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LATHAM, N.Y. – The New York State Credit Union Loan Initiative announced at the beginning of 2005 by U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) at a Partnering and Leadership Successes (PALS) workshop in Rochester, N.Y. has a lot to celebrate its first anniversary – credit unions participating in the initiative designed to help serve the underserved met and surpassed a multi-million dollar loan commitment set at the beginning of last year. The group of 28 New York credit unions led by a task force of five CUs – Bethpage FCU, First Source FCU, Sunmark FCU, The Summit FCU, and Visions FCU – set two main goals for the year: issue $100 million to credit union members for real estate loans in underserved areas of the state; and earmark $2 million for credit union member emergency loans, short term loans that would help members with critical needs such as utility and medical bills and emergency auto repairs. The group successfully met the first goal with the help of 23 additional CUs and committed to providing an additional $50 million to the real estate initiative. As for the second goal, as of Dec. 31, 2005, with several reports still outstanding, credit unions had granted $1,690,862 in emergency loans and have commitments that will raise the final total over the loan initiative’s $2 million goal. All together, by year’s end the group had granted a total of $152,575,266 – 153% of its goal – to help underserved individuals become homeowners. The Summit FCU President/CEO and NAFCU Chairman Mike Vadala, who was the initial credit union contact with Sen. Clinton, said the results of the credit unions’ efforts in the New York State Credit Union Loan Initiative “prove once again that credit unions continue to do an amazing job of extending affordable services to those in underserved areas. “Despite the bankers’ attempts to keep credit unions from helping the people who need affordable home loans the most, New York’s credit unions have made these services available at 150% of our expected goal. This is not unique to New York, but rather, this is what credit unions do. The fact is that the more credit unions are allowed to reach out into our needing communities, the more deserving Americans that will be served. We were pleased to take part in this program and thrilled with the result.” Sen. Clinton commented that, “I have been proud to help New York’s credit unions reach this important milestone. True to their spirit of dedication to serving all New Yorkers, the credit unions surpassed their initial goals and these loan funds will help provide underserved New Yorkers with more opportunity for home ownership and much-needed emergency loans.” William Mellin, president/CEO of the New York State Credit Union League which supported the initiative by collecting data and commitments from participating CUs said, “This is clear affirmation of how access to credit unions can help individuals in underserved areas establish good credit and build towards a better tomorrow.” -

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