New Hampshire Usury Laws
There are a handful of states in the United States that do not have general usury laws. New Hampshire is one such state. New Hampshire does not have any law on the books dealing with usurious lending practices.
With that said, the legal interest rate on personal loans in New Hampshire has been set at 10%. The statutes governing the interest rates on personal loans in New Hampshire currently is codified at New Hampshire Revised Statutes Title 37.
Simply because New Hampshire does not have usury laws on the books does not mean that there is no regulation of interest rates on personal loans. As mentioned, the prevailing interest rate on personal loans is 10%.
If a lender engages in a common practice of providing personal loans above and beyond the 10% interest rate, that lender can run into some negative legal consequences in some instances. In this regard, if an individual consistently, persistently lends money to another individual with interest rates attached above and beyond the 10% level, such an individual could end up being charged with the crime of loan sharking in some instances.
There are some Federal laws on the books dealing with loan sharking practices. However, it is not likely that there laws would come to bear in New Hampshire with a great deal of regularity when it comes to personal lending practices.
The reason that Federal law likely will not come into play when it comes to personal lending practices in New Hampshire rests on the fact that the RICO laws which are used in such instances require a lender to be charging an interest rate twice the usury limit in a given state. New Hampshire lacks such a usury limitation; therefore, there is a strong argument to be made for the inapplicability of RICO laws in these limited circumstances in this particular state.
There are other statutory provisions governing other types of loans in New Hampshire. For example, there are specific statutes on the books in New Hampshire that govern the interest rates on loans issued by state chartered banks, savings and loans, and credit unions. Moreover, there is a separate statutory scheme dealing with the interest rates that are permitted on financing relating to the purchase of certain types of consumer goods with a cost or value over $500.
Nothing in this article should be construed as providing legal advice to you. If you have any legal questions, you should consult a lawyer. Additionally, while we make every effort to keep the materials and information in this article current, laws governing usurious lending practices can change from time to time.