California lawmakers are hoping to pass a bill that would help protect California families from abusive loan companies.
It’s quick money but the consequences of getting a loan could be long-lasting.
For DJ Bellfair, he had no other option.
“You kind of feel like you’re up against a wall,” he said.
Bellfair moved from Seattle to La Quinta, needed a car immediately and began searching.
“One was a much larger down payment that i did not have at the time and otherwise it was a 24% interest. I needed the vehicle, i had to take it,” he said.
The monthly payment was doable but tack on 24% interest and Bellfair was paying about $150 dollars more each month.
“It’s pitted against the people, against people who are struggling families who need the extra help and no one is willing to give it to them,” said Bellfair.
Assembly member Ash Kalra is working to keep consumers protected.
“Borrowers are enticed with easy approval and no credit check,” said Kalra.
Some loan companies tack on triple digit interest rates leaving consumers in massive debt causing car repossessions, wage garnishment and even bankruptcy.
“As a result to an unending downward spiral of debt that traps them in a cycle of poverty and irreparable credit,” said Kalra.
He introduced assembly bill 2500 which would extend California’s current interest rate cap to consumer loans between $25,00 and $10,000 dollars.
For example, a $10,000 dollar loan with a 12-month repayment plan would carry a maximum interest rate of 20 percent. It’s a better alternative for money-conscious consumers.
Bellfair has had several moments where he thought he wasn’t going to be able to make those higher payments.
“Luckily been able to have the friends and family and support to get through those times. I was able to make it so i am still here,” said Bellfair.
For others, they’re hoping law makers will be there for them to keep more money in their pockets.