OGDEN, UtahABC4) – If you’re thinking of financing an auto repair loan, you may want to read the fine print. A Utah-based online bank recently opened flagged by the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) to issue up to 189% interest on loans.
The company, EasyPay Finance, works in conjunction with Ogden, Utah-based TAB Bank. The bank offers financing through auto and tire repair shops throughout the country.
Some auto repair shops through which the bank issues financing are familiar:
- Big tires OR
- greasy monkey
- Precision auto care
But the loans violate some state laws, NCLC says.
According to the NCLC, hundreds of complaints describe:
- Misleading promises of full 90-day interest refunds that are difficult to enforce.
- Stunning interest rates of up to 189%, with payments going primarily to interest.
- Damage to credit reports. Late payments can even be reported for loans paid in full or to the wrong consumer. Consumers report that they do not receive responses to their disputes.
- Harassment in debt collection.
There are ways to avoid deceptive practices. The NCLC says consumers should consider a credit card or personal loan and avoid any loan above 36% APR. The NCLC also advises consumers to always check the terms of a loan before signing and should always get a copy of the agreement they sign.
Some may ask how illegal interest rates can be charged in some states.
Under the NCLC, TAB Bank uses its EasyPay bank card to help evade state laws. EasyPay Finance loans are backed by TAB Bank and are available at auto and tire repair shops across the country. TAB is also supervised by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
“A car repair can be a devastating expense, and financially fragile families don’t need predatory lenders to amplify the damage. EasyPay and its bank rental partner, TAB Bank, prey on people in a way that exploits the centrality of automobiles in American society. For most people, having a well-functioning car is essential to daily financial life and running a family,” said Elyse Hicks, Consumer Policy Advisor for Americans for Financial Reform.
The NCLC also notes that, in addition to excessive interest rates, the TAB Bank and EasyPay Finance loan complaints describe tactics to hide the interest rate, exploitation of veterans and service members, use of full 90 days impossible to obtain. interest refund offers, unauthorized direct debits, errors and poor customer service, damaged credit reports, and debt collection harassment.
In an effort to put an end to predatory lending, the Stop the Debt Trap CoalitionMade up of more than 800 people, it is working to hold lenders accountable.