Emergency Credit: Coming Soon to a Bank Near You? - ABI

Consumers could find it easier to get small loans for emergency car repairs and other unplanned expenses under Trump administration plans to prod more banks to make short-term loans, the Wall Street Journal reported. “We have a big market, we have a market that is unfulfilled,” said Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting. “When you don’t have an alternative in that space, what happens is people have a tendency to fall to the lowest common denominator,” such as check-cashers, pawnshops and liquor stores, he said. The move signals a shift from the Obama administration, which earlier this decade pressured banks to scrap their short-term lending programs. Those regulators viewed small loans by banks with suspicion because of concern about high interest rates and perceived repayment risks. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees national banks, will “clarify” its position on installment loans that can help consumers with immediate cash needs such as buying “a piece of equipment [or] a family emergency,” Otting said.

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