Thursday, February 11, 2016

GOP tries to legalize high-interest Pa. loans again

They want payday loans with 400%+ yearly interest

GOP tries to legalize high-interest Pa. loans again


Pa. State Sen. Pat Browne, R-Lehigh County, has re-introduced a proposed law that would allow "payday lenders" who charge fat fees and triple-digit interest rates for two-week loans and loan renewals that can boost interest charges.

A similar bill pushed by longtime payday lender advocate Rep. Chris Ross, R-Chester County, stalled in the state Senate last year. If this bill passes it will await the signature of Gov. Tom Corbett, who as Attorney General prosecuted illegal payday lending.

According to Mark Price, economist at the Keystone Research Center in Harrisburg, current law limits payday loan charges to $3.80 for a two-week loan, or 24% annually, though the state also allows fees that have the effect of boosting loan costs. 

Under Browne's proposal, according to Price, interest charge limits would increase to more than 400% a year, or a $16.07 charge to borrow $100 for two weeks.

The Harrisburg Patriot-News reviews Browne's bill, SB 975, here.  

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PhillyDeals posts interviews, drafts and updates that Joseph N. DiStefano writes alongside his Sunday and Monday columns and ongoing articles about Philadelphia-area business.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn. He taught writing and research at St. Joe’s. He has written for the Inquirer since 1989, except when he left a few times to work at Bloomberg and elsewhere. He wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six kids with his wife, who is a saint.

Reach Joseph N. at, 215.854.5194, @PhillyJoeD. Read his blog posts at and his Inquirer columns at Bloomberg posts his items at NH BLG_PHILLYDEAL.

Reach Joseph N. at or 215 854 5194.

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