AOC Proposes a 15% Cap on Credit Card Interest Rates

William B. Plowman/NBC

The House of Representatives’ youngest female freshman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), also known as “AOC,” is teaming up with Senator and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders (D-VT) to introduce a legislative bill that would put a 15% federal interest rate cap on credit cards.

Ocasio-Cortez mentions that prior to 1978, there were state laws capping interest rates but that since being repealed, banks have been setting “extortion-level interest rates to the poor.” She points that this has been affecting those who live in both urban and rural communities and is essentially granting credit card companies and big banks a “blank check” with which to charge increasing interest rates. Often times, loans are being taken out to pay for what Ocasio-Cortez refers to as “our inhumane state of healthcare in the United States.”

“I was just hearing from a constituent who had to take out a $40,000 loan to pay for his mother’s cancer treatments,” she said. “And they gave him, the bank gave him over a 20% interest rate…this was back in 2006, he was paying them completely on time. $800 a month, he was paying, on this $40,000 loan, to keep his mother alive. When the financial crisis hit, he lost his job, he was struggling to make payments, and without telling him, they sold his loan off to a different debt servicer. They sued him in court, he got no notice for it, and then it wasn’t until his wages were being garnished that he found out there was a settlement for him to pay $53,000, on a $40,000 loan, of which he had already paid $28,000.”

When we take out our calculators that equals…wait, never mind. We don’t want to know. Ocasio-Cortez points out that the above scenario “is legal” and “common in the United States of America” but “not humane.”


Sanders adds that this year, United States citizens will pay a 50% increase in credit card interest from only five years ago, for an estimated $122,000,000,000 (that’s 122 billion).

Maybe this is a clear call to action for people to set time aside to register and vote in the upcoming elections? Here is a place to start if you haven’t registered yet.


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