Just in time for school, 121 Financial Credit Union in Jacksonville, Fla., is offering short-term loans of $500 to $2,500 at 8% fixed rate to its members across northeast Florida.

The Back-to-School loans are for 12 months, so payments would not be too large and the notes would be paid off by the beginning of the next school year. There are no restrictions on how the money is to be used, the $421 million CU said.

"With this economy, it is tough for families to handle expenses like school," said William Braddock, CEO of the 36,000-member former Florida Telco, which changed its name last September. "That's why we wanted to design a loan that would help members get what they need for school, but not put an undue burden on them by having to pay it back quickly, or by having it drag on past the next school year."

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