MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (6/5/13)--The founder of Black Entertainment Television said he wants to offer an alternative to payday lending--and the Michigan Credit Union League says credit unions can help (Michigan Monitor June 3).
Robert L. Johnson, BET founder, in speaking at Detroit Regional Chamber's Mackinac Policy Conference on May 29 (Mlive.com), told the group there is no reason why the nation should allow that kind of lending process to take place if there are alternatives, and he noted "there are alternatives."
Although Johnson is working with a Texas Finance company, credit unions would be a great partner for the program, said MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams (Michigan Monitor June 3).
Adams said that "credit unions would be a fabulous partner with him and his organization to provide these alternatives to consumers. Alternatives to payday lenders who--not it all cases but in many cases--take advantage of people."
He noted many credit unions have programs aimed at replacing payday lenders. Community Promise FCU in Kalamazoo was set up specifically to put an end to payday lenders in its neighborhood, he said.
This summer, Johnson plans to announce a new program that offers wage advance lending in partnership with employers. The loans would have lower rates and longer terms than payday lenders and would offer rate discounts for consumers who pass a financial literacy test, set up savings accounts and pay on time.