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LETTER: Put cap on loans that can't be paid

To the editor:

If a car dealership loaned you $16,000 for a car, but then expected the final payments to total over $74,000, that dealership would be run out of town. If a bank gave you a mortgage of $160,000, but by the end you paid over $740,000, that bank would be sued, censured, and penalized.

Laws have been passed to protect the consumer from getting penalized by banks with interest on top of interest if the borrower simply can not make the full payments, for whatever reason (illness, hardship, etc). Laws have been passed recently to protect borrowers of federal loans from spending their entire lives , including their hope to have anything left for retirement, on paying the debt back. I am not saying that every attempt shouldn't be made to paying a debt willingly accepted. But no 20-year-old accepting a $16,000 scholarship to teach, for example, can forsee marriage/divorce / single motherhood, an inability to get hired due to lack of experience/substitute teach due to inability to pay the bills, and a serious car accident leading to multiple surgeries and 17 years and counting of chronic pain.

There should be a cap or limit on how much has to be paid above and beyond the initial loan from the state and interest. I have made payments for over 20 years. At best, my $16,000

scholarship turned loan will cost me over $74,000. I have no options for escaping this nightmare and I know I'm not alone. Something must be done, not only for future generations, but for those currently bowed down to this financial burden.

Shari McClure-Klang

Alexandria, MN