JAN 20, 2014

Florida Usury Law

What is the maximum legal interest rate for consumers in Florida?

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Bill's Answer: Answered by Mark Cappel

In Florida, the legal rate of interest is 12%. The general usury limit is 18%. On loans above $500,000 the maximum rate is 25%. See Florida CHAPTER 687: INTEREST AND USURY; LENDING PRACTICES to cite the law chapter and verse.

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Comments (13)

Confused C.
Ellenton, FL  |  January 18, 2014
I purchased a 2004 Saturn in 2012 for 7k at the time I had no credit an took what I was given. Today when I went to look at trading in my car for a new car because of my interest rate and since I have been paying 240$ each month since 01/2012 and have only made a $600 dent on the 7k.The dealer asked me what my current rate is when I told him 24% he seemed taken back and told me that it is over that allowed interest rate for our state. Am I able to do anything about this? They have been charging me for two years now I'm stuck owing 6400$ on a 1500$ vehicle. Any advice the loan is through a finance company in Jacksonville
January 20, 2014
Contact your state attorney general's office and ask if the interest rate you are being charged is legal for Florida residents. If it is not, ask the office what actions you should take.
Confused C.
Rubonia, FL  |  January 20, 2014
Thank you for your reply. I have contacted the lending company today and they did admit that they were charging a higher rate than allowed (verbally), but that they would not change it. I have a call into an attorney that handles the USURY law limit in Florida since the state senate website and other sites are stating >500k 25% <500k 18%. Comparing my loan to this F.S. this guideline applies to me. I will call the Attorney General tomorrow and get more information. Thank you for your help!
Richard B.
Orlando, FL  |  January 14, 2014
My son's school is charging a "late fee" of $40 on a $100 charge. This equates to 40% which I interpret as usurious. The school is stating that the law does not pertain to "late fees". Who is correct?
January 15, 2014
I can't give legal advice, but it is my opinion that the school is correct.
Carol L.
Tampa, FL  |  February 04, 2013
Does the Florida Usuary Law apply to a personal loan that is made between myself and a friend who puts 1% of his business up as collateral? Loan amount 25K, interest 20%. Just don't want to be in any violation.
February 05, 2013
You ask a legal question about a Florida law that implies a yes or no answer. Based only on the facts you shared, which are incomplete about the entire set of circumstances here, you appear to be in violation of Florida law, cited in the original answer above. However, I hasten to add exceptions may apply to your situation. Your wisest course of action is to consult with a Florida lawyer (which I am not) who has experience in contracts, banking, or securities law.
Howard B.
Palm Harbor, FL  |  July 24, 2012
Discover sent me an "offer" today of 23.99% plus either $5 or 3% of the transaction (whichever is greater) for a cash advance... all this without a gun. Something wrong somewhere?
July 24, 2012
No, nothing is wrong. First, if you have a rock-bottom credit score and no source of income, Discover probably has a disclaimer in your offer that it is contingent on your passing its credit approval tests. Second, if you have an excellent credit score, no debt, and verifiable income, Discover probably guesses it will make money if you accept the deal due to the eye-popping interest rate you mentioned.
Steve B.
December 04, 2012
How can you say nothing is wrong when the offer is at 23.99% and the law says you can't charge more than 18%? And between 25 and 45% it is a second degree misdemeanor? I am confused.
December 05, 2012
Three reasons why credit card issuers are not subject to state usury laws:
  1. National banks are permitted to charge the highest interest rate allowed in the bank’s home state, regardless of the borrower’s state of residence (Marquette Nat. Bank of Minneapolis v. First of Omaha Service Corp. 439 U.S. 299 (1978)). Since 1978, this has meant credit card issuers located in states with no usury laws, such as Delaware and South Dakota, can use the lack of an interest rate cap in offers to customers in states with usury laws.
  2. The Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act of 1980 (DIDMCA) allows all federally insured banks, which includes state-chartered banks, to charge out-of-state customers the highest interest rate permissible in the state where the bank is headquartered.
  3. Finally, Section 731 of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, a 1999 federal law that loosened regulations on banks, effectively wiped out state usury laws that still stood in Alaska, Arkansas, and California.

In other words, Florida and other state usury statutes no longer apply to banks.

Ken M.
December 12, 2012
Are there exceptions to the usury laws in a commercial context?
December 12, 2012
In some states, yes.
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