Friday, July 15, 2005

Soldier, Lawmakers Make Pitch For Payday Loan Interest Rate Cap

By Roman Parchowsky
Payday Loan Writer

Army Chief Warrant Officer 2 Thomas Burden and an intern dressed in a shark costume for a congressional news conference called to get support for capping the interest rates charged on quick cash loans (also known as payday loans) under bill HR 97.

HR 97 is sponsored by Rep. Sam Graves, R-Mo., and would cap the annual percentage rate that can be charged for loans to military personnel and their spouses at 36 percent.

Graves has 36 cosponsors for the bill and is backed by the Military Coalition, an umbrella group of more than 30 military associations. Grave says the bill “is quickly becoming a very hot topic�? in Congress.

Some payday loan operations are charging basic fees that equal interest rates of as much as 400 percent — a level that Graves said is excessive. “I understand they need to make money but 400 percent is too much,�? he said.

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