Military families are some of the biggest targets for predatory lending practices, and the Pentagon and Congress have inched closer to making sure that's no longer the case. The Senate is set to hold hearings about what measures can be included in the 2013 defense spending bill to make sure unscrupulous lenders do not take advantage of military families, MSNBC.com reports.
The main goal of the hearings is to determine how to close loopholes that still exist in the Military Lending Act. While the legislation capped interest rates and limited the length of loans, there was still some wiggle room. In particular, online lenders preyed on military families.
"I hear from financial counselors on the installations about the prevalence of payday-like products that are specifically marketed to military families – often with patriotic-sounding names and the American flags on the website to match, but with a sky-high interest rate," Holly Petraeus, head of services member affairs at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, said earlier this week, according to the website.
The discussion between the Pentagon and Congress come after a report from the Consumer Federation of America outlined the challenges faced by military families. Specifically, they are most at risk of predatory payday loans.