Bill allowing finance companies to raise interest rates on small loans passes hurdle

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- Legislation allowing North Carolina
consumer finance companies to raise interest rates and fees on
small unsecured loans is headed to the state Senate after passing a
major hurdle.

The state House voted 61-54 Thursday for a bill that could raise
borrowing costs that loan office owners complain have stayed the
same since the 1980s. The loans up to $10,000 carry different rates
that consumer advocates say can top 50 percent a year.

The bill passed despite unusual public opposition from the
office of Defense Secretary Robert Gate and commanders at the
state's three largest military bases, who worried the higher costs
would plunge young service members deeper into debt.

Nash County Republican Rep. Jeff Collins said adults have to be
responsible for their own actions and decide when to borrow.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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