What are the limits on interest rates?
Written by Kerry S. Doolittle   
Friday, 09 April 2010

Georgia law places certain limits on the amount or rate of interest that may be charged by a lender in various circumstances.  Exceeding those limits is a crime called "usury" (which is even found in the old testament.  Many statutes, like the Motor Vehicle Sales Finance Act, impose limits in specific circumstances.  A few exemptions apply, such as the special rules for pawn shops which allow them to charge very high rates.  Where no specific statute applies, a generally applicable statute applies.

Where the principal amount of a debt is $3,000.00 or less, the maximum permitted interest rate is 16% per year simple interest. O.C.G.A. 7-4-2(a)(2).

 Where the principal amount of a debt is more than $3,000.00, the parties may set any interest rate up to the legal maximum. O.C.G.A. 7-4-2(a)(1)(A) and (B).

 The maximum permitted interest rate is 5% per month, and exceeding that rate constitutes a misdemeanor.