Utah Financial Snapshot

At a Glance
  • 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 2018 to 2019. 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 $2,926.59 without rent for a family of four and $827 (without rent) for a single person, the cost of living in Salt Lake City, for example, is higher than 17% lower than the national average.

Average Credit Card Debt and Median Household Income in Utah vs. the U.S.
Average Credit Card Debt (Q2 2019)
Median Household Income (2018)

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:

Payday Loans in Utah: Study Findings from the Utah Office of the Legislative Auditor General


# of Loans Issued

Loans per Customer

Ave. Duration of Loan

Ave. Loan Amount

Interest/Fees Paid in 2015

Ave. APR


Low-Risk Users








Moderate-Risk Users








Chronic Users
















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 Lender in Utah

Borrowers 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/


Guides to Payday Loans in Utah Cities

Check out these payday loan guides for the following cities in Utah…

Salt Lake City | Sandy