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Montana group Expand CU payday-loan pilots
HELENA, Mont. (2/25/10)--Credit unions piloting short-term loans are supported by an anti-payday lending coalition in Montana. The coalition, calling itself "400% is Too High," has proposed an initiative to cap the annual interest rates of payday loans to 36%. It aims to put high-interest payday lending and title loans on the state's election ballot. Tom Jacobson, executive director of Rural Dynamics, a nonprofit consumer education organization backing the initiative, described the predicament many borrowers find themselves in once they've gone to a payday lender (Public News Service February). There's no doubt families struggling to make ends meet need access to small loans, which is why pilot short-term programs at credit unions could be expanded, he added. He noted the loans are offered at 18% and have other benefits. "And we can actually start getting them [borrowers] the financial counseling, the financial education, and start building them towards economic independence rather than keeping them trapped," he said. The organization has garnered support from a number of groups such as AARP Montana and the Center for Responsible Lending.


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