This industry needs to be regulated under the 36% rate cap like all other consumer loans, writes Woodstock Institute Board Chair Tommy FitzGibbon.

From Tommy FitzGibbon, Woodstock Institute Board Chair, for the Chicago Sun-Times, June 26, 2023:

While Illinois’ pawnbrokers may have found a judge to give them a loophole that allows them to charge 240% APR or more despite the state rate cap of 36% APR — they are not immune from federal law.

Woodstock Institute has been fighting to end all predatory lending in Illinois for decades, and we uncovered two pawnshops charging 243.3% APR to an active-duty service member in the week leading up to Veterans Day 2022. Woodstock’s investigation showed that Illinois pawnbrokers are failing to inquire about the borrower’s military status and overcharging active-duty service members with triple-digit interest rates.