South Dakota Lawmakers to debate payday loan changes

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SIOUX FALLS - Opponents of payday lending may be waiting until the 2016 elections to try to end the practice in South Dakota though the state will pitch smaller regulatory changes during the upcoming legislative session.

The South Dakota Banking Commission voted on Friday to move forward with legislation to close a legal loophole payday lenders use and to try to better regulate Internet loans. Republican Rep. Steve Hickey is preparing a ballot initiative to cap interest on payday loans at 36 percent. It would go before voters in 2016, and both sides have said it would effectively end payday lending in South Dakota.

Advocates say payday lending offers access to credit for people who can't qualify for bank loans. Opponents call it a snare engineered to profit off the poor.