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Usury – Obscene Interest Rates

1. the lending or practice of lending money at an exorbitant interest.
2. an exorbitant amount or rate of interest, esp. in excess of the legal rate.

There is a very interesting article here at Fox News this morning regarding the change in charges First Premier Bank, a sub-prime credit card issuer.

Of course, strictly by definition, this isn’t usury because it is perfectly legal for the company to charge a 79.9% interest rate on overdue amounts and $29 if the card holder misses a payment or spends more than their credit limit allows.

For the complete details, go to http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,580523,00.html?test=latestnews.

This is morally reprehensible. Unfortunately, it is a typical consequence of what happens when Governments, who are supposed to protect, interfere inadequately in the market. Companies are in business to make profits for their shareholders. The government, perhaps correctly, has mandated that there needs to be a limited to the amount of annual fees a credit company can charge and this First Permier’s can no longer charge $259 in annual fees on a $250 credit limit. Consequently, they have transferred those fees to an annual interest rate. The net result being that the company will continue to collect its fees, circumventing the intent of the law.

Any way you look at it, the fees are exorbitant, be they flat fee or interest rate. And the government hasn’t helped. The best thing you as a ‘high risk’ lender can do is to NOT get one of these credit cards. Whatever you think you need, you can do without. If you can cope with a $250 credit line maxed out, on which you are paying $259 per year in fees, you can live without the credit card. In fact, you will be $509 better off every year.

Pay cash. Tell the credit card company to get lost and control your own destiny. If you have A First Premier Credit card start by cutting the card up and then pay it off within a year. Never use it again.

If you are already being pursued by credit collection and need legal assistance, call the Harris Law Firm and talk to Aurora Harris.

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