RICHMOND, Va. (7/14/09)--Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine announced Monday a short-term lending program that allows state employees to take out low-interest loans up to $500 to meet emergency needs during the current economic crisis. The pilot program is a partnership between Virginia CU (VACU) and the commonwealth of Virginia Campaign--a nonprofit, 501(c) organizations that coordinate the charitable giving of state workers (Richmond Times-Dispatch and WCAV19 July 13). State workers who are members of Virginia CU, a $1.689 billion asset, Richmond, Va.-based credit union, are eligible for the program, which will not cost any taxpayers money. Borrowers would have up to six months to repay the debt through payroll deductions, the newspaper said. “The governor hopes this will be a model for private companies to use for their employees,” Gordon Hickey, Kaine’s press secretary, told the paper. Meanwhile, banks and other traditional lending institutions have been reticent to extend credit as the national recession continues, and usually do not provide the smaller emergency loans that are made available through the program, the newspaper said. The program garnered the attention of Forbes.com, which picked up the story. Use the link.