Military officials want to clamp down on payday lenders unfairly - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

KILLEEN

Military officials want to clamp down on payday lenders unfairly targeting soldiers

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KILLEEN -

Billboards and advertisement begging soldiers to borrow money surround Fort Hood. They target soldiers who are going through financial hardship, but too afraid to tell their higher ups.

"They are taking advantage of soldiers," explains Better Business Bureau Regional Director Helen Moore. "In several states, payday lenders, title loan lenders are banned or very very highly regulated. And that's not the case in Texas."

Under the Military Lending Act of 2006, lenders cannot charge soldiers more than 36% interest on short term loans. However, if they do not pay the loan back in full in two weeks, the loan is extended at double the interest rate.

"I recently saw a loan that interest rate to a military soldier has increased to 1748 percent, which means you borrow $200 and end up paying back $2500," said Moore.

The better business bureau tells News Channel 25 that the Cash Store is the main lender that unfairly targets soldiers in Killeen.

We reached out to the Cash Store, but they weren't available to comment.

After hearing hundreds of stories of soldiers being scammed, officials from each military branch are fighting for the Defense Department to revise the Military Lending Act.

They believe soldiers need more protections, recommending new regulations that would put an end to morphing payday and installment loans.

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