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Legalized loan sharking

I saw this on Slashdot last week, an article regarding "Getting the best deals from Dell." One bullet point really stuck out, about financing offers:

9. DPA/Dell Preferred - This is the Dell credit card, like a Sears, Macy's or Radio Shack credit card. Typically a high rate, low limit card. The lowest APR is still around 18-20%, and that comes with a $5,000 limit. The $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000 limits have rates in the mid to high 20s. The lowest limt, $1,500, has an APR of 29.99%. NEVER USE THIS UNLESS THERE IS A KILLER NO INTEREST PROMOTION.

This is nothing new, but it always gets to me -- credit cards, car loans, banks, etc can charge you that much interest since the 1980. But you know, if you or I were to loan some money to a friend or colleague at an interest rate of more than 5-12% (dependent on state law), we would be "loan sharking" because we're not a bank and they have separate rules. What crap. How can anyone, bank or individual, get away with charging 29.99% interest!?! Even better is point a, the exploitation of freshmen college students. Bah, this should be a crime!

/end rant

Posted by Marcin on Monday, June 18, 2007 in Politics.

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