Perhaps the most surprising thing about Utah's average 474 percent interest rate on payday loans is that there are six states with higher rates. Idaho, South Dakota, Nevada, Delaware and Wisconsin all have at least 500 percent average interest on payday loans.
And those other states did it without ever having John Swallow as their chief law enforcement officer.
Researchers at the Pew Charitable Trusts have released a study of payday lending laws around the country, and, not surprisingly, the interest rates are highest in the states that have no limits on rates. That includes Utah, where many of the people behind the state's 565 payday-lending stores were contributors to Swallow, who left office in disgrace amid allegations that he was protecting payday lenders, among others. Those same companies have also spread their money around to state legislators.