State of California California Department of Consumer Affairs

Finance Charges

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The Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) controls interest rates. The FRB sets the rate based on inflation, the international economy, the value of the dollar, and other complex economic issues. The Federal Reserve Bank loans money to state banks, credit unions, and other money lending sources that make loans available to consumers.

Under Civil Code 1917, financial institutions such as banks, savings and loan, other credit institutions, bank card issuers, and businesses at the retail level are exempt from the usury law and are free to charge what the consumer is willing to pay.

Federal Reserve System
Federal Reserve Bank
Consumer Affairs Department
101 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(888) 851-1920
(800) 393-1900 TDD

Consumers who have questions or need explanations on interest rates may call the Attorney General's office at the number listed below.

Department of Justice
Attorney General
1300 I Street
PO Box 944255 (mailing address)
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
(800) 952-5225 (CA Callers)
(916) 322-3360 (Out of State)
(916) 323-5341 Fax
(800) 952-5548 (TDD in CA)
(916) 327-5564 (TDD Out of State)

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