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DENVER — Lawmakers passed a bill on the final day of their session that means Coloradans will pay more in interest if they borrow money.

Only the Governor can save consumers now.

House Bill 1390 raises interest rates on personal consumer loans by up to 71 percent. It would allow lenders to raise finance rates from 21 percent to 36 percent on loans up to $3,000.

It also increases rates from 15 to 21 percent on loans more than $3,000 to $5,000.

These loans target people with some credit problems who can’t get loans from traditional banks and credit unions to buy consumer products like cars, boats and to consolidate debt.

But the bill’s sponsor said that amount is much less than some of the other options available to low and moderate-income people–like pay day loans which can charge more than three times as much.

“It is high risk. It has a higher interest rate of 36 percent, but it’s much better than 125 percent we see with pay day lending facilities,” said State Rep. Jovan Melton, a Democrat from Aurora.

He also said these lenders need a hand to stay in business in our state.

“In 2000, when we allowed these lenders to operate in Colorado, we had six companies operating in the state. In the 15 years since its passage, it’s whittled down to two,” says Melton.

Rich Jones, with public advocacy group The Bell Policy Center, says the rate hikes are bad for consumers. And he says these lenders don’t need a handout from those who can least afford it.

“Lenders in this business are profitable. One company, (Citigroup’s OneMain Financial) had a net increase in profits of 31 percent (from 2013 over 2012),” he said.

Another, Springleaf Financial, went public on the stock market and saw its shares increase 78 percent.

“It’s not over until the Governor signs it. Now we are starting to generate focus. People are asking more questions. We have that hope we can convince him to veto the bill,” said Jones.

The Attorney General’s Office said this bill will raise the cost of the average loan by 38 percent.

There were 31,000 of these loans in 2013 in Colorado totaling $248 million.

The governor has 30 days to sign or veto the bill.