Short-Term, Small Amount Loans
NCUA proposes to amend its general lending rule to enable federal credit unions (FCUs) to offer short-term, small amount loans (STS loans) as a viable alternative to predatory payday loans. The proposed amendment would permit FCUs to charge a higher interest rate for an STS loan than is permitted under the general lending rule, but the proposal will impose limitations on the permissible term, amount, and fees associated with an STS loan. The STS loan alternative will assist FCUs in meeting their mission to promote thrift and meet their members' credit needs, particularly the provident needs of members of modest means. Permitting a higher interest rate for STS loans will permit FCUs to make loans cost effective while the limitations on the term, amount, and fees will appropriately limit the product to meeting its purpose as an alternative to predatory credit products. This rule also identifies ``best practices'' FCUs should incorporate into their individual STS programs.