Posted November 17th, 2011 No Comments
Credit Unions Featured in Alternative Lending Summit

The week of November 7th was designated as “Money Smart Week” and several groups in Lincoln organized an “Alternative Lending Summit” which featured credit unions as a smart choice for Nebraska consumers.  The summit was hosted by the Human Services Federation and the Economic Justice Team of Lincoln.  The summit consisted of two sessions including one for Nebraska state senators and their staffs, and the other for case workers in Lincoln who work with the financially vulnerable.

The state lawmaker session focused on legislation, specifically LB 533 introduced by Senator Amanda McGill of Lincoln that aims to provide greater transparency in the payday lending industry.  Sen. McGill’s bill would create a statewide database system in which payday loans are tracked to prevent consumers from rolling over payday loans.  Current Nebraska law prohibits such roll-overs but there is no enforcement mechanism to ensure the law is followed.  Nebraska Credit Union League staff presented the “Credit Union QuickCash” program that was recently launched by six Lincoln credit unions, as an alternative for consumers to payday loans.  “Both lawmakers and consumer advocacy groups look to credit unions to provide an alternative to payday lenders and the Credit Union QuickCash program is just that.  This program is another example of how credit unions are different from their for-profit counterparts” said Scott Sullivan, President/CEO of the Nebraska Credit Union League.

The afternoon session was targeted to case workers in Lincoln who work with the financially vulnerable.  The case workers toured informational booths sponsored by multiple groups, including not-for-profit, for-profit, and charitable groups.  “Our case workers are in the field counseling those persons that are in need of financial literacy and alternatives to payday lenders.  This summit was an opportunity for them to learn what resources are available to their constituencies at little or no cost” said Kit Boesch of the Lincoln Economic Justice Team.  League and credit union staff, sponsored booths for the credit union “Better Your Money” brand as well as the Credit Union QuickCash program.

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