Big Rates for Little Guys

The prime has been halved, but small borrowers still pay dearly for loans

Customers of Bank of America have reason to feel a bit perplexed these days. Giant companies can now borrow from the San Francisco-based lender at a prime rate of 10½%, down from a peak of 21½% at the end of 1980. But the little guy who may need a few thousand dollars for a spring vacation or a home computer is getting no such break from the biggest U.S. bank. He must pay 19% for an unsecured personal loan, off somewhat...

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