ST. LOUIS (4/28/09)--Credit unions in St. Louis are tackling payday lending loans by offering low cost alternatives, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (April 24 and 26). The article features the payday alternatives of two credit unions--St. Louis Community CU and Gateway Metro CU. St. Louis Community CU offers a "Freedom Line of Credit," up to $500 and lasting 90 days, which charges less interest--an annual percentage rate of 25%--than payday loans It places part of the proceeds into a savings account for the member. Gateway Metro offers a "Quick Cash" loan of up to $600 for 31 days. The credit union charges a flat $40 fee and is cheaper for larger amounts. The average payday borrower takes out nine payday loans a year, but the credit unions' programs build up savings so the member eventually will no longer need the payday loan. The loans get the borrowers "off the treadmill," Patrick Adams, president of St. Louis Community CU, told the newspaper. Suzanne Gellman, consumer economics specialist at the University of Missouri Extension Service, told the newspaper that the credit union alternatives are "a significantly better deal."