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Virginia Interest Rates Laws

Who hasn’t gotten one of those credit card offers in the mail or online and thought, “This sounds pretty great?” We all like the idea of having a little extra shopping money and maybe some of us have gotten in a bit of a bind and needed that new credit card to pay an old bill. But even when we have the best intentions, credit cards high interest rates, can get us into some financial trouble. Lucky for us, Old Dominion has some consumer safeguards when it comes to interest rates on credit cards. Here’s a quick summary of interest rates laws in Virginia.

Interest Rates Laws

As in most other states, Virginia law limits the amount of interest a creditor may charge. The state's limit is 8 percent unless a contract specifies a greater amount, and most contracts with lenders do in fact specify a greater interest rate. Additionally, Virginia law exempts revolving credit accounts (which include credit cards), student loans, banks, credit unions, national banks, and mortgages. In other words, these statutory interest rate limits seldom come into play in today's credit-driven world.

Virginia Interest Rate Statutes

The following table lists the main provisions of Virginia's interest rate laws.

Legal Maximum Rate of Interest

8% unless contract specifies (§6.1-330.53)

Penalty for Usury (Unlawful Interest Rate)

Borrower may recover twice interest paid, court costs, and unreasonable attorney's fees (§6.1-330.57)

Interest Rates on Judgments

9% or at contract rate, whichever is higher (§6.1-330.54)

Exceptions

Revolving credit accounts (§6.1-330.64); private college/university (§6.1-330.66); state or national banks; savings and loans; credit unions (§6.1-330.48); secured by mortgage or deed of trust (§6.1-330.71); installment credit plan (6.1-330.77)

Sure, it’s easier said than done, but your best way to avoid the most extreme high interest rates on a credit card is to avoid credit card debt in the first place. And the best way to do that is to use the card responsibly and pay off your entire balance as soon as possible. If you do wind up with substantial credit debt, you could still have some consumer protections under federal law.

Virginia Interest Rate Laws: Related Resources

It can often be confusing trying to comprehend the terms of service for credit cards. You can visit FindLaw’s section on Usury Laws and Limits on Credit Card Interest Rates to learn more. If you think you would like legal counsel regarding a credit card case, you can contact a Virginia consumer protection attorney in your area.

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