at some point and that worries me the most,” she said.

FOX 13 News reached out to several payday loan companies for a response to this report, but none responded to our request for comment.

For more information on the CrossRoads Urban Center, click here.

For more information on the Utah Fair Credit Foundation, click here.

More resources:

Utah 211

Utah Department of Workforce Services

Utah Food Bank

Utah Coronavirus