Support AB 539 & Protect Californians From Excessive Loan Rates

Current law prohibits lenders from charging more than 36% annual interest on loans of less than $2,500, but there are no interest rate caps for loans of $2,500 and above.

In 2008 high-cost lenders originated 2,037 loans with annual interest rates above 100%. Today, high-cost lenders originate more than 350,000 loans per year with triple-digit interest rates. There are numerous responsible lenders that already self-regulate and voluntarily cap interest rates at 36%. Those lending institutions have served Californians for over 100 years.

California Can Promote Safe, Fair Affordable Credit By Passing AB 539

Assembly Bill 539, the Fair Access to Credit Act of 2019, would place responsible limits on the Annual Percentage Rate (APR) on loans between $2,500-$10,000. By promoting a responsible, reasonable rate ceiling on the current unregulated rates, consumers will be protected from extreme interest rate lenders while ensuring they still have access to safe, affordable credit offered by community-centric lending institutions.

That is why responsible lenders have joined a broad array of consumer groups, unions, working people, faith-based leaders and local governments across California in support of AB 539.

Supporters

AB539 is widely supported by consumer groups, faith-based leaders, responsible and established lenders and local governments across California.

The Extreme-Interest Loan Business Is Booming And Californians Are Paying The High Price

Extreme triple-digit interest lending – loans with Annual Percentage Rates (APR) well over 100% –has escalated to dangerous levels in the state. Vulnerable Californians are often hoodwinked into accepting loans they cannot afford, pushing vulnerable borrowers off the financial cliff.

Current Lending

Borrow Amount

Annual Interest

$220.70

Payment

$7,945.32

36 Month Replayment Total

Lending if AB 539 is Passed

Borrow Amount

36%

Annual Interest

$114.51

Payment

$4,122.36

36 Month Replayment Total

There Are Reasonable, Safe, Affordable Options

Californians in need of credit can turn to fair, responsible lenders who have a demonstrated history of doing business in California for over a century. These lenders have already self-regulated their rates and will continue to do so in order for Californians to have access to credit at rates that they can afford and will offer them the best chance at financial mobility, financial resiliency and financial success.

If AB 539 is passed, safe and affordable credit will not be reduced at all. We disagree with those who claim AB 539 will reduce access to safe and affordable credit for those with the lowest credit scores, on the grounds that the limited credit access these citizens have currently is neither safe nor affordable.

Under AB 539, some of the borrowers now doing business with triple-digit payday loans in California will be able to qualify for lower-cost, safe installment loans.

Download The Fact Sheet

  Consumer Tips

Choose A Credible Lender

Easy and right don’t always go together. Is the lender making offers that seem too good to be true? Work with a lender who asks about your income, payment history takes the time to walk you through the process and nuances of the loan. If you’re paying upwards of 100% interest on a loan, you could end up in a worse financial position than you were when you applied for the loan!

Don’t Take On More Than You Afford

A safe, responsible lender will want to ensure you are not creating undue financial strain on yourself if you take on a loan you can’t afford. Some personal loan specialists will actually sit down with you during the application process to help you construct a monthly budget.

Ask About Fees.

As a borrower, you should be aware of all fees associated with the loan. Safe, responsible lenders will be transparent and upfront about the fees they charge and typically offer fixed interest rates, fixed monthly payments and no pre-payment fees. Triple digit, high-interest lenders will often go to great lengths to conceal and mislead you, particularly when it comes to hidden fees.

Use A Loan As A Way To Obtain Financial Mobility.

Building a credit profile is an important part of financial success. Since payment history can be so important to creating a good score, paying your loan on time should be a priority. This can also help you avoid late fees and other charges from your lender. Also, you can reduce your credit utilization ratio. By paying off credit card debt with a personal loan, you can reduce the amount of revolving debt you owe. This could lower your credit utilization ratio and raise your score. Lastly, by paying your loan on time and working with a lender that voluntarily reports to credit agencies, you can establish a healthy credit profile, which can help you do things like buy a house and open credit cards.

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