Support Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act

Our lawmakers have another opportunity to protect us

By Katie Sutton

Sen. Steve Daines seeks to create better public banking. Postal Banking would help Montanans gain better access to banking services. Federal law requires one post office per zip code, but this isn’t the same expectation for banks. U.S. Postal Service can already complete banking services like check cashing and money orders; this bill would allow them to offer bank accounts and even offer short-term, small-dollar loans.

Rep. Greg Gianforte wants to stop robocalls by requiring telecommunications companies to “implement call authentication technology so consumers can trust their caller ID again…” in short, killing these scams and punishing those who break the law.

When Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wanted to stop enforcing the Military Lending Act, Sen. Jon Tester wrote them “we urge you to stand up to predatory lenders and stand with service members and their families.”

Our lawmakers have another opportunity to protect us. The bipartisan Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act (VCFCA) would extend a 36 percent interest rate cap, found in the MLA, to all consumers in the U.S. Meaning payday lenders won’t be able to rate-gouge needy consumers with triple-digit interest rates. Montanans voted for a 36 percent interest rate cap in 2010; 15 other states and the District of Columbia have similar interest rate caps. It’s a no-brainer to extend these protections to the rest of the country!

Not only would the VCFCA protect consumers from payday lenders, it would also be a safeguard from emerging threats hoping to evade the law. Montana lawmakers should support the VCFCA.

Katie Sutton

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