House of Representatives debates bill to limit robbery loans

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said it was a priority, but she didn’t mention it in the state’s state speech and didn’t officially put it on the agenda until Monday afternoon.

New Mexico has more than 500 retail stores. They usually charge higher interest rates because they’re used to people who often don’t have the best credit. Humans can see them around Native communities like in Gallup and also around military bases.

The Think New Mexico group, which has been successful on a number of reform issues, says the existing 175% interest rate cap in New Mexico is kind of ridiculous.

“Nevertheless, at 175%, we find that about 80% of consumers are trapped in a cycle of debt. And they keep having to refinance those loans and can never pay them back. So we think they should be lowered to something more reasonable like 36%, which Congress decided to do,” said Fred Nathan of Think New Mexico.

That last bit about Congress is important because the proposed 36% limit in New Mexico is the maximum rate lenders can charge members of the military.

The bill, approved by a key committee last week, was set for a vote Monday night.

Follow House Bill 132 through the legislature.

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