Florida lawmakers are considering proposals to let payday lenders charge interest rates that could add up to 200 percent per year on loans twice as big as allowed under current law – and AARP Florida is fighting back.
AARP opposes expanding the ability of the payday lending industry to target consumers of modest means with extremely high interest rates for short-term loans. And AARP is reaching out to its members and other Floridians, asking them to contact lawmakers to oppose plans that could put some older consumers into debt traps that could leave them penniless or even homeless.
“There are better options available, including proposals by key lawmakers that could provide safer credit options charging no more than 30 percent, while also allowing borrowers to strengthen their credit and qualify for traditional, much more affordable lending products,” said AARP Florida Associate State Director for Advocacy Dorene Barker.
Join us TONIGHT at 4 PM on our Facebook page when we will layout the details of Florida laws regulating predatory lending and the impact that proposals now under consideration by lawmakers could have on consumers age 50-plus of modest means.
About 26 percent of borrowers who now owe money in high-interest short-term loans are age 50-plus, so the issue is a common one among older consumers, especially those with lower credit scores or modest means. For many of those consumers, turning to more traditional lenders is out of the question, because of damaged credit or modest incomes.
Under proposals now before the Legislature (SB 920 and HB 857), short-term lenders could lend up to twice as much in loans of 60 to 90 days ($1,000, rather than the current limit of $500) and charge interest that could result in annual percentage rates of 200 percent.
AARP Florida opposes these bills, and has supported alternative proposals by Sen. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, and Rep. Bobby Olszewski, R-Orlando (SB 642 and HB 555). This legislation would allow consumer loans of up to 30 percent per year on some types of short-term credit, also called “deferred presentment transactions.”
To oppose predatory lending proposals and support more reasonable approaches, AARP Florida is urging Floridians to call 844-220-5528 or click here to email and tell your state representative you oppose any legislation that gives predatory lenders the upper hand against consumers.