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2 CUs Announce Bonus Payments

HARRISBURG, Penn.-Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) said it will pay its members a record $5.8 million in special year-end dividends. The dividend is being calculated based on each individual's dividend amount by taking 5% of dividends earned on shares and the interest paid on loans through November 2005. Members were notified via the credit union's with letters and with e-mails.

"After surpassing a reserve target set by our Board several years ago, the board felt it was only reasonable to return the surplus to our members," said Gregory Smith, PSECU's President. To spread the word, PSECU also ran an ad in the Harrisburg Sunday Patriot announcing the dividend.

Meanwhile, in Peoria, Ill., the $2.8-billion CEFCU will pay members an extraordinary dividend of $7 million, with half going to borrowers and half to savers. In both cases, the amount each member received was determined by dividends earned and interest paid as of Nov. 30, 2005. On Dec. 12, dividends were deposited to members' Savings accounts in one lump sum, with the savings and loan portions added together. Since 2000, the CEFCU Board of Directors has returned $15 million in extraordinary dividends to members.

5 Members Win Free Purchases

LANCASTER, S.C.-Five members of Founders FCU were awarded a day's Visa credit card purchases free. The winning members were selected as part of a promotional drawing among members who used their card during November. During November, the credit union also reduced the APR on the card by four percentage points on new purchases and transfers. The $1-billion Founders Federal is also staging the promotion during December.

Maine CUs Share Holiday Advice

WESTBROOK, Maine-During the holiday season two of Maine's primary radio news stations (WQCB and WGAN) have been providing tips and advice for helping children with holiday shopping and money management, courtesy of Maine's credit unions. Jon Paradise was interviewed as part of a four-part series on holiday shopping and its relationship with youth financial education.

"Parents should sit down early in the year and start children thinking about putting money aside for holiday shopping," Paradise told listeners.

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