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ORLANDO, Fla. – A Future Forum education session on the credit union boards’ role in serving members of modest means revved up the officials and got them hashing out the issues amongst themselves. “You can’t understand what your role is until you understand who this group is,” Wisconsin Credit Union League Vice President of Operations Jim Drogue said. He explained that these people are often of modest incomes, immigrants, young or seniors, and even credit union employees. They generally are not using mainstream financial services. “What does that mean? The majority of them are using alternative financial services providers,” he said, and they are ripe for the credit union picking.

Drogue explained that Wright-Patt Federal Credit Union initiated a “stretch pay” program to compete with the local payday lenders. For $35 a year, credit union members can take out 12 $250 loans a year, one at a time. The program has been worked so well, the credit union is setting up a CUSO to help other credit unions participate.

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