NC House tentatively approves loan rate increases

Jun. 04, 2013 @ 04:35 PM

The North Carolina House has tentatively passed a bill raising borrowing limits and interest rates on installment loans.

The House gave initial approval to the bill Tuesday. The bill increases the maximum loan amount, allows consumers to defer payments at a cost and adds late-payment fees.

The bill won unanimous approval from a House panel and neutrality from two watchdog groups after its Senate sponsor backed an amendment softening the interest-rate increases. But the state Justice Department and other consumer advocates maintain the bill encourages endless debt among people who often already have financial problems.

Supporters argue the industry needs its first rate increase in decades and consumers who lack access to credit should be free to choose for themselves.

The bill will return for a final vote.