Predatory loans hurt Arizona veterans – Arizona Capitol Times
Veterans, military service members and their families suffer serious damage when predatory lenders target them with unscrupulous interest rates. Currently, Arizona law allows predatory lenders to charge rates over 200% APR. We believe this needs to change.
The transition from military to civilian life is often a difficult task for veterans. And learning how to manage money after many necessities have been provided to them is often one of the most difficult parts of this transition process.
Additionally, many post-9/11 veterans returned to a tough economy with stagnant incomes and an extremely fluctuating job market, so it’s easy to see why veterans face more financial challenges after leaving the world. uniformed service.
The pressure to protect the financial lives of veterans has taken on new urgency in recent years because these predatory lenders have figured out how to take advantage of this reality.
We are Vietnam era veterans who served our country in times of war. Coming home and reintegrating into civilian life was difficult for many ex-combatants at the time, but the only challenge we hadn’t faced was that of unscrupulous “loan sharks” who were allowed to charge rates. extremely high interest in people struggling to make ends meet.
Today it is not legal to charge current military an interest rate higher than 36%, thanks to the law on military loans. But the law only protects current military personnel and ignores veterans who served our country. We have a solution.
Right here in Arizona, the State Board of the Association of Military Officers of America and the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce are backing the Arizona Fair Lending Act, which would cap car title lending at 36%. . Today, securities lending companies charge our veterans up to 204% for a loan on their car – loans that national statistics show results in a debt trap and in many cases l The borrower ends up seeing his vehicle repossessed.
MOAA and Veterans Chamber of Commerce Support Lower Auto Title Deeds Interest Rates Because We Realize “Supporting Our Troops” Doesn’t End Once They Get Home . This involves defending them against those who are waiting to take advantage of the stress, confusion and financial constraints that reintegration brings.
On Veterans Day, resolve to support the statewide vote initiative to cap car title loans at 36%. In doing so, you are making a commitment to support our veterans. About 1.4 million veterans are at risk of homelessness due to poverty or a lack of support networks in their communities, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
There is help for these veterans, but it does not come from taking out a loan at a 200% interest rate. the Army emergency relief The program provides grants and interest-free loans to active-duty and retired soldiers who may document financial need. The group has provided more than $ 1 billion in aid to soldiers and veterans since September 11. The non-profit association USA cares provides quick financial assistance to veterans in need, responding within 48 hours of receiving a request.
We are proud of the men and women who served in our country’s uniform. We support the Arizona Fair Lending Act because these veterans deserve to be protected from predatory lenders.
Lee Lange is a member of the Southwest Veterans Chamber of Commerce and David Lucier is a member of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame.
This comment has been revised to clarify that the Army Emergency Relief Program provides grants and interest-free loans to active duty and retired Soldiers who may document financial need, and the program has provided more than one billion dollars – not $ 600 million as originally stated – since 9/11.