Minnesota Foundation, CUs Back 'Don't Borrow Trouble' Program

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Eight Minnesota credit unions and the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation (MCUF) have made a $15,000 contribution to the "Don't Borrow Trouble Minnesota" program, a public education initiative aimed at stopping predatory lending practices in the Twin Cities' seven-county metropolitan area. More than 60 organizations joined forces in the spring of 2001 to tackle this project, including various representatives from the lending industry, real estate industry, government and non-profit organizations. The steering committee was divided into four main focuses: fundraising, legal resources, research and evaluation, and outreach and message.

Borrow Trouble officially launched in March of 2003 and will continue for 18 months. The campaign uses various mediums to get its message across, including billboards, interior bus ads, posters, newspaper ads, and television and radio commercials. The Don't Borrow Trouble help line, which has fielded more than 500 calls to-date, provides consumers with advice on purchasing homes, refinancing, debt consolidation, and home equity loans.

Callers are referred to non-profit housing agencies with expertise in homeownership education and housing counseling.

In addition to the MCUF, the eight CU sponsors are Anoka Hennepin Credit Union, City-County FCU, Brooklyn Center Energy Family FCU, Hiway FCU, IBEW 110 FCU, NWA FCU, SMW FCU, and Topline FCU.

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