A Stop to Usury Costa Rica is being affected by two plagues. Due to the Covid-19 health pandemic, of which, at this time, there is no vaccine so that the disease does not continue to spread and due to the debt, which is consuming the tranquility of many Costa Rican families, especially because they are paying rates of very high loans. The good news is that for the debt plague, Costa Rica already has a vaccine. This vaccine is the popular call LAW CONTRA CREDIT USURE, (Law 9859), which has been in force since July 04, 2020. This Law puts a ceiling on interest rates and other charges that are added to credits, in order for people to improve their liquidity and manage to clean up finances relatives. This Law against Usury, defines that the Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR), must impose the maximum rates that the loans may charge.tarivers. On July 3, 2020, one day before this Law came into effect, the BCCR defined the maximum annual interest rates that financial entities and any other lender may charge.
colones 37,69%
Dollars 30.36%
MICROCREDIT Credit less than ¢ 675.200 (1,5 times Clerk Base Salary 1 of the Judiciary, which is ¢ 450.200)     MAXIMUM RATES
colones 53.18%
Dollars 42.99%
According to the definition of maximum rates by the BCCR, it is clear that the maximum interest rate that may be charged by Credit Card issuers is 37,69% in colones and 30,36% in dollars. On the other hand, if the amount of the debt is less than ¢ 675.200, financial entities and lenders may charge higher maximum interest rates, which would be 53.18% in colones and 42,99% in dollars. In accordance with the definitions of the maximum interest rates established by the BCRR, we can assert that we as a cooperative are a real solution for our debtors, since our rates are well below the maximum approved. We also want to highlight that, although the Law empowers entities that charge higher interest rates for balances lower than ¢ 675.200, in Coopealianza it is not a practice that will be applied. The credit products offered by our cooperative are very competitive and have a lower cost. On the other hand, considerations are established for the worker, since no deductions can be made from the worker's salary that affect the intangible and unattachable minimum wage (¢ 199.760,73). What happens if the Usury Law is breached? Financial institutions and any other person who fails to comply with the provisions established by the Usury Law, will be subject to the following sanctions as indicated below:
  1. Disrespecting the untouchable minimum wage will be subject to the sanction considered as a very serious infraction. This represents a penalty of 2% of the assets of the entity or person that imposes the BCCR.
  2. Charging interest rates above the maximum established by the BCCR requires the Sugef to file a complaint with the Public Ministry for the crime of usury. In addition, the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEIC) will denounce individuals who incur in the crime of usury, with criminal, civil, and administrative responsibility for those who make the decision to charge a rate higher than the indicated limits.
Since the discussion of the bill that puts a cap on usury began, the position that Coopealianza and the rest of the savings and loan cooperatives have had, was to promote and contribute to the approval of this law, since it is congruent with the raison d'être of this type of cooperatives, which were created to combat agiotism and financial injustices that usurers have always committed. That is why, today more than ever, the commitment of Coopealianza with our associates is to offer them credit products according to their needs, without risking the economic or emotional situation of the people. Francisco Montoya Mora General Manager