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News Now

CU System
Tax Status, Rates, Student Credit In the Media
WASHINGTON (11/5/13)--Preserving credit unions' tax status continues to get coverage in the media but several other topics of interest--fees for unsecured loans, the perks of a student checking account, student loans and more--are also being reported. The Credit Union National Association and credit unions figured prominently in at least 10 articles and broadcast segments last week.
 
CUNA provided expertise to Reuters for its article about personal or unsecured loans aimed at wooing mass affluent customers, "New Unsecured Loans Beckon, but Should You Bite?" (Oct. 28).  It noted two large banks have personal loans with higher rates.  But Paul Gentile, CUNA executive vice president of strategic communications and engagement, told Reuters that at credit unions, the average unsecured loan is about $2,600 with an average four-year interest rate of about 10%, The article compares rates at TD Bank, which charges from 6.63% to 9.2% for customers seeking less than $10,000, while Citibank's rates range from 6.74% to 19.49%.
 
At PRWeekUs.com (Nov. 1) CUNA's Gentile is featured in a question and answer about why CUNA has launched the Don't Tax My Credit Union initiative. Gentile said that "Congress is engaged in comprehensive tax reform and it is important to tell our story and reinforce the value of the credit union system to Congress." He noted credit unions are nonprofit financial cooperatives serving 97 million Americans with low-cost, high quality financial services and that credit unions return $8 billion in benefits back to consumers annually.
 
The tax status issue was also featured in WUFT News, The Buffalo News (with an op ed by Credit Union Association of New York President/CEO William J. Mellin), and The Heartland Institute.
 
Nerdwallet.com's Oct. 28 item, "Credit Unions Reward Students With Checking Perks," said it "has the inside scoop on a few credit unions that are providing free student checking accounts that pile on the perks, including ATM refunds, rewards points and online account access through just about any mobile device available." It featured three credit unions' programs.
 
In MainStreet.com, Gentile noted that "credit unions are emerging as strong private student lenders, with a $2.3 billion portfolio." Delinquency rates for credit union private student loans are significantly lower that federal student loans as well as other private student loans, he added. Credit unions can consolidate private loans at rates as low as 4.75%, depending on the underwriting results.
 
For those articles--and more--use the link to check out the "In the Media" section of CUNA's Press Page.
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