CHICAGO – Alliant Credit Union is winning high marks from United Airlines for its loan assistance program directed at employees of the beleaguered carrier. In a statement, the airline called Alliant's Member Assistance Program a valued gesture recognizing that "people sometimes encounter hardships in their jobs." Alliant debuted MAP last month offering qualified employee/members 30% reductions on loan payments. MAP is designed for airline employees experiencing job loss or pay cutbacks. Alliant said so far 249 loans have been extended to affected United employees during the first 10 days of the program. MAP covers loans for new/used cars, recreational vehicles, boats, motorcycles, and airplanes, as well as unsecured loans and loans secured either by stock or shares. Lynn Hughitt, vice president-compensation and benefits for United, noted that "the airline industry has gone through a very difficult period" but the Alliant program "provides a valued benefit to our employees who are members." In a statement, Alliant said MAP was created "by an extraordinary circumstance (9/11) that shocked the airline industry, prompting Alliant to take this bold measure to help its members. "Immediately after 9/11, Alliant implemented the Emergency Loan Repayment Program, which was followed by a Temporary Payment Reduction Plan. The Member Assistance Program (MAP) is our third of a continuing effort to assist our SEGs," said Alliant noting that about 45% of its members are either employed or retired airline workers. -

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