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NC governor OKs some loan interest rate increases

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory has signed into law interest rate increases on installment loans.

McCrory approved a bill Wednesday that increases the maximum borrowing amount and interest rates on installment loans, which are often pursued by people with poor credit histories.

Proponents argued consumers have a right to make their own credit choices. Opponents said installment loans lead to endless cycles of debt among low-income people.

An Associated Press investigation found a group of loan providers spent more than $1.8 million on lobbying to shepherd the bill through the legislature.

The bill was one of 56 McCrory signed into law Wednesday. He also approved bills forbidding e-cigarette sales to minors and repealing the Racial Justice Act, which allowed death-row inmates to reduce sentences to life in prison on racial grounds.