With New Mexico's 2021 Legislative Session underway, Prosperity Works has been advocating in collaboration with the New Mexicans for Fair Lending Coalition for proactive legislative action that centers limited-income (LI) households. We are excited that Senate Bill 66 includes an all-inclusive 36% interest rate cap and strongly support it.
For LI individuals, or those without a developed credit history, the savings offered by employer-based lending models—such as the TrueConnect program with which Prosperity Works partners—and equitable loans can mean the difference between financial security and financial ruin. Loans made at the current interest rate cap of 175% can quickly thrust LI borrowers into an inescapable debt trap.
New Mexico has one of the highest interest rate caps on storefront loans in the country, and more than 85% of high-interest lenders in New Mexico are subsidiaries of large, out-of-state companies. Moreover, triple digit interest rates hit communities of color and members of Tribes and Pueblos the hardest; 65% of lenders in New Mexico are located within 15 miles of Native populations. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being extracted from LI families and leaving our state each year because of predatory lenders.
Reducing the interest rate cap from 175% to an all-inclusive 36% is timelier than ever—as is embracing more equitable lending alternatives, like TrueConnect, for large-scale employers.
Employers across New Mexico have adopted TrueConnect, including:
With no cost or risk to the employer and no credit check for the employee, these payroll-deduction loans of up to $5,000 have helped employees address short-term emergencies and reduce financial stress—and many are offered at far less than 36% APR.
Reducing the interest rate cap to an all-inclusive 36% is an equitable path toward helping ensure the socioeconomic solvency of LI households across New Mexico, especially as we collectively rebuild our state post-COVID.
Prosperity Works Staff