FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2018

CONTACT: Dave Bruns, 850.228.2759, dbruns@aarp.org

TALLAHASSEE – AARP Florida issued the following statement today urging Gov. Rick Scott to veto SB 920, adopted in the 2018 Legislature, which puts consumers at higher risk of predatory lending practices by companies making “payday loans.”

“We’re asking Gov. Scott to veto this legislation because it’s bad for Florida consumers of all ages, but especially for older Floridians of modest means,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP’s Florida state director. “More than one in four consumers who use payday loans are age 50-plus. If this bill becomes law, consumers could face triple-digit interest rates and may end up falling into a pattern of consecutive loans that could have devastating financial consequences for them, their families and for taxpayers.”

Under current law, payday lenders may make short-term loans of up to $500. SB 920 would raise that limit to $1,000. Johnson said AARP Florida is concerned that older consumers might fall into a “debt trap” that would leave them unable to pay for rent, food, utilities or medicine.

In urging the veto, AARP Florida noted that older lower-income consumers might become trapped in a cycle of recurring payday loans and, if ill, could slide into Medicaid eligibility for acute healthcare and for long-term care, creating a financial impact on all Florida taxpayers. AARP Florida also noted that there are good alternatives to payday lending, including Community Development Financial Institutions, which offer short-term loans carrying interest rates of about 30 percent.

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About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering Americans 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP works to strengthen communities and advocate for what matters most to families with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also works for individuals in the marketplace by sparking new solutions and allowing carefully chosen, high-quality products and services to carry the AARP name. As a trusted source for news and information, AARP produces the world’s largest circulation publications, AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.