BRONX, NY — Despite the current recession-or perhaps because of it-the $15 million Bethex Federal Credit Union has taken a strong position on small business and micro-lending and has recently announced a change to its lending practices.

Bethex, a community development credit union, said its business portfolio includes businesses owned by minorities and women and, in response to requests from its business borrowers, the credit union has recently modified its business loan policy to include an interest rate reduction for business and micro-enterprise members. In some cases, the credit union may lengthen the term of a loan, resulting in lower monthly payments while extending the life of the loan.

As an approved Small Business Administration (SBA) lender, the credit union reduced its interest rate is based on the SBA's permitted rate of prime plus 2.5%. By monitoring this rate on a daily basis, Bethex is able to offer its members the best possible rate for each loan that is approved, the CU said.

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