14 credit unions across the Unites States to participate in the Employer Sponsored Small Dollar Loan (ESSDL) pilot.

MADISON, WI (July 14, 2014) — Filene Research Institute announced today that the product incubator for the Employer Sponsored Small Dollar Loan (ESSDL), a small dollar loan product benefiting low-and-moderate income US consumers, offered at the work place, is full with 14 credit unions across the country participating. The ESSDL product is one of five products in the Filene Research Institute’s accessible financial services incubator funded by the Ford Foundation. The product was submitted by NorthCountry FCU in Burlington, VT where the initial product pilot showed success and is now being scaled to 14 other financial institutions.

“Credit unions have a long history as being the proving ground for consumer centric, innovative financial products,” said Cynthia Campbell, director of innovation labs at Filene. “Nearly 1/3 of American workers are so stressed out about their finances that their work is impacted. We are incredibly excited to create a partnership between employers and credit unions so that we can better support the financial needs of employees and in turn improve the turnover, tardiness, and absenteeism rates for employers since they are often tied to employees with financial stress. ESSDL provides a small dollar loan alternative with a fair interest rate to hard working consumers so they can avoid the predatory lenders.”

What is an Employer Sponsored Small Dollar Loan (ESSDL)? A loan ranging from $300-1,500 available to working people right at the job site! This loan is not based on the employees credit score but rather it is based on tenure at the employer site. The payment term is six months to ease the burden on the cash flow. It does report to the credit bureau so employees can build their credit score with successful repayment.

Credit unions across the country that will be testing the ESDL product:

Fitzsimons, Aurora, CO                                            CU of the Rockies, Golden, CO

Denver Community, Denver, CO                          Metrum CU, Centennial, CO

Holy Rosary CU, Kansas City, MO                       State Employees, Buffalo, NY

Spring Bank, Bronx, NY                                          Promedica FCU, Toledo, OH

Sun Federal, Maumee, OH                                     Toledo Urban, Toledo, OH

Commodore Perry FCU, Oak Harbor, OH           Toledo Metro, Toledo, OH

Cy-Fair FCU, Houston, TX                                      North Country FCU, Burlington VT

About Filene: Filene Research Institute is an independent, consumer finance think and do tank dedicated to scientific and thoughtful analysis about issues affecting the future of credit unions, retail banking and cooperative finance. Founded 25 years ago, Filene is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Nearly 1,000 members make the nonprofit’s research, innovation and impact programs possible.

Contact: Cynthia Campbell, Director of Innovation Labs, Filene Research Institute, 612 W Main Street, Madison, WI 53705 (608) 661-3755

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