PEORIA, Ill. (11/13/08)--Citizens Equity First CU (CEFCU) received a $25 million deposit from the Illinois state treasurer’s office this week to help ease tight credit in the state. Illinois has provided nearly $100 million to date to 16 institutions statewide in efforts to help melt the credit freeze, said State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias (Journal Star Nov. 11). The program is part of a $1 billion initiative to ease the credit crunch and spark investment returns to the state by making interest-bearing deposits available to healthy Illinois financial institutions. The arrangement works for the participating institution and the state, Chuck Walker, chief financial officer at the $3.635 billion asset, Peoria, Ill.-based CEFCU, told the newspaper. The credit union has partnered with Illinois in the past, obtaining state deposits ranging from $1 million to $10 million, Walker said. CEFCU doesn’t require a bailout and is going to have a record year for dispensing loans since central Illinois is buffered from many of the current economic problems affecting the U.S., he added. The Illinois treasurer’s office has $500 million available to financial institutions, with another $500 million available for allocation between December and March, Giannoulias told the paper. Any Illinois-based state or federally chartered credit union that is an approved depository institution is eligible for deposits through the program up to one year.