`Gas Loans' Meant to Bring Comic Relief, says United FCU CEO
BUCHANAN, Mich. - United FCU is getting a lot of attention with a tongue-in-cheek campaign for gas loans. The $209 million CU has been posting a "we're now offering gas loans" marquee at two of its branches in response to the rising fuel prices. So far, a few frustrated members have come into the branch to inquire about the loans, but Duane Nelson, president/CEO told the South Bend Tribune it's all in fun. "We've used humor in our advertising in the past. I think financial institutions run the risk of sounding stuffy. Let's have some fun," Nelson told the publication. United FCU is not really offering gas loans, but it does have a courtesy pay loan program. For $25, a member can advance a $500 loan and have 30 days to repay the advance. Gas in the region is roughly $3.19, the publication reported. Nelson said he's "surprised" at the amount of attention the promotion has received. Members who venture into the branches inquiring about the loans, he says, often get into discussions about the high price of gas that have been in place for most of the summer. "It's tongue and cheek," Nelson said. "But we want our members and the community to know they shouldn't have to severely change their standard of living." Nelson said the promotion will run for the next several weeks.