AUSTIN, Texas (12/6/07)--There are more payday lending stores in the U.S. than McDonalds and Burger King restaurants combined, according to Lois Kitsch, national program manager of Real Solutions at the National Credit Union Foundation. Kitsch shared some insight on how credit unions can help young adults avoid payday lenders by offering alternatives at the Credit Union National Association’s Your Essential Strategies (YES) Summit in Austin. Credit unions should think about the following when deciding to offer payday loans: target market, product mix and delivery system, education, finding Generation Y employees and resources. “Remember that not all of Gen Y are college students,” Kitsch said. “In this country today, only about 70% of high school seniors actually graduate from high school. This dramatically decreases their earning power over their life times.” Credit unions must be ready to offer low-cost financial products for this very diverse market niche, she said. As an example, Kitsch mentioned the Appleton, Wis.-based Prospera CU’s GoodMoney program. GoodMoney is a collaboration with Goodwill Industries and the Financial Information Service Center, which places credit union services in Goodwill retail stores. GoodMoney provides short-term loans at lower rates than those of payday lenders, as well as check-cashing, money orders, bill payments and international wire transfers (News Now Oct. 10).