[Money] A recent study out of the University of Utah's law department has found a striking correlation between payday loan centers and conservative Christian communities.
That's right the researchers found that the Mormon mountain west and the Southern bible-belt are notorious for having payday loan centers.
"The natural hypothesis would be to assume that given Biblical condemnation of usury there would be aggressive regulation and less demand for payday loans in these states," says Christopher Peterson one of the researchers in the study. "But ironically, the numbers show the opposite is true. It's sad that states with a pious and honorable religious heritage now disproportionately host predatory lenders."
While payday loan centers are fighting for space amongst the chapels in the fair communities of Zion and apparently the southern states, the most amazing thing is researchers Peterson and Graves have matched payday loan center statistics along with legislative districts to find that there is a stronger correlation between Christian conservatives and payday loan centers than between those living below the poverty line and payday loan centers.
That means while other demographics might be more succeptible to getting sucked into a payday loan with the kind of triple digit interest rates that would make Tony Soprano blush, the most prime environments for this kind of loan to take place happen to be the houses of the holy.
But you don't have to take my word for it, researchers Peterson and Graves even have downloadable maps and figures for your shock and enjoyment.
What's being done about predatory lenders in our fair state? The closest thing so far is a bill by Sen. Greg Bell (R-Fruit Heights) which would ask for better access to payday loan documentation so that maybe next year we might be able to see if something can be done about predatory lending. Look out usurers we'll getcha next year...maybe, if that is even, that Bell's bill makes it out of committee. (Eric S. Peterson)