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Payday loans are helpful

Lee Davidson's series on payday loans was long on rhetoric and short on facts. Let's be realistic about what consumers want and need. Payday loans are small, unsecured cash advances available to consumers who need a little extra financial assistance between one paycheck and the next. The typical payday advance fee is $15 per $100 advanced. Customers recognize that in some situations payday loans can be their best option — given the alternatives. Most recent customer satisfaction levels are in excess of 80 percent and state regulators around the country confirm that there are very few customer complaints. The three customer profiled in the series fail to represent the millions of customers who use payday loans responsibly and appreciate having somewhere to turn when they need quick access to credit.

Critics of the payday advance industry claim to be representing the best interest of the consumer, yet they want to limit the already small number of short-term loan options available. The Center for Responsible Lending's (CRL) allegations that Utah's consumers are better off without this option is far from the truth. Anti-business activists like CRL are not in a position to determine what is right or wrong for the hard-working people of Utah.

We will continue to encourage responsible regulation that protects consumers and their access to credit. The people of Utah are best served when given a variety of options and are trusted to make financial decisions for themselves and their families.

Lyndsey Medsker

Community Financial Services Association

Salt Lake City