HAYWARD, Wis. – A course in financial literacy may soon figure in loan decision-making at a tiny Indian credit union which said it has been conducting free seminars on money management and budgeting for both members and non-members. “We have been discussing the idea of using the course as a decision factor for loan requests that are borderline acceptable,” explained David Fleming, president of the $900,000 Lac Courte Oreilles FCU, which draws its members from the Ojibwa tribe. Lac Courte Oreilles, which has been participating in Youth Week Activities of the Wisconsin Credit Union League this month, said four times a year it offers the literacy classes in four different villages in the community with the class “empowering members to become good borrowers and lead them to financial stability.” The sessions, which include breakfast and called “Building Native Communities,” offer a curriculum put together by the Fannie Mae Foundation and First Nations Development Institute. The CU has been offering a savings account package under which small loans are extended if payments to the account are made on time.

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