Payday Loans in Utah
- Nickname: The Beehive State
- Population: 3.16 million
- Capital: Salt Lake City
- Website: https://www.utah.gov/
Utah is one the nation’s fastest growing states—it experienced a nearly 2% population growth from 2017 to 2018. It’s also, according to 2019 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number 1 state for total job growth (3.6%), with the 6th lowest poverty rate in 2018 (9.7%). This is exciting news for the Beehive State, but, unfortunately, there are still many residents in Utah who are struggling to make ends meet.
With estimated monthly costs of $4,082 for a family of four and $2,147 for a single person, the cost of living in Salt Lake City, for example, is higher than 53% of other states in the U.S. This may help explain why Utah is one of the top states in the nation when it comes to residents who lack health insurance (in 2018, approximately 1 out of every 11 people – or 9.4% – did not have health insurance, which is higher than the national average of 8.9%). Those without health insurance may experience higher healthcare bills, especially after experiencing an unexpected injury or illness.
Payday Loans in Utah
Payday loans are short-term loans that are typically offered for relatively small amounts of money.
According to research by California State University Northridge, Utah is home to about 427 payday loan stores, each doling out about 3,541 loans to residents of this great state.
In their 2016 report on the audit of Utah’s regulation of the payday loan industry, the state’s Office of the Legislative Auditor General studied 1,343 payday loans borrowed by 303 customers from 14 different lenders across 5 Utah neighborhoods. The report’s authors estimate that between 3 to 6% of Utah’s adult population takes out at least one payday loan per year. Further, they indicate that each of these customers will average about 4.3 loans per year, for about $370 each and interest charges of $584.
The report found that many payday loan borrowers in the state use payday loans frequently as an ongoing funding source. Only a small percent (17%) of payday loans were being used for short term financial needs, while 32% were “chronic users” (i.e., “Borrowers who demonstrated a frequent and sustained use of payday loans, averaging 7.4 loans during fiscal year 2015; some took out loans from multiple lenders at the same time”).
In 2015, the typical chronic payday loan borrower paid out $1,248 in interest and held one or more payday loans for 213 days of the year. These figures are much higher than the other groups identified in the Office of the Legislative Auditor General report, as shown in the table below:
# of Loans Issued
Loans per Customer
Ave. Duration of Loan
Ave. Loan Amount
Interest/Fees Paid in 2015
Source: Utah’s Office of the Legislative Auditor General (August, 2016). Accessed on December 19, 2019 from https://le.utah.gov/audit/16_04rpt.pdf
Consumer Protection in Utah
How to Report a Predatory Lender in Utah
If you have already fallen prey to title and payday lenders in Utah, there are options available to help.
You can contact the Department of Financial Institutions by calling (801) 538-8830 or the Utah Consumers Lending Association at (801) 328-1888 to learn more about the “Best Practices” principles or to file a complaint.
Utah Department of Financial Institutions Information
- Address: 324 South State Street, Suite 201 Salt Lake City, UT 84111
- Phone: (801) 538-8830
- Fax: (801) 538-8894
- Website: https://dfi.utah.gov/