Washington, DC — Government watchdog Accountable.US released a new analysis finding that nearly half (46%) of members of the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committee currently deciding The Veterans and Consumers Fair Lending Act’s (VCFCA) fate have collectively taken over $2.3 million from the payday lending industry. These lawmakers have been publicly opposing a national interest rate cap or supporting efforts to let lenders avoid state caps.
As Americans commemorate Black History Month, the report also highlights how the VCFCA’s passage would benefit Black Americans and help stave off predatory lenders that particularly go after communities of color, hitting these borrowers with average triple-digit interest rates. The CFPB has found that the use of alternative lenders, including payday, pawn, and auto title lenders, was “more concentrated” among Black consumers. Additionally, Black consumers are about twice as likely to live within a mile of a payday lender as white ones.
Not long ago, Congress agreed it was unacceptable for military members and their families to be exploited with triple-digit interest rates from predatory lenders — and it is no less abusive when Black communities are the target of these greedy practices. The Black community is among the most aggressively pursued by high-cost lenders, and Congress has the chance to afford the same bipartisan protections from financial ruin to all people of color, veterans, and consumers. When millions of Americans are allowed to fall into the debt trap needlessly, the entire economy suffers, not just vulnerable borrowers. The choice Congress faces between protecting consumers or the profits of an industry that charges up to 400% APR should not be a difficult one. Even for lawmakers who’ve taken money from wealthy predatory lenders, is it really worth the price our communities are paying?”
Jeremy Funk, spokesman for Accountable.US
- 10 House Financial Services Committee Members Explicitly Opposed To A National Rate Cap Have Taken At Least $541,030 From The Payday Lending Industry.
- 14 Other House Financial Services Committee Members Who Supported Efforts To Uphold A Trump Rule Allowing Lenders To Avoid State Interest Rate Caps Have Taken $990,010 From Payday Lenders.
- 4 Senate Banking Committee Members Who Have Explicitly Opposed A National Rate Cap Have Taken $274,998 From Payday Lenders.
- 8 Other Senate Banking Committee Members Have Taken $573,682 From Payday Lenders, All Of Whom Voted To Protect A Trump Rule Allowing Lenders To Avoid State Interest Rate Caps.