Md. CU Offers Help To Abusers Of CourtesyPay Program

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LUTHERVILLE, Md. - (12/14/05) First Financial of Maryland FCU willbegin rolling out a low-cost alternative to payday lenders Jan. 1that is also aimed at members who overuse its courtesy pay product.The new Safety Line product is a line of credit with a limit ofbetween $200 and $500 that is transferred directly from themember's direct deposit account to cover the cost of any bouncedchecks. With a $5 monthly fee, no application and an interest rateof 12.9%, Safety Line is designed for those members who have beenmisusing the CU's courtesy pay program and/or have been reachingout to payday lenders when they fall short, the credit union said.If a member goes three months in a row without needing to dip intoSafety Line, the $5 fee is cancelled. When the member needs itagain, the $5 fee is reinstated until the member goes another threemonths in a row without bouncing a check. The product will bemarketed exclusively to members who are currently using paydaylenders or are chronic users of the CU's courtesy payprogram.

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