RR176 Word of the Week: Usury
Cambridge: the activity of lending someone money with the agreement that they will pay back a very much larger amount of money later; the lending of money at extremely high interest rates
Oxford English: The action or practice of lending money at unreasonably high rates of interest.
Investopedia: Usury is the act of lending money at an interest rate that is considered unreasonably high or that is higher than the rate permitted by law.
Etymology: c. 1300, “practice of lending money at interest,” later, at excessive rates of interest, from Medieval Latin usuria, alteration of Latin usura “payment for the use of money, interest,” literally “a usage, use, enjoyment,” from usus, from stem of uti (see use (v.)). From mid-15c. as “premium paid for the use of money, interest,” especially “exorbitant interest.”
“…throughout history, certain religions have abstained from usury altogether as charging interest went against their core principles. Specifically, Judaism, Christianity and Islam (the three Abrahamic faiths) take a very strong stance against usury. Several passages in the Old Testament condemn the practice of usury, especially when lending to less wealthy individuals without access to more secure means of financing.”
“Predatory lending is broadly defined by the FDIC as “imposing unfair and abusive loan terms on borrowers.” Predatory lending often targets groups with less access to and understanding of more traditional forms of financing” “…payday loans, also termed payday advances or small dollar loans,”
Synonyms: exploitation, stealing
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