Payday Alternative Product Supported by Federation Deposits
(November 14, 2007 – Syracuse, NY) Cooperative Federal CU (formerly Syracuse Cooperative FCU), a community development credit union (CDCU) in Syracuse, NY was recently awarded CUNA’s 2007 Excellence in Lending Award in the low to modest means category.
Given in six categories each year by the CUNA Lending Council, CDCUs have won past awards for their innovative lending products. Bethex FCU (Bronx, NY) and Latino Community CU (Durham, NC), two well-known CDCUs, received Excellence in Lending Awards last year.
One of the loan programs that led the Lending Council to select Cooperative Federal was the CDCU’s pioneering efforts with payday loan alternatives, which offer a small line of credit, usually $600, to members who need to stay current on their bills.
This higher risk loan is supported by a Predatory Relief and Intervention Deposit (PRIDE™) from the Federation’s Community Development Investments, which collateralizes part of the loan to share some of the risk (typically up to 40%) on the loan with the credit union.
“The Federation’s PRIDE™ has allowed us to mitigate risks on a phenomenal number of loans where people would have gone elsewhere,” said Cooperative Federal CU Treasurer Ron Ehrenreich. Although payday loans are illegal in New York, Ehrenreich noted that many of Cooperative Federal’s members have taken out payday loans with exceptionally high rates through online offers from out-of-state lenders that bypass state usury laws.
Excellence in Lending Award winners receive recognition for their work in credit union publications and on the Council’s website. They also received an all-inclusive trip for one staff member to attend the Lending Council’s annual conference, which took place this past weekend in San Antonio, TX.
Christina Sauve, Program Administrator at Cooperative Federal, is particularly excited to work more closely with the Lending Council. “The chance to become involved with CUNA’s Lending Council and attend their annual conference will be a great way for our credit union to learn how others streamline their loan operations,” she said.
Cooperative Federal also offers a variety of other innovative loan products to its members including a credit builder loan and an auto-securitization loan. These specialized loans are a big part in the credit union meeting one of the most fundamental aspects of its community development vision: to give their lowest-income members the resources they need to get through temporary financial setbacks without being trapped in cycles of debt.
Like Cooperative Federal, Bethex FCU, and Latino Community CU, many CDCU’s offer loan products tailored to help their low-income members’ needs. Cooperative Federal’s recognition is also recognition for all CDCUs who, working with the Federation, are doing whatever it takes to improve the financial stability of their communities.
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.