House Passes Payday Lending Bill

Regulations provide consumer safeguards, promote responsible lending 

(Columbia, SC) – The South Carolina House of Representatives passed a Payday Lending bill (H. 3301) that puts regulations in place to help safeguard consumers utilizing this lending service.  With over 70 co-sponsors on the bill, the legislation passed the House with strong bipartisan support. 

Rep. Bill Sandifer, R-Oconee who chairs the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee, helped shepherd the bill through four hours of floor debate. He says that the measure contains “a great deal of consumer protection.” 

“If we did not regulate this business, the great potential for abuses would have continued,” Sandifer said. 

House Speaker Bobby Harrell who is the lead sponsor on the legislation said, “While there are some people who wanted to see us ban this industry or regulate it out of existence, clearly there is a demand from consumers for this particular service.” 

The bill places a $600 cap on the amount lenders can loan to one individual at a time.  Currently, there is no limit on the amount someone may be loaned and individuals can obtain multiple loans at the same time by simply going to different payday loan offices.  Creating a statewide loan database will ensure that individuals only hold one loan at a time, no matter how many payday loan offices they may visit.  

The bill also moves to outlaw the predatory practice of unlicensed internet payday loans in South Carolina and establishes an extended payment plan for individuals who are unable to meet their loan.