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Watermark CU launches Payday Freedom product
SEATTLE (2/8/08)--Watermark CU, a $64 million asset, Seattle-based institution, announced the launch of its Payday Freedom product, which is designed to help its members break out of the payday loan cycle. Using Payday Freedom, members can borrow between $200 and $800 at an annual percentage rate of 18%--a savings over traditional payday loans that can charge hundreds, even thousands, of dollars in annual interest. With Payday Freedom, 5% of each loan is deposited into a savings account, helping members save money. Loans are repaid through direct deposit. The credit union developed the product to educate members about using short-term credit responsibly and to teach them to save for their long-term financial needs, said Watermark President/CEO Chuck Cockburn. “Payday lenders are taking advantage of our members,” Cockburn said, adding the solution’s required deposit means “they can start a system of saving. The point is to break the cycle of taking one payday loan to pay off another one.”
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