NEW YORK (6/17/10)--Credit unions are among the ways consumers in a bind can raise cash fast and avoid the payday loan trap, says USA Today (June 15). "Many credit unions and community banks offer short-term loans with more favorable rates and terms than payday loans. For example, Alternatives FCU's Credit Builder Loan has an interest rate of 14.25%, no fees, and doesn't have to be repaid for six months," wrote the newspaper's personal finance columnist, Sandra Block. Lauren Saunders, attorney for the National Consumer Law Center, told Block that some banks and credit unions offer loans with competitive rates and terms that aren't widely advertised. If consumers in a bind can convince the credit union or bank there's a legitimate need and a realistic chance of paying off the loan, they may qualify--even with less than perfect credit--for a loan, Saunders told the newspaper. Other payday lending alternatives mentioned included tapping into 401(k)s , and obtaining credit card cash advances. Both have certain drawbacks, including higher fees and interest rates. To access the article, use the link.