Florida Payday Loan Laws – Know Your Rights

Written by David Schmidt. Posted in Payday Loan Laws

Payday loans are many times a last resort for individuals facing financial hardship that was unexpected. Many times these loans are seen as cash advances to help make ends meet until the next payday comes around, however they come with their own burdens. From high interest rates, to having lenders harass you if you miss paying back on the loan, being prepared with knowledge is the only option. If you reside in Florida then understanding the Florida payday loan laws that surround these type of loans will ensure that not only do you know what you are getting into before taking one out, but that you know your rights as a payday loan consumer. Many state governments such as Florida are stepping in to limit various factors when it comes to payday loans; some limit the interest rates allowed, some limit the amount of money you can borrow, and some even limit both.

In regards to Florida payday loan laws, the maximum amount of money that can be borrowed is $500. To some this may seem worthless; however, this ensures that you do not end up in a situation in which you cannot pay back the loan because it is so large. The annual interest rate is also capped in Florida at 10% and the APR for a 14 day, $100 loan is 390%. Section 687.02(1), Florida Statutes, provides that contracts for the payment of interest exceeding 18 percent per annum are usurious. [2] Interest exceeding 25 percent per annum is criminal usury.[3] Section 687.03(1), Florida Statutes, states that an unlawful rate of interest exists if a person reserves, charges or takes, directly or indirectly, a rate of interest exceeding that amount for any loan…..

These loans can become overwhelming and difficult to pay back when you are stuck with an excessively high interest rate; but internet lenders must be licensed to issue loans to Florida residents. This is critical because internet lenders try to push or bend the laws towards their advantage. Stores that offer payday loans must be licensed to do so but that does not mean that after they are licensed they are safe from government regulation. In Florida there have been some cases of interest being charged on payday loans in excess of the legal limit; needless to say these companies were charged with a major fine. No matter the potential consequences for these companies, you must know your rights as a consumer. Knowing the Florida payday loan laws will help you to understand the potential risks to taking out a payday loan, and know exactly what is expected of you for paying back.

Chapter 560 of the 2009 Florida Statute, Part III, makes it mandatory for all storefront and online payday lenders to be licensed as a Money Transmitters in order to do business in Florida. You can verify if a payday lender is licensed at the Florida Office of Financial Regulation: http://www.flofr.com/StaticPages/VerifyALicense.htm

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