Regulation of Finance Charges on Consumer Instalment Credit

The subject of adequate disclosure of finance charges in consumer credit transactions has, in recent years, “become a rallying point for consumers and a battle line for industry.” Equal heat is generated by discussions concerning the regulation of finance charges on consumer instalment credit. The aim of this article is to examine briefly the existing pattern of rate regulation and then to explore the purposes of ceilings on consumer finance charges and the problems involved in their design. As is true with the question of disclosure of finance charges, the problems are extremely complex. Men of good will on both sides of the argument will disagree, but if the economic rationale is clearly understood, the philosophical grounds for disagreement may become more sharply defined.