ST. LOUIS (2/23/10)--Credit unions offer consumers a viable option to high-interest-rate payday loans, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said Sunday. “Several area banks and credit unions have developed short-term, low-dollar loan products to compete with the payday lenders,” wrote Post-Dispatch columnist Mathhew Hathaway. “These loans--sometimes described as unsecured, revolving lines of credit or even ‘enhanced’ overdraft protection--aren’t cheap, but they’re a much better buy than the payday loans.” Financial institutions have difficulty contacting consumers considering a payday loan--often due to money mismanagement or a financial setback--but there’s a need for this type of loan product, Eric Acree, executive vice president of Vantage CU in Bridgeton, Mo., told the paper. “There’s probably some embarrassment, so they might not want to talk to us,” Acree added. “But they need to sit down with someone at their bank or credit union and talk about what else is available to them.” To read the column, use the link.