Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

From the office of:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Sending Office: Honorable Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
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        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Stop Big Banks and Payday Lenders from Ripping Off Americans

Become an Original Cosponsor of the Loan Shark Prevention Act

DEADLINE: Tuesday, May 14, 5 PM

Supporters: Consumer Action, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, Demand Progress Action, Franciscan Action Network, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, CREDO Action, Community Change Action,
Center for Popular Democracy, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), People’s Action


Dear Colleague,

If we are going to create a financial system that works for all Americans, we have got to stop financial institutions from ripping off Americans by charging sky-high interest rates and outrageous fees.  Millions of Americans should not be paying credit card
interest rates of 25 or 30 percent.

That is why we invite you to become an original cosponsor of the Loan Shark Prevention Act to establish a national usury rate of 15 percent on credit cards and other consumer loans, the same interest rate cap that Congress imposed on credit unions almost
40 years ago. 

Under this bill, the Federal Reserve would have the authority to allow lenders to charge higher rates if the Fed determines that the national usury cap would threaten the safety and soundness of financial institutions as evidenced by adverse trends in liquidity,
capital, earnings, and growth, or if money market interest rates have risen over the preceding six-month period.  Interest rates could only be raised above 15 percent for a maximum of 18 months. This bill would not preempt state laws establishing lower maximum
interest rates.


  • Americans now hold over $1 trillion in credit card debt, the highest amount in history.
  • The average household with credit card debt has over $15,000 in credit card debt.
  • In 2018, credit card companies generated over $178 billion in interest and fees.
  • The average credit card interest rate for 100 cards monitored by is now a record-breaking 17.71 percent.
  • The average maximum credit card interest rate for those 100 cards is up to 24.98 percent, including those cardholders with good or excellent credit.
  • The average interest rate on a retail credit card is 27 percent.
  • The average interest rate on payday loans is 391 percent.  According to Pew, the average payday
    loan customer borrows $375 over five months and pays $520 in fees.

Congress must stand up to Wall Street and the payday lenders who are victimizing our constituents through outrageous interest rates. We hope you will join us in this fight by becoming an original cosponsor of the Loan Shark Prevention Act. If you would like
to become an original cosponsor or have a question, please contact Klarissa Reynoso at


Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez                             Senator Bernie Sanders

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Budget, Economy, Finance

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