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The Business Of Financing Dreams

LIVONIA, Mich.-From new homes to first cars to college educations; credit unions have long been in the business of financing a dream come true.

But Co-op Services CU is touting another kind of a dream it helped fulfill: the development and production of a professional-quality Country music CD one of their member's daughter needed to gain an audition at a production studio.

So longtime Co-op Services member James Dodd tapped into his Gold Line of credit to finance the "thousands of dollars" he needed to make his daughter's dream come true. The credit union loan enabled Gayle Dodd, who goes by the stage name "Roxy," to get a professional CD produced.

The CD, called "Walking Disaster," features 10 songs written by Gayle Dodd and is now on sale at local music stores. The credit union is so impressed it has invited "Roxy" to sing at its annual meeting next March.

Checking Scofflaws Get Reprieve

INDIANAPOLIS-A second-chance program for checking account scofflaws has expanded into Indiana, where credit union and banks are inviting consumers with poor records on bounced checks to "Get Checking."

The program, which was first introduced by the University of Wisconsin and several Wisconsin credit unions and banks last year, allows scofflaws a chance to be removed from the national ChexSystem register by taking a six-hour class on financial management.

Once any restitution is paid, participants may open a checking account at a participating institution. Among the Indiana participants are: Clarion FCU, Community Choice FCU, Financial Center FCU and Forum CU.

NY Solicits Financial Ed Proposals

NEW YORK-The state Banking Department announced it is requesting proposals for financial literacy programs to promote financial education throughout New York state. Participants are encouraged to submit proposals that aim to stabilize and revitalize low- to moderate-income areas in the state.

Programs that target chronically underserved populations will receive special consideration.

The program will be funded by the proceeds of settlements negotiated with companies cited for violations of laws or regulations.

A 2003 advertising campaign that warned of predatory lending, for example, was funded by a settlement with Household International.

PSCU Announces Member Payout

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.-PSCU Financial Services said it will pay a $3.3-million patronage dividend.

Member credit unions will receive the payout three months ahead of the scheduled payment. PSCU said its transactions increased by 9% for the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period last year.

The CUSO now processes more than nine million credit and debit accounts. PSCU has paid out a total of $45 million in dividends to member/owner credit unions since 1994.

SEFCU Aids Louisiana Educators

ALBANY, N.Y.-Staff of State Employees CU here loaded a U-Haul with hundreds of pounds of school supplies and departed for Louisiana, where they plan to donate the supplies to schools damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Credit union officials will also present a $25,000 check to assist Varnado High School, which was raised by the credit union and events sponsored by the Albany Times Union daily newspaper.

The relief funds and school supplies were collected on behalf of the National Education Association, the national teachers union.

New $10 Bills To Add Color

WASHINGTON-The traditional green in Americans' wallets will bloom this spring, sprouting red, yellow and orange, as well.

That's what the new $10 bills will feature in new efforts to thwart counterfeiters. The new bills, to debut in March, will feature Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury Secretary, on one side, and the Treasury building on the other.

The two images will be joined by the Statue of Liberty's torch and the phrase "We the People" in red along with small yellow 10s and a subtle orange background.

The new $10s will start showing up at credit unions, banks and ATMs on March 2. (c) 2005 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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