A credit union payday loan alternative program that has reportedly saved members $15 million continues to receive praise from Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rob McCord.
On April 12, McCord visited the $125 million Cross Valley Federal Credit Union to hear how the "Credit Union Better Choice" program helped three women meet unexpected expenses, according to the Pennsylvania Treasury Department. Since 2007, the Wilkes-Barre, Pa.-based credit union said it has issued 280 Better Choice payday loans to 101 members.
Launched in 2006 through a partnership between the state’s Treasury and the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, participating credit unions have made 43,000 Better Choice loans totaling $20.5 million. According to officials, the loans have saved consumers nearly $15 million in fees and interest typically associated with payday lending products. The loans are available at 79 credit unions with 222 locations in Pennsylvania.
"Too often, the people who fall prey to these payday lenders are those who are already struggling economically or are living paycheck to paycheck. We want them to know there's an alternative," McCord said.
Edward Kaushas, president/CEO of Cross Valley FCU, said the decision to offer members the loans was an easy one. "We are delighted to know that because of this program, we have been able to reach out and make a difference in the lives of our members and their families," he said.