“Given the many sacrifices military families make, it is deeply disturbing that predatory lenders would target them with exploitive financial schemes,” Sen. Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues Senators given no timeline on removal of National Guard, Capitol fence Trump lawyers center defense around attacks on Democrats MORE (D-Hawaii) said Wednesday. “I’m proud to join with my colleagues in urging the Department of Defense to tighten up financial protections for military families and close loopholes that leave service members vulnerable to these predatory practices.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The senators said payday lenders “cluster” around military bases and target advertising toward service members. 

The Department of Defense has the authority to write rules to protect service members from certain predatory loans, but the senators said the DOD failed to include high-interest products, such as overdraft loans, installment loans, nontraditional payday loans and nontraditional car title loans in its definition of “consumer credit.”

“Due to the narrow definition of consumer credit, certain lenders are offering predatory loan products to service members at exorbitant triple digit effective interest rates and loan products that do not include the additional protections envisioned by the law,” the letter stated. “Service members and their families deserve the strongest possible protections and swift action to ensure that all forms of credit offered to members of our armed forces are safe and sound.”

Currently, loans that fall under the definition of consumer credit are capped at an interest rate of 36 percent. The DOD is considering rule changes to its consumer credit protection program. The lawmakers said that if the DOD expanded its definition of consumer credit to apply to more types of loans, then rates for service members would not exceed the 36 percent mark.

In addition to Hirono, Democratic Sens. Jack ReedJack ReedCORRECTED: Overnight Defense: COVID-19 stymies effort to study sexual assault at military academies | Biden, Saudi king speak ahead of Khashoggi report Overnight Defense: New Senate Armed Services chairman talks Pentagon policy nominee, Afghanistan, more | Biden reads report on Khashoggi killing | Austin stresses vaccine safety in new video Senate Armed Services chair expects 'some extension' of troops in Afghanistan MORE (R.I.), Dick DurbinDick DurbinSenate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill Partisan headwinds threaten Capitol riot commission Murkowski undecided on Tanden as nomination in limbo MORE (Ill.), Mark UdallMark Emery UdallKennedy apologizes for calling Haaland a 'whack job' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP's Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' MORE (Colo.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyEverybody wants Joe Manchin Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives Biden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big MORE (Ind.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Tom UdallTom UdallOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Haaland courts moderates during tense confirmation hearing | GOP's Westerman looks to take on Democrats on climate change | White House urges passage of House public lands package Udalls: Haaland criticism motivated 'by something other than her record' Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Bill NelsonClarence (Bill) William NelsonThe Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Divided House on full display Florida Democrats mired in division, debt ahead of 2022 Centrist Democrats pose major problem for progressives MORE (Fla.), Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinTwo more parting shots from Trump aimed squarely at disabled workers A pandemic election should move America to address caregivers' struggles The Memo: Trump attacks on Harris risk backfiring MORE (Iowa), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseBiden nominee previews post-Trump trade agenda Tucker Carlson bashes CNN, claims it's 'more destructive' than QAnon Garland seeks to draw sharp contrast with Trump-era DOJ MORE (R.I.), Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillThe Memo: Punish Trump or risk a repeat, warn Democrats GOP senators criticized for appearing to pay half-hearted attention to trial Hawley watches trial from visitor's gallery MORE (Mo.), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSenate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill Exclusive: How Obama went to bat for Warren Minimum wage setback revives progressive calls to nix Senate filibuster MORE (Mass.), Jeff MerkleyJeff MerkleyProgressives fume over Senate setbacks Ex-Capitol Police chief did not get FBI report warning of violence on Jan. 6 Democrats want businesses to help get LGBT bill across finish line MORE (Ore.), Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenHarrison seen as front-runner to take over DNC at crucial moment The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots MORE (Minn.), Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyLawmakers commemorate one-year anniversary of Arbery's killing Democrats revive debate over calling impeachment witnesses LIVE COVERAGE: Senate trial moves to closing arguments MORE (Mass.), Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandPentagon launches civilian-led commission to address military sexual assault Capito asks White House to allow toxic chemicals rule to proceed Lobbying world MORE (N.Y.), Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerSunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate Warner: White House should 'keep open additional sanctions' against Saudi crown prince Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues MORE (Va.), Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate Democrats nix 'Plan B' on minimum wage hike Senate mulls changes to .9 trillion coronavirus bill House Democrats pass sweeping .9T COVID-19 relief bill with minimum wage hike MORE (Ore.), Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayOvernight Health Care: 50 million coronavirus vaccines given | Pfizer news | Biden health nominees Rand Paul criticized for questioning of transgender health nominee Biden health nominee faces first Senate test MORE (Wash.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSunday shows - Trump's reemergence, COVID-19 vaccines and variants dominate Brown vows Democrats will 'find a way' to raise minimum wage Sunday shows preview: 2024 hopefuls gather at CPAC; House passes coronavirus relief; vaccine effort continues MORE (Ohio), Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichUSPS adding up to 165K fuel efficient or electric delivery vehicles Democrats propose executive actions on electric vehicle acquisitions New rule shakes up Senate Armed Services subcommittees MORE (N.M.) and Tammy BaldwinTammy Suzanne BaldwinBiden signs supply chain order after 'positive' meeting with lawmakers Democrats want businesses to help get LGBT bill across finish line Democrats offer resolution denouncing white supremacists ahead of Trump trial MORE (Wis.) signed the letter.