Borrowing money via payroll loans became a craze among Brazilian workers and retirees. Comparing the balance made available in the last four years, the modality grew 74.85% among public servants and 113.8% among workers in the private sector, according to data from the Cream Bank. Lower interest rates than those applied to overdraft, the possibility of borrowing money even with a dirty name and discounting installments directly from the payroll – which gives the false feeling that the consumer is not paying the debt – contributed to the popularization of payroll.

With more people having access to this type of credit

With more people having access to this type of credit

The number of problems and, consequently, the concern of consumer associations grows. Protest, for example, received complaints from 14 different states about the difficulty of customers in requesting early debt settlement, a right guaranteed by the Consumer Protection Code. “Banks are making life difficult for consumers, they do not provide information, they make negotiation difficult. In view of this situation, Protest sent a report last week for the Public Ministry to help us ”, said Norlyn Dap.

Payroll loan

Payroll loan

With the direct discount on the payroll, financial institutions lowered interest rates for the certainty of receipt. And the modality not only caught on, but expanded. Currently, according to Cream Bank rules, any bank can offer payroll loans, regardless of whether the employee’s salary account is in that institution or not.

To avoid abuses, the Ministry of Social Security has issued normative instructions on the subject, limiting, for example, how much the beneficiary can commit to the salary (see infographic). Payroll also grew among civil servants, who have access to loans of this type because of their legal status as statutory. Among the employees of the private sector, the available balance has always been smaller because he may become unemployed, which increases the risk of the bank not receiving the loaned amount.

Bank under intervention

Bank under intervention

The average annual rate of payroll up to September is 23.8%, while that of overdraft, for example, is 147.62%. This exorbitant difference in interest rates made military firefighter Diego Sarmento, 29, bet on the modality to raise money and pay off the debts of building a house in Valparaíso.

The fireman paid the amount from January to July, when he received a notification from Lite Bank, announcing that the debt had been paid in 49 installments of R $ 289.31. “The value was much higher than at the beginning. I tried to reach the bank’s 0800 number and was told to go to Goiânia, at the branch there. As long as the situation is not resolved, that amount is being discounted. I will have to seek justice, ”he says. When I arrived, I learned that the bank is under intervention by the Cream Bank.

Financial education

Financial education

With the exception of the instruction of the Ministry of Social Security for retirees and pensioners that the provision of the loan cannot exceed 30% of the salary, in other cases there is no limit on the commitment of income. There is even a decision by the Superior Court of Justice (STJ), which stipulates that as a limit on the provision of payroll loans, only 30% of the remuneration.

Despite the legal restrictions, banks continue to grant credit and many Brazilians are over-indebted. A bill is in the Senate to set the limits of indebtedness and give responsibilities to financial institutions that give irresponsible credit. “If the law is approved, the bank that grants a loan, payroll deductible or not, to people with more than 30% of the committed income, will not be able to receive interest”, explains Ray Monde, member of the commission that drafted the bill and promoter of consumer protection justice from the Public Ministry of the Federal District.