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St. Louis, CU partner to deliver affordable auto loans
ST. LOUIS (4/25/14)--The foremost task for those trying to climb the social and economic ladders is to land a good, steady job.

Dorothy Bell, chief marketing officer, St. Louis Community CU, left; Michael Holmes, executive director, St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment/SLATE); Mayor Francis Slay; Gerald Brooks, chairman, and Patrick Adams, president/CEO, St. Louis Community CU. (City of St.. Louis photo)
For the economically disadvantaged, that goal can prove arduous, especially if access to a reliable mode of transportation is limited, or non-existent.

To tear down this hurdle, St. Louis Community CU, together with the city of St. Louis, has developed a program that delivers affordable auto loans to qualified clients of certain workforce agencies in the St. Louis area ( Missouri Difference April 16).

Called the "Sure Rides Auto Loan program," the initiative will open up doors for those stuck in long-term unemployment or who possess diminished personal credit; the same folks who often have a difficult time securing loans for automobiles.

"We understand that some individuals may be credit challenged, which leaves them shut out from receiving car loans when they need them most," said Steve Dilley, senior vice president and chief lending officer for the $229 million-asset credit union. "St. Louis Community CU is choosing to put the consumer first by becoming part of the solution and helping as many people as possible."

The credit union has partnered with the city's job training agency--called the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment--Family Workforce Centers of America, Employment Connection and the Urban League to run this program, which they believe will create "pathways out of poverty through stable employment."

The Sure Ride loan program is funded by a grant from the U.S. Treasury. As a community development financial institution, the credit union can secure grant funding to develop outreach programs that serve the community.

"People who don't have good credit, or who may not have a job, will have a tougher time building a better life for themselves," said St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. "St. Louis Community CU is helping our residents gain access to reliable transportation, which is a good step toward upward mobility, better job opportunities and financial stability."

For eligibility requirements or more information about the auto loan program, use the link.

Earlier this week, the National Credit Union Foundation and the Filene Research Institute announced a nonprime auto loan program at 14 credit unions. (See Wednesday's News Now : NCUF, Filene non-prime auto loan program gives hope on wheels.)

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