Individuals who borrow money from pawnbrokers may soon have to pay higher interest.

Current law caps interest charged in these transaction at 8 percent a month for the first two months and 6 percent for every month afterwards. HB 2537 would raise the initial rate to 13 percent, with an 11 percent cap for the third and following months.

Proponents said the cost of doing business has increased and caps have not been adjusted in years.

HB 2537, which was approved by the Senate on a 22-8 vote, does require pawnbrokers to waive unpaid interest charges and hold pledged goods for members of the military who are on active duty until 60 days after that person returns from deployment. It now goes to the governor.

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