MADISON, Wis. (3/9/11)--Credit unions have expanded their products and services offerings to the extent that they are more on the cutting edge than most people realize, Dan Egan, president of the Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rode Island credit union leagues, told Walletpop Monday. In an article titled “Credit Unions Offering More Services,” author Martha C. White wrote: “Credit unions, which as a group weathered the financial crisis better than banks, have been expanding their range of products and offerings recently. Today, credit unions offer much more than just ordinary deposit accounts and loans. A growing number are rolling out student and small business loans, mobile banking and even reward programs. This trend is happening even as banks are curtailing perks like debit rewards, and tightening standards for lending.” As an example of cutting-edge services, Egan told Walletpop that a service that’s been popularized by some large U.S. banks--in which a photo of a check is taken to electronically deposit it--was introduced by a credit union more than a year-and-a-half ago. Another area credit unions are expanding into is student loans, the article said. Many credit unions are switching to student loan programs because there’s pent up demand for them, Egan said. The cost of education is creating growing demand for student loans. Credit unions also are re-establishing their commitment to free checking, he added. Egan told Walletpop that credit unions are moving further into small-business lending to not only to help companies, but also to assist the economy as a whole. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are trying to get Congress to increase credit unions’ member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25%. Doing so would open up more opportunity to offer MBLs, inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA said. To read the article, use the link.