There seem to be a variety of online lenders out there (most I've seen are based in Chicago.) They will proudly proclaim they are licensed in Virginia and post a PDF of their SCC license as proof they are licensed to do business in Virginia. Is that license enough for them to offer loans in Virginia under their terms (50-100+ % interest rates.) It seems to me that if they're not on the SCC's list of Consumer Finance Companies (with business fronts in Virginia,) loans offered at interest rates over 12% are illegal.
There is a difference between being authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth and being licensed as a consumer financial company. Each of the foregoing requires satisfying certain requirements and filing the necessary paperwork with the SCC; however, the former is processed by the SCC's Business Entities Division and the latter is processed by the SCC's Bureau of Financial Institutions. Further, Section 6.2-1507 of the Code of Virginia requires the SCC, before granting a consumer finance license, to make a finding that an applicant has the financial responsibility, character, experience and general fitness to command the confidence of the public and to warrant belief that the business will be operated lawfully, honestly, fairly, and efficiently.
Thus, registration as a company authorized to transact business in the Commonwealth is a necessary pre-requisite but not sufficient to qualify as a consumer financial company. I would carefully read the posted PDF; is it a Certificate of Incorporation or Organization or it actually a license to operate as a consumer financial company issued by the Bureau of Financial Institutions?
The SCC promulgates a list of duly licensed consumer financial companies, which can be found here: https://www.scc.virginia.gov/bfi/reg_inst/confin.aspx. The list was updated as recently as January 22, 2018.
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