MADISON, Wis. (3/17/10)--Credit unions popped up in the press this week--in articles ranging from helping small businesses in California and Michigan, to Suze Orman's advice on where to go for a credit card, to looking at credit unions for all banking needs, and even to The Wall Street Journal's
description of credit unions as among the "winners" in the proposal advanced Monday by Senate Democrats to overhaul financial markets. The articles included:
* Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm's promotion of the Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center Mid-Michigan which will offer a 10-week training session to foster entrepreneurship .Granholm said the Michigan Credit Union League has become a partner with the small business and technology development centers to provide as much as $43 million in small-business loans (The Morning Sun March 9). * A report about Mission SF FCU, a $7 million asset credit union based in San Francisco, which assisted Ernest East of Miz Lynn's Pies when the recession cooled sales of his sweet potato pies before the business' 10th anniversary. East ran from big banks to non-profit business loan programs for cash to tide him over. Mission SF FCU helped him get a loan for $6,500 with an interest rate he could handle, and helped him repair his credit rating. Since then, he has hired two employees, bought more equipment and added two store partnerships (SFGate.com March 8). * A speech by financial advisor, author and TV host Suze Orman at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, in which she advised those with a credit card balance to transfer the balance to a credit union credit card. She noted the interest rate at a credit union caps out at about 18% while traditional cards rates can be as high as 28% (Whittier Daily News and San Gabriel Valley Tribune March 15). * An article advising readers to "look into options of local credit unions for your banking needs as many offer better rates on things like mortgages, savings accounts and checking accounts." One area "that big banks suffer in is they are simply too large," said the article (Red, White and Blue Press March 11). Many big lenders are unable to provide one-on-one service in a way that is helpful to the vast majority of customers because there are too many, the article said. * The Wall Street Journal's article on the draft bill of the financial market overhaul proposed Monday by Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.). It noted: "Among the winners, community banks and small credit unions would be financially able to compete, for perhaps the first time, against large competitors reined in by new restrictions on capital, complexity and size" (The Wall Street Journal March 16).