MEDIA RELEASE: Military advocates ask lawmakers not to legalize payday loans in North Carolina

In a letter to all members of the NC General Assembly, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society urges lawmakers to reject 300 percent interest loans

RALEIGH (February 21, 2013) — Advocates for military families have released a strongly-worded letter opposing a push to once again legalize payday lending in North Carolina.

The Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society, in a letter to all members of the North Carolina General Assembly, asked lawmakers not to raise the legal limit on loan rates.

"The negative impact of payday loans on military readiness is profound,” the letter reads, “and the harm caused by these loans is significant; exhausting resources that could be used in other ways and creating an unnecessary hardship for military families (and others) … And regrettably, we’ve found that attempts to protect the military have not curbed payday lenders’ appetite to target military personal despite well-intentioned statutory provisions.”

The letter, which can be viewed below, was signed by Adm. Steve Abbot (Ret.), President of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society. It specifically opposes Senate Bill 89, which would legalize loans of up to a 300 percent annual rate of interest.

Current law allows interest rates of up to 54 percent, but the new bill would allow payday lenders to charge rates nearly six times that. Consumer advocates call this practice “legalized loan-sharking.”

For more than 100 years, the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society has worked to assist Navy and Marine personnel and their families. The letter stressed the negative consequences the bill could have both on military families and military readiness.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Al Ripley, NC Justice Center,, 919.274.8245; Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications,, 503.551.3615 (cell).

PDF icon NC LTR 20 FEB 2013.pdf367.13 KB