Regarding Quick loans, big bucks (Sept. 20):
A friend recently had car issues and got a loan from TitleMax. The interest rate was 131 percent and additional fees. I paid the loan for him and we worked out a simple, inexpensive repayment plan.
I am encouraged to hear that some credit unions and churches are finally realizing the impact of these predatory lenders and are making small loans.
I suggest the establishment of microbanks to make small loans to those in need. To provide wide access to these micro-banks, they could be associated with neighborhood churches. These banks could charge a reasonable interest rate and still cover the few bad loans they would grant, and still gradually increase the amount of money they have to loan. The seed money for these microbanks could come from churches and private individuals.
A million-dollar investment in a microbank, based on an average loan of $500, would remove 2,000 people from the grasp of these shylocks. The staff could come from churches and volunteers trained to process the paperwork. Professionals would approve the loans.
Politicians would erect many barriers to the concept of a privately financed and operated microbank, since it would cut into the business of some of their principal contributors, entities like TitleMax. But in the interest of doing the right thing, we must eliminate the loopholes that allow such entities to take advantage by charging usurious loan rates.
JC Hagan o Ballwin