Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The Need for a Network of Low Income Citizen-owned Development Credit Unions: "The hard truth is that banks with few exceptions don't make small consumer loans-of the $200 or $500 or even the $1,000 and $2,000 variety. That always has been the case and today banks substitute fee-ridden credit cards for small consumer loans. Most of the payday borrowers lack the credit standing to obtain credit cards and if they did they would face the tricky world of annual membership fees, the late charges when the monthly payment misses the post date by a few hours and ultimately the 'over the limit' fees when charges exceed some previously ordained limit imposed by the card issuer. And interest charges on credit cards can and are arbitrarily raised and many of these hikes look like first cousins to the rate schedules for the payday merchants."

"Credit Unions are cooperatives, consumer owned, nonprofit institutions with no outside stockholders. There is no incentive to exploit their "customers" who are the member-owners and there are no outside investors to demand a share of "profits." What is needed to end the plague of predatory lending and payday scams is a crash effort on the part of the National Credit Union Administration to establish a network of low income citizen-owned development credit unions throughout the inner cities. Rest assured, the pay day lenders won't try to compete on the credit union terms."

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