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A Single Federal Usury Cap is Too Blunt an Instrument

In May 2019, Senator Bernie Sanders and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiled the Loan Shark Prevention Act, a bill that would cap the cost of consumer credit nationwide. Under the bill, the total cost of a loan, calculated as an annualized percentage rate (APR), could not exceed 15%. If fees and interest are capped at 15% APR, lenders cannot recoup the costs of making and servicing small-dollar, short-term loans. Only charitable or government-subsidized institutions could lend at that low rate.