State legislators have voted in favor of restricting the amount of interest that title loan companies can charge customers in New Hampshire.
House Bill 562, approved on a 212-129 vote, stipulates that title loan providers may impose interest of 25 percent at most for the first month and no more than 3 percent a month after that. Rep. Kermit Williams (D-Wilton) said the plan represents a middle ground between the exorbitant rates that lenders claim they must charge in order to turn a profit and a 36 percent cap that some fear will dry up access to credit for some consumers.
The passing vote was contrary to the position of the Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee, which had recommended keeping the current 300 percent annual interest limit in place, with a caveat that title lenders report how many loans they make and how long it took borrowers to repay them.
HB 562 has been forwarded to the Senate, where its future is unsure.