As members of Congress push for allowing payday lenders to access federal loans, data show that their business in Kentucky dropped precipitously when the pandemic struck.

The industry processed about 20% fewer loans in March than it did the previous March, according to a monthly report provided to the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions by the loan processing firm Veritec Solutions. That represents a drop in lending of $8.3 million in the short-term, typically high-interest loans.

The database shows loan volume ranged from 129,000 in March 2019 to as high as 168,000 loans the following August. But only 104,000 loans were processed this March, the lowest by far in the last year.


Updated at 1:09 p.m. ET

Debbie Baker thought she qualified for a federal program that helps teachers such as her, as well as nurses, police officers, librarians and others. The Department of Education program forgives their federal student loans if they make their payments for 10 years and work in public service.

For 10 years, Baker, who was a public school teacher in Tulsa, Okla., checked in with loan servicing companies and was told she was on track.

Flickr creative commons, Ashland Community and Technical College

The company that’s promised to build a massive aluminum rolling mill in northeastern Kentucky is looking for a new loan of up to $800 million.

Braidy Industries is seeking the money from a federal program that hasn’t given out a loan in almost eight years.

The aluminum mill planned for Greenup County has been hailed by Gov. Matt Bevin as a major win in his administration’s efforts to attract new jobs and industry to the Commonwealth.

The Courier-Journal reports Braidy has applied to borrow up to $800 million from the U.S Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing direct loan program. That would cover almost half of the estimated $1.7 billion cost to build the mill that plans to supply lightweight sheet aluminum for automakers, creating more than 500 jobs.