ACUSHNET, Mass. (8/7/08)--Acushnet FCU is offering its members a new home-heating loan program to offset the cost of heating bills this winter. Members can borrow up to $3,000. The loans are repaid over 11 months at a 4% interest rate (SouthCoast Today Aug. 6). The credit union already has started to receive applications for the program. Fall River Municipal Employees CU, Fall River, Mass., offered a similar program last year. The credit union is deciding whether or not to offer it again this year, Lisa Reid, consumer lending manager, told SouthCoast Today. Oil heating bills are expected to exceed $3,000 next year, according to a Donahue Institute report, the newspaper said. As of July 31, home heating oil cost $4.30 a gallon in Massachusetts.