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PORTLAND, Ore. – The $1.9 billion Portland Teachers CU has responded to calls from the state regulator for credit unions to do more to combat payday lending in the state. Portland Teachers has launched its Payday Advantage Loan. Members can borrow up to 20% of their next paycheck for a maximum loan amount of $600. Payment of the loan and interest is due five days after the member’s next paycheck. The loan carries an interest rate of 12% for members with automatic payment and 14% for members without automatic payment. “The nice thing that is going to differentiate us is first we have a very attractive interest rate, but also we will report to the credit reporting agencies, which is a positive in helping people with building credit,” said Mary Jane Campbell, SVP/Sales & Marketing for the CU. Campbell said unlike other similar programs from other financials, Portland Teachers will not make people wait for their money “Some require that a member be a member for up to 60 days. For us if you join the credit union you’re eligible to apply for the loan the same day.” According to the state regulator, some 550,000 payday loans were issued in Oregon in 2002 for a total of $175 million. Some of these loans had rates as high as 300%.

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