NC consumer loan changes clear Senate panel

Apr. 30, 2013 @ 04:58 PM

An effort to allow North Carolina's licensed installment lenders to charge higher interest rates for many customers has cleared a Senate panel after several consumer advocates argued that the changes would only put more people over their heads in debt.

The Senate Commerce Committee voted Tuesday to recommend the measure that would adjust interest rate and borrowing amount limits essentially for the first time in 30 years.

Primary sponsor Sen. Rick Gunn of Burlington said the bill would help an ailing consumer finance industry and would cost the average borrower an additional monthly amount about equal to the cost of a drink. Additional protections for young members of the military are also in the bill.

The bill now goes to the full Senate.