FRESNO, Calif. (1/13/12)--Fresno (Calif.) Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC) is planning to establish the only EOC-operated credit union on the West Coast, which would be a community development credit union serving low-income residents to counter high-interest-rate payday lending in the area.
The credit union, Community First CU, would serve low-income and loan customers in Fresno and eight other counties, reported The Business Journal (TBJNow Jan. 9). EOC currently makes loans through a certified loan fund handled through Fresno's Community Development Financial Institution, which works through banks.
Banks prefer larger loans, EOC said in the article. The proposed credit union would offer loans in the $5,000 to $10,000 range, including personal, auto and consumer loans. Community First CU will contract some of its operations to larger credit unions.
EOC has received permission from the Small Business Administration to serve eight additional counties from Bakersfield to Sacramento, and it is applying for inclusion in San Luis Obispo and Sonora, the article said.
EOC, which is already looking for an office for the credit union, is seeking donations, grants and low-interest loans to help fund it.