We exhort you not to listen to those who say that today the issue of usury is present in name only, since gain is almost always obtained from money given to another. How false is this opinion and how far removed from the truth! We can easily understand this if we consider that the nature of one contract differs from the nature of another. – Vix Pervenit
Understanding usury requires an understanding of how the nature of some contracts differs, fundamentally and categorically, from the nature of others. Usury is not a matter of the same kind of contract differing only by ‘excessive interest’. Usurious contracts constitute a kind of contract which is intrinsically immoral by its very nature. This FAQ is intended to help people understand what usury is – and is not – and answer many of the questions which naturally arise.
[Note: this FAQ is also available in the form of a public domain ebook. It is also available as a hard copy book.]
Usury is lending money for profitable interest. The term “usury” often specifically refers to the interest itself – interest charged on a mutuum (personally guaranteed by the borrower) loan.
Lending is an agreement between a lender and a borrower, wherein the lender gives property to the borrower and the borrower pledges to “return it” later.